Your first night out of my tummy your grandparents and dad left me alone with you. Just us. For the first time since your birth, it was just me and you.
You rustled around in your plastic hospital crib and I nursed you. Then I put all seven pounds of you under my gown, skin to skin, and we fell asleep.
Oh the night nurse was so mad at me! She took you away when she came to check our vitals and re-wrapped you up. She told me again about the dangers of us sleeping together.
As soon as she was gone, back under my gown you went.
You see, you knew the best way to sleep was close to my heart. And I didn’t sleep much that night. I stayed awake and cried from the depths of my love for you. I felt you breathe. I smelled your head. I ran my fingers over your little hairs. I took a selfie with you. I told the whole Facebook world that I was exhausted, but that I couldn’t sleep because I just wanted to be with you.
The next night my exhaustion got the best of me. My emotions took over and I cried, and cried, and cried, and the very sweet night nurse took you to the nursery and told me to sleep.
I did. I had just gone through hours of labor and months of pregnancy that exhausted my body. On top of that, as much as I wanted to stay up all night and soak you in, I physically couldn’t.
You knew, though, that you weren’t with me. You knew and pitched a fit. The nurses claimed you were a night owl and looked at me with tender sympathy.
But sweet boy, you are not a night owl. You rather cherish your night sleep. You simply knew that you weren’t with me.
Tonight, you’re almost four months old. You’re sound asleep, right now, in my arms. For awhile we were chest to chest, just like we were seven pounds ago.
Did you know that you’re double what you weighed at birth?
And you’ve grown a few inches too!
And your feet have outgrown that one pair of socks that you wore home. The only pair that fit? And then some that were once too big?
And you’ve long since been unable to wear those newborn clothes. Or the 0-3 month clothes.
And you out-peed not only those newborn diapers, but the size one and size two diapers also.
Your face changes before my eyes. Your ability to do new things is incredible.
Some nights, I cry for you to go to sleep. I need a break.
But tonight I was reminded of that very first night with you. The sweetest memory of us breaking the rules I’ll ever have.
I have to tell you that one day, you won’t want me to hold you anymore. You won’t wake up arms flailing when you notice I’m gone. You won’t cuddle your head on my chest and snuggle with me. You won’t even need me when you go to sleep, because you’ll be big.
Baby Boy, I refuse to rush this sweet time with you. I will continue to rock you. Hold you. Snuggle you. And love you. Until you want to do it all by yourself. And then I will step back and smile at your big boy accomplishment. I will even encourage it and praise you.
*Note: this was written almost a month ago. Today my big boy sleeps in his crib all night, all by himself. We never cried it out and I always rock him to sleep. Despite many fears, he will have nightly parties in his crib and go right back to sleep all on his own. No crying. No need for me to help him.
This doesn’t mean that every baby is the same. All are different and no judgement from me. Do what is best for YOU and YOUR baby.
And he always wakes up with the biggest smile.
If you liked this post, check out Fifteen Things Babies are Certain Of.
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I’m guilty of doing all the things wrong about child bedtime. I nurse this kid to sleep and lay him down and sneak away. Don’t judge. I like it this way.
And my kid usually goes to bed by 8:30 and sleeps almost 12 straight hours.
But some nights, he seriously won’t go down easy. I usually recognize what’s about to happen, but the truth is, us moms think about all kinds of crazy things while we deal with our children’s antics.
Here are 28 thoughts that run through every mom’s head when their kid is acting like a lunatic at bedtime. Enjoy!
1. Is this a growth spurt?
2. Maybe he’s over stimulated.
3. Oh. This is probably my fault for playing with him so late.
4. Is this kid human? This is the equivalent of putting a frog to sleep.
5. His diaper is dry.
6. Switch sides?
7. I know he’s tired. Why is he doing the funky chicken?
8. Maybe I need to switch sides again.
9. He has to be going through a growth spurt.
10. There can’t be milk left.
11. What kind of noise is that? A yelling snort? Can I make that if I tried?
12. Maybe he’s cutting a tooth!
13. I hope he isn’t getting sick.
14. Let’s switch sides again.
15. Oh no. That’s not going to work.
16. I’ll just stand him up. Maybe he…
17. Wow. That was a loud belch. Maybe that was it.
18. He wants the left side. Okay.
19. WHY ARE YOUR LEGS FLOPPING?!
20. I’ll stand him up again.
21. Agh! You ate too much. Spit up everywhere.
22. I give up. I’m turning on the lamp.
23. Are you grunting?
24. You are grunt…
25. Oh wow. You stink.
26. Go ahead. Finish.
27. You seriously better go to sleep after this.
28. You’re lucky that smile is cute.