As I snuggled with him, I hummed to him and rubbed his little feet. He stilled his fidgeting. He started making content little sighs instead. His eyes closed. His breathing slowed. While all of this was happening, I was admiring my little boy and thinking of several factors which are responsible for his behavior.
His mind, too, is busy. He is changing more during this first year than he ever will this quickly again. His days are full of sensory experiences, as they should be, but again, it is hard to turn that off at night. Have you ever had a very busy day and closed your eyes to sleep only to see your repeated activity playing out behind your eyelids?
The other night, I was exhausted (we both are) but when I tried to fall asleep I had what I can only imagine to be restless leg syndrome. I could not get comfortable no matter how I laid. My mind was exhausted but my body wouldn't stop forcing me to move. I was so frustrated, but unlike D, I could tell someone that. Mr. SPS massaged my hands and I finally fell asleep. I decided to pass that technique on to D tonight as I rubbed his feet.
I listen to podcasts or TedTalks when I have insomnia. A little distraction for my mind is sometimes enough to help me drift off. I repeated this for D tonight by humming him a familiar tune, then as he settled I changed it to a whispered shushing sound.
I imagined how difficult it must be for a little baby to get comfortable when they aren't entirely in control of their muscles yet. I remembered how I struggled to sleep after my c-sections when I couldn't turn or rest certain ways because of my recovering muscles.
All these thoughts flooded my mind in the 20 minutes I spent helping him drift off to sleep. Then I successfully transferred him to his room. All is calm and quiet. My boy is settled.
He is not trying to manipulate me. He isn't capable of that sort of rationale yet.
He doesn't need to learn to self soothe on difficult nights yet. That's my job as his momma. He has plenty of nights where I lay him down awake but tired and he drifts off by himself.
He'll get there. E figured it out. Violet never had a chance to, so I will savor these moments of helping my baby fall asleep.
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