every day

It’s strange that we can’t keep track of the date when each day lasts so long, and every minute is accounted for. Most people count their baby’s feedings or diapers, but we may be taking it to an extreme. (Probably not surprising from folks who tracked months of their new puppy’s elimination schedule, and then became too attached to that 50-page record to ever throw it away.) We started with a simple visual log of naps and meals designed by Bryan’s equally-crazy buddy, and made some of our own enhancements. As we try to crack this sleeping nut, we have begun to annotate with more vigor.

We have a camping headlamp hanging over this so dark nights don't impede our sedulous record-keeping.
We have a camping headlamp hanging over this so dark nights don’t impede our sedulous record-keeping.

Getting Annie down for daytime naps is absolutely our biggest challenge. She sleeps—I have been hesitant to say this in case of jinxing it, but here we go—quite well at night. At 9pm she drops like her strings have been cut and starts sleeping for long stretches, and returns to her bassinet after eating without protest. During the day, however, sleep is a threat to be met with fierce resistance. She may doze off, but then will fight hard to wake herself up. We’ve watched her wage this battle over and over, working herself from a peaceful rest state, through a series of yawns, stretches, smacking herself in the face (if not swaddled), making noises of increasing volume, to her final destination: screeching. The soothing tricks will often calm her back down but not put her all the way to sleep, and if you let up on any of them, she’ll work herself into a frenzy again. The only silver bullet is wearing her in a carrier and walking around: she’ll sleep until you stop for 4 seconds or longer. Her words to live by, according to Bryan: Always. Be. Jiggling.

Thus, she spends all of her time engaged in one of four activities: sleeping, nursing, being jiggled, or screaming. (There is also a blessed 5th state during which she is awake and peaceful without intervention, but these are rare and fleeting.) If we can’t muscle her into the daytime naps she needs, she enters a dangerous spiral of over-exhaustion; resistance to sleep becomes even more fierce; and everything gets harder.

I realize I’ve probably just described in forehead-slapping terms the way basically every infant acts. But hey, it’s new to us.

3 thoughts on “every day

  1. Similar patterns will assert themselves in toddlerhood, so it’s good to have a record of them now and to see what her lizard brain instincts respond to.

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