Thursday, December 07, 2006

Relax, Baby!

When I'm walking the floor, trying to get Sophia to go to sleep, I often feel like taking back everything I've ever said about her being a good, easy baby. And, since she is only 4 months old, I find myself in this position several times a day.

The more aware she has become of her surroundings, the harder it has been for her to just relax when she is tired. And so she fusses. And fusses. And rubs her eyes, takes out her binkie, smiles, and then fusses some more.

I have had to be incredibly creative to get her to go to sleep and to save my sanity. Sometimes walking the floor, holding her upright and facing outward, and singing primary songs works like a charm. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes sticking her binkie in her mouth and bouncing her on my knee works really well. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I can nurse her to sleep, but usually she just gets mad if I try to feed her when she's tired. Her swing doesn't work at all. Not anymore, anyway. She just gets really stiff and turns bright red before she screams to be taken out.

Last week she started getting tired-fussy while I was on the computer reading blogs. I was reading a blog that had some rock music on it and she calmed right down. When the song was over, she started getting worked up again, so I played it again. Calm. I thought to myself, maybe I have found the magic trick to get this child to sleep! Sure enough, after about 4 or 5 playings she was sound asleep. This tactic worked for me about six times in a row (so for about a day and a half) before she got smart and started fussing even more when she heard that song. I guess it's a good thing...I'm not sure how I felt about having a song that was on the harder-rock side be a lullaby for her. But, it sent me back to the drawing board anyway.

Sometimes I am so tired when she does this I cannot stand up anymore. So the other night I piled 5 or 6 pillows on my bed and so I could sit comfortably upright. I stood Sophia up against my chest and patted her back and wearily sang to her. She fussed and fussed and I sang and sang. After about 45 minutes that seemed like 5 hours she finally let herself go to sleep.

Today I had to take a shower. And I only had a small window of time that I could fit it in. Just so happened that she was fussy and wanting to sleep during that time. I tried walking with her and bouncing and singing and all the old tricks and it wasn't working quickly enough for me. So, I finally put her in her carseat (since I knew we'd be leaving soon), buckled her in and snuggled her in her blankie. I set her in the doorway of the bathroom, screaming at me for daring to put her down. I turned on the bathroom fan and got into the shower. Guess who was fast asleep when I got out? I won't overuse this trick though...I'll save it only for the dire times.

I don't remember my other girls being this difficult to get to sleep. I guess Bria was a little bit...but if I could just get her to close her eyes I was home free. So I would take her for walks in the bright sun. Worked fabulously every single time. Sophia just plain doesn't let herself relax, eyes closed or not. I'll feel her start to calm down and then she remembers: No! I can't miss a single thing that goes on! I cannot fall asleep. Then she gets mad.

But sometimes, in the midst of all of this she'll look at me and give me the biggest grin she can muster. You can't be frustrated with me, Mommy. I'm just too cute and you love me too much.

And she's right. I guess I won't take back everything I said about her being a good, easy baby.
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Here's the bad news,
    at this age -- I had my kids just crying it out. I used the bathroom fan and enya. :)

  2. Honey, she is still coming off Zofran. Wish I were there to give you some relief.
    Love you you great mom you!!!

  3. Oh, I have so been there. It's something about being the third kid. The third kid never sleeps! I can't recommend the book "Healthy Sleep Habits,Happy Child" enough. It SAVED me with my fourth! (Who was even more stubborn about sleep than #3 was.)

    Hang in there...

  4. One thing I've learned from having three daughters is that they are ALL different! Their personalities and emotions and even the way they go to sleep is different! It's funny, though, because you expect the baby to be like the last one--and then it doesn't happen!
    That's so funny about the rock music settling here down!!

  5. (((hugs))) My oldest was a tricky baby too...and like your daughter...once you find something that works don't get too comfy cuz a curve ball will come before long and you will have to find something else. I think that kind of fussiness happens when they are getting ready to grow a bunch or learn a new skill like sitting up or something like that. Hang in there. The itty bitty baby time is so short in the big picture.