Dear Natalie: Week 10

Dear Natalie,

This week we are attempting to transition you from your bouncer, a magical and wondrous creation that puts you to sleep the moment we place you in it, to your co-sleeper, an instrument of torture invented to make small babies cry.

You used to sleep in the co-sleeper. Not very well, which is why we started using the bouncer. Your tiny nasal passages were congested, and keeping you in a semi-upright position while you slept helped all of us to squeeze in a few extra Zs each night. Eventually we abandoned the co-sleeper completely and used the bouncer for all your naps as well. It was working swimmingly.

But then you just kept growing.

And now, if you stretch out your legs your little toes can dangle off the bottom edge, and we need to be careful about how we put you in it so your head doesn’t hit the plastic handle on the top.

Apparently being the valedictorian of baby growth has its disadvantages.

The transition is not going well. It takes nearly an hour per nap to get you to stay asleep before I can creep away from the bedroom, only to have you wake up between 30 and 40 minutes later, wide awake. If I put you down prematurely, you thrash and pout and cry until I pick you up and start the cycle all over again.

Letting you sleep in the bouncer forever would be easy, but it wouldn’t be right. (Not to mention the fact that I’m reasonably sure adult-sized bouncers don’t exist, sadly.) Transitions are a fact of life, baby girl, and it’s our responsibility as your parents to help you learn how to navigate them.

You should know that when you pout those little lips and cry at the unfairness of it all, of being forced to sleep in this wide open space that’s not cozy or little and it doesn’t even bounce (what a crock!), I am right there with you. I want nothing more than to make everything easy and painless and not have you ever experience any discomfort ever ever ever…but that would be doing both of us a huge disservice.

You’re a plucky little gal, and I know you’ll get the hang of this whole co-sleeper thing, and of anything and everything else that life tosses your way. It’s only a matter of time.

Love always,


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