Juniper is 7 months.
Let’s just let that sink in for a moment.
Seriously, people told me it would go by fast, but I guess I did not believe them.
In the last seven months I have gleaned some pearls of wisdom. Nuggets, if you will, of encouraging wisdom, spoken over me by trusted family and friends.
Are you ready?
1. Do what is best for your baby and family.
This advice almost made me cry when I heard it.
Here’s the story – Juniper loves to wake up at night. Her routine is as follows:
12am First feeding
3am Second feeding
6am Third feeding
When we took June to her six month appointment the doctor told us that she did not really need that 3am feeding. She told us that Juniper would probably scream at us when we ignored her at 3am, but to stay strong and after about a week she should be sleeping right through it.
We tried. We really, really tried. But when Juniper would scream for 1-2 hours and we watched the first week come and then go without any change, well, we were exhausted. I also felt extremely defeated, especially because on top of the sleep issue she had a nasty diaper rash that would not go away. Changing her diaper, giving her a bath, changing clothes was a NIGHTMARE! Her little hands would swoop down to scratch every inch of her skin. I felt bad for her, but I also felt bad for me! How was I supposed to change her diaper while holding her hands down while feeling utterly exhausted?
Around this time, Lesta came to visit, and Forrest and I shared our woes. Her advice: do what is best for your family. If that means that what is best is bringing Juniper into bed at 3am to give her that feeding then DO IT.
So we did.
And we all slept so much better.
Then, of course, we had the night where Juniper woke up every hour after 12, so we went back to a modified version of crying it out at night. At the moment we’re back to the 12, 3, and 6 routine, and we’re doing pretty good. Then again, who knows what tonight will be like.
Which brings me to…
2. Forget about controlling a situation and thinking you have it all figured out.
As soon as I think we have something figured out, something happens to throw us off our groove. The sleep situation is a perfect example. One night she’ll sleep from 7pm-3am and then the next night she’ll be up every hour. I have relinquished the idea, wait… I am continually relinquishing the idea that I have figured out anything, and I am learning the art of flexibility.
3. No two babies are alike.
What works for one baby might not work for another. Similarly, I have learned, wait… I am continually learning to stop comparing Juniper’s development with other babies. While I could get worried that she hasn’t crawled yet, has no teeth, and still does not sleep through the night, I am not going to worry. I am going to be thankful that she is not into everything just yet, still has a heart melting gummy smile, and lets me cuddle her in the middle of the night.
This parenting stuff is not for the weak-hearted.
And on that note…my little girl is just waking up from her nap, which is my cue to go. I’ll leave you with a lovely picture that gets me choked up every time I see it.
ps: Juniper’s rash is all but gone. Turns out her skin was reacting to the detergent I was using for her cloth diapers. We’re still struggling with her excema, but it has gotten a lot better.