So, Eleanor has been fussy lately. I alluded to it in a few previous posts …. at first, I thought it was just that for two solid months our entire life was basically chaos. Then, I figured, once things settled down, she just needed some adjustment time. Now, I’m fairly certain: she’s suffering from teething pain. She’s harder to get down for a nap, she fusses at my nipple just like when she was teeny tiny and didn’t know how to eat. She bites (hard!) on anything that gets into her mouth, and she occasionally rubs her jaw and ear. I’d always thought I wouldn’t want to give her anything other than cold teethers but yesterday I caved and bought baby Oragel. I tried some first, I admit it was wierd feeling my mouth go numb, but once it was completely anesthetized it wasn’t so bad and the cherry flavor was actually pretty yummy. Eleanor basically has the same reaction: confusion, distaste, and then, finally, relaxation once her gums aren’t so sore.
Add to this the fact that, now that she is 5 months old, I have this sudden feeling like, “Why isn’t she sleeping all night??” especially when she’d been pretty close to doing this right before I went back to work when she wasn’t even 3 months old. Of course, that’s when the world turned upside down. But now that things are tending toward normal, I thought I’d give her another try at making it through. I read up on baby sleep techniques, talked to some friends (new Saint Augustine friends, believe it or not!) and tried it last night. It actually went pretty well — I fed her once during the night, and every other time she woke up I just patted her back until she drifted off. I woke up feeling a lot more refreshed even though it had been a tad tedious, singing the same lullaby 30 times until she rolled over and stuck her thumb in her mouth. But the fact that the night had gone much better than I had assumed it would gave me hope for better sleep in the future.
The technique I chose seems to be the gentlest; basically easing El into all night sleep by first training her from being a nurse-to-sleep baby to being a love-to-sleep baby (loving her to sleep is basically comforting her until she can relax and go to sleep on her own). I do this by leaving her in the crib so she can get used to falling asleep there. Part of the problem has been a reluctance on her part to sleep in her crib, and a reluctance on my part to make her do it anyway. It’s been easier just to let her sleep with us, but as she’s becoming more mobile (wigglier) she’s encroaching on more and more bed space to the point of Jeff and I practically falling off either side. So, we’ll see how it goes tonight, I have high hopes that we’ll be sleeping the night through in another week or so.