I've always found sleep difficult. Especially when I'm going throughÂ a stressful period in my life, going to bed doesn't mean going to sleep. I have been known to lie in bed for 4-5 hours, tired, but not able to sleep. I even saw a doctor about it, who gave me some really simple tips like having a regular time for going to bed, and waking up, and keeping to that schedule 7 days a week. I took sleeping pills for a while, but they made me wake up feeling tired, so what was the point? Anyway, before I digress too much, let me get to the 'meat' of this post. Having a baby for 6 weeks has made me realise that babies have that problem too, I even began to think maybe it's been with me since I was a child !!
You see, a tired baby doesn't automatically go to sleep, which was one of my biggest surprises as a new parent. Oh no. They cry. Our little girl will even scream and kick and punch you when she wants to sleep. You have to help the baby settle down. Obviously, different techniques work for different babies. Babies find that sucking calms them down, so sucking their hands, feeding and using a dummy tends to work. Our girl can't figure out how to fit her hand in her mouth yet, and she spits out her dummy, so it's a bit difficult. Then, rocking the baby in a sling or chair, or in your arms helps. Reducing stimulation, dim the lights, lower the volume, all these help as well. Which is all well and good, but when your baby wakes up at 3am, and you're half awake yourself, it's not easy to keep a level head.
Parenthood so far has been an incredible journey. I've learnt so much in the last 6 weeks !! This weekend was particularly significant. Usually, Baby O cries when I carry her, and until I give her to her mum, I will know no peace. However, this weekend, my wife went to get her hair done, so it was just the two of us. After some initial frustration and crying, we managed to get along. I finally felt like we'd bonded. So much so, when my wife came back, it was the other way around for a bit, the baby would cry until she gave her to me to carry !! Seeing her crack a smile always melts my heart, every single time.
She's got me wrapped around her little finger, and she knows it.