We have a new song and dance routine before bed. April gets the sleepy eyes and I take her upstairs (or downstairs, or across the hall, wherever the bed involved is). I then have to nurse her standing up, cradling her and rocking her as I go. Her eyes flutter and depending on the level of exhaustion she sometimes wriggles and thrashes like a little baby porpoise. I hum to her and sing to her, often switching sides, sometimes more than once. Eventually her entire body relaxes, at which point we move over to the bed and I lay on my side nursing her until she stops sucking for long enough that I can sneak my nipple out of her mouth. At this point, I hope that she’s actually asleep. Often, she continues making sucky faces but is oblivious to the fact that the source of satisfaction has been removed. Many times, she realises that I have tricked her, and with eyes still closed, reaches out and grabs me and stuffs my boob back into her mouth. Sigh. The routine begins again.
I still have moments when I think that it would be easier to let her cry and settle on her own. But when it comes down to it, I don’t really have the heart to just leave her there wailing. She’s also becoming a liability. The moment she wakes up. she sits bolt upright and commences throwing herself about. I am terrified she’s going to fling herself off the bed, and as we don’t have a crib for her, it really doesn’t make sense to just leave her. I know that eventually she will learn to settle to sleep on her own, but she’s not there yet. I also don’t feel like taking the twenty 0r so minutes to put her to bed is really stealing anything from me.
She’s taking up more and more space in the bed. Josh commented recently that he wishes we had bought a king-sized bed last year when we got our amazing new mattress. April has a tendency to sprawl out diagonally with both of her arms extended out like a scarecrow. She is also a little furnace and gets super warm, and throws herself about when she’s too hot, which isn’t exactly helpful (not to mention she makes Josh overheat too). So now we find ourselves sleeping on tiny slivers of bed, feet away from one another, possibly touching feet, with this tiny little being between us, thrashing around and crying out from time to time.
That said, I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Sleeping with a baby is possibly the best thing in the world. She’s like the most amazing hot water bottle in the universe, with sweet milky breath and soft downy hair. She snuggles closer to me whenever she stirs, and often settles just as soon as she can feel me there beside her. I love her so much, it makes me tear up just thinking about it. Damn, I’m a softie.
Fortunately, the bed in the van is wider than a king-sized bed. It’s awesome. So the plan is to create her a little nest in the corner, and sleep snuggled up together. I also want to see if we can find a baby hammock when we’re down in Mexico. And one for grown ups. Hammocks are awesome.