About Dear Bex

This is my place to speak to my daughter. She won't remember these early days in her life, and I want to make sure that I do! Plus, there's just so much I want to say to her and be sure she knows.

September 14, 2011

Bedtime...

Dear Bex,

When you were first born, there was no set bedtime. You slept and woke as you saw fit - sometimes every hour, every two, or every three. We attempted to put you on a schedule fairly early, and it seemed to take - you started waking on your own like clockwork every 2 1/2 - 3 hours to eat! But you were never happy afterwards. You would cry and cry, and we didn't know what to do. Neither did Karen (or Debbie or Angela), though she did their best, and had more patience than I could ever dream of having!

Karen would just rock with you in the glider most of the time until you fell asleep. She had the room toasty warm and the TV on 24/7. She would talk to you in her loud voice and I swear you understood her! She would tell you to open your eyes, and she would ask why you were crying, and you would open them, or stop crying! She called you Chunk-a-lunks (in the sweetest way possible - hey, you were a big girl for just a couple of days old!) and she was your first best friend.

Once you were a week or so old we noticed a pattern to your crying. You were inconsolable at night. It was heartbreaking for us to listen to you cry at the top of your lungs for hours at a time. We tried everything to make you comfortable so that you would sleep - carrying you on your belly, carrying you on your side. Swaddling, not swaddling. Music, silence. Pushing you around in your stroller, swinging you in the swing. The bouncy seat. The Bjorn. The most effective though was the vent on our stovetop! For some reason that fan's white noise was one of the only things that could get you to calm down. We thought you were colicky then, but think that it was reflux and you were in pain by the end of the day. Karen put you on a schedule that worked well to try to get you to sleep through most of your usual crying time, and it worked for a little bit.

Debbie - well, we don't really know what she did for you at bedtime. We just took advantage of her being there and tried to get some sleep. She was convinced that you were upset because your feet were cold, and made us have socks on you at all times. She also started us thinking that you had gas - so we started giving you Mylicon, which often helped a bit.

The most patient and kooky, Angela, would walk around with you non-stop. Seriously, that woman must have worn paths into our hardwood floors and in the lobby and in the park near our building! In the apartment she would strap the Sleep Sheep to her wrist and walk you all around. She would take you outside as long as it wasn't snowing or raining, convinced that the fresh air would help you sleep better. And it did somewhat - but you were still so uncomfortable around 7ish until 10 and would cry and cry. By this point you were on medicine for reflux that wasn't helping, and the most gentle formula that they make. We had just one other option which we started right as Angela was leaving.

And that was the trick. At 8 weeks we started you on Prevacid, and soon enough you were like a different baby. No more Mylicon needed, or gripe water, or vent in the kitchen. We would put you to sleep earlier too, around 7, which also helped - who knows, maybe all those nights you were just saying, "Please shut up, stop rocking and singing and making me listen to music, I want to be asleep in my crib!"

And it was around then that putting you to bed became one of my favorite things to do. I was terrified to do it for the first two months, because we didn't know what was wrong. Once we figured it out, though, that all changed. Now we change you into your pajamas, put lavender scented lotion on you, and rock you lightly as we give you your last bottle. Sometimes you're all wound up and babble all the way through, barely eating. Sometimes you're starving and you suck down the whole bottle and pass out on our shoulder. But most of the time you happily eat what you want, curl up into our neck, and we walk you around the room letting you touch certain things. You love to touch the butterfly decals on the wall, and to spin your mobile yourself as you touch each animal. Then we put you in your crib with your Sleep Sheep making rain noises and your seahorse playing music, and you cuddle into your snuggler and go to sleep.

Little do you know that after that happens, The Daddy and I carry around your monitor all night to make sure you're okay, and to just stare at you. We eat dinner with you on the table, and have you near us on the couches and in bed. We laugh at positions you get yourself into and wonder if you'll be sore the next day from some of them!

Then, before we go to bed, we sneak into your room together and wave at you. We do this together almost every night, and always take a second to be in awe of the amazing person that we made while we give each other a quick kiss or squeeze of the hand, and then we go off to bed ourselves.

We love you, baby girl!

Love,
Mommy

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