You might have heard that babyhood consists of three major skills: eating, sleeping, and pooping. Before Talia was born, I was most worried about the pooping because poop is gross and I don’t like gross things. Nowadays, if I could choose one of these three things to be in charge of, I’m pretty sure poop would win. It turns out, it’s the one thing you don’t have to TEACH a baby to do, and although it IS gross, you can’t go terribly wrong in trying to manage it. Also, it’s the one skill that can’t directly affect YOUR health. So, let this be a lesson to you: choose poop.
I’ve already discussed at length how nursing drove me to the brink of insanity, but even so, nursing wins second place in this competition. That first month was depressing and painful and exhausting, but at least there was a backup. If we had to, we could feed the baby formula, and she would survive and flourish and be happy. Furthermore, you could pay people to tell you how to fix things, and those people generally agreed upon the same course of action. And, fortunately, all the hard stuff lasted only 6 weeks.
Sleep? 5.5 months in and we still haven’t figured it out, which I know is common, and I know everyone survives, but man…it’s hard! Also, it’s complicated, and no one agrees on what you should do, and everyone has an opinion, and there’s not a lot of middle ground in those opinions, and one way or another you’re ruining your baby’s life.
Also, as miserable as sleeplessness and bedtime battles might make you, you’re also supposed to figure out how to enjoy it all because everyone assures you that you’ll regret not savoring these moments in the future. I get that, and I try, but as a note to my future self, please don’t be mad at your previous self for spending some of her time feeling sad and confused instead of perpetually amazed at and appreciative of how wonderful a baby is. You can feel both, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling both. Honestly, your previous self wouldn’t feel sad and confused if she weren’t so amazed at and appreciative of her baby. If she could have spent those 5 hours it took to put the baby to bed either sleeping or washing the bottles or making a healthy dinner or exercising, then she would be 1) freer to spend time with the baby when the baby is awake or 2) in a better state of mind to enjoy the baby when the baby is awake. And the BABY would be happier because she would have gotten 5 more hours of sleep! But this gets into a rant I have about how your current self is always your smartest self, so of course my current self would tell my future self just to trust my current self, and my future self, when she becomes current, would tell my current current self to feel differently. But we’ll talk about that another time.
Anyway, even though I haven’t written anything of actual substance about sleep yet, I will go now…I see that Talia woke up from her nap an hour early. I’ll start writing another post with actual information next nap :)