spirited baby

Emma’s a spirited baby. It’s hard work parenting a spirited child, even as a newborn. She’s a fighter when she isn’t doing what she needs to be doing (eating, sleeping, playing, cuddling). I am even in a support group for moms of spirited babies.

When I try to put her down for naps, she fights. She arches her back, kicking, scratching my face and hers and cries. I am desperately sh’ing and patting, trying to distract and calm her. And then today, after crying in her stroller all the way to the cafe, she ate her bottle, burped on my mom’s shoulder, sat there contentedly staring at the upholstry and promptly fell asleep! Why oh why can’t I get her to relax and drift into sleep at home? I never seem to catch her window of opportunity to lay her down. She’s either not tired enough or overtired and fussy or crying. Then she went and took a 1 1/2 hour nap without me having to help her get through to the next sleep cycle. And she smiles and it makes everything ok. And now she’s in bed and it’s only 9pm, and I have nothing to do but go to sleep. Of course I’ll get woken up soon, but at least I’m going to be in bed before midnight!

I had the whole day with my mom today helping me out around the house
(she was wonderful – did laundry, ironing, dishes, made casseroles,
lunch and made me drink water and tea and go for a walk…) and she was
talking about how she handled my older sister. My mom was only 19 when
Chelsea was born and really had no idea what to do. She doesn’t remember
Chelsea ever sleeping in the day, and she co-slept with my parents. My mom
basically put her in the car and drove around the city all the time.

Sometimes I think we know too much, or are seeking to much information
and forgetting to trust our instincts. If I remember to relax, take it all in stride, not try so hard, love Emma, love John and enjoy even the hard stuff, then it will work itself out. Older moms always say, the bad stuff fades and you only remember the good times. She’ll only be little for awhile… kiss her as much as you can because there comes a time when she doesn’t want it anymore. At this age she has no choice!

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