Dear Natalie: Week 7

Dear Natalie,

I’ve always been a fan of sleeping, but it wasn’t until you came along that I found myself obsessed with it. Measuring it, counting it, tracking it, and rejoicing when we get a few minutes more than we did the previous night. You have good nights (this week you gave us two six-hour stretches of sleep!) and you have not-so-great nights (waking every 2-3 hours and refusing to go back to sleep without an elaborate routine of nursing, rocking, bouncing, shushing, and praying). The trend, however, is definitely moving toward consolidating your sleep into ever-increasing, gloriously significant chunks of time. Your dad and I are very grateful for that.

The flip side to this nighttime improvement is that you’ve decided we’re torturing you by trying to get you to nap. You fight so very, very hard. Your eyelids droop and your limbs fall to your side, limp and heavy. And then, POP! Your eyes snap wide open and you fling your arms away from you as if embracing your decision to stay awake FOREVER.

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We help you as best we can –swaddling is our greatest asset in convincing you to sleep– but there’s only so much we can do. The magic combination usually involves swaddling, a white noise machine, and your bouncer, either on the floor with the vibration setting on or in the swing, set to one level below “launch baby into orbit.” It’s not perfect, but it usually works — sometimes after an hour or more, depending on how hard you’re fighting to stay awake.

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Here’s my advice to you, baby girl: learn to love the nap. It’s a sad truth that adults long for the ability to curl up somewhere and shut their eyes for a while in the middle of the afternoon, while babies and children view it as a punishment. It’s not, my dear, I promise you.

It’s the only time Mommy gets to shower, so please close those tired little eyes and give me just a few minutes for basic personal hygiene.

Love always,



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