4:37. There's something so tender about having a baby fall asleep on your shoulder. After she's calm from your voice and your touch you can feel her relax and begin to drift. Cheek to cheek, take a moment to notice the softness of her skin before laying her down for a delightful snooze. Of course, it wasn't always like this. In fact, during the last nap she fitfully woke every 15 minutes after tentatively calming down only to fully wake up to an explosive poo just as I was about to doze off in the glider. But it's worth it to wake up to see her adoring smile as she gratefully accepts a new diaper.
The Baby Whisperer describes Hannah as a spirited baby. She's overzealous and captivating when she's happily awake. Conversely, she quickly expresses even the smallest baby matters with her growing voice. When my Aunt visited and quoted Hannah's cries we agreed that she was obviously saying, "Gimme that dam milk!" or "Get me outta this dam diaper!" But she's so loveable and appreciative when she gets it. Which is why I've been poring over the two 300+ page informational books from the Whisperer. Since Hannah so clearly knows what she wants, I figure I better find out what it is and get it for her!
We started with a routine about 2 weeks ago, per the suggestion of the first book. Immediately, we saw a change in her personality during her awake hours. Since she knew to anticipate that she would wake up, get fed, have a diaper change, play, and then fall back asleep she playfully followed along as we went through the cycle 7-9 times each day. But something wasn't quite right because the matter of getting her to sleep was getting more and more difficult. Plus, even if this was manageable I still wasn't sure what to do next as she continues to mature through her baby stages.
Fast forward to today and we are on Day 4 of the new regime. This time around we're building in a winding down step before each nap, focusing on keeping more activity in the morning, and following a strict schedule for the first week. Things are different! In the morning, she's more alert for her feeds and even if she wakes up early from a nap she can hang in until the next time she's supposed to eat. We're still struggling through the "getting-to-sleep" bit, but this is an adjustment phase. Through all this, I relate a lot of what she's doing to her father's behavior. I used to immediately feed her when she would wake up at 5, but now I realize that she's crying for a new diaper and once she gets that she moans that it's too early to wake up just like Zac would. So I coax her back to sleep and she wakes up at 7 with bright eyes and actively eats. In the afternoon she's so excited about everything she's done each day that she wants to stay awake all the time (again Zac's MiniMe.)
I'll report back next week, hopefully with news that her daytime napping has improved. For now I better sleep while baby sleeps!