Editor’s note: This post was originally published on August 28, 2008. As parents, we engage in nighttime parenting because we know that our children don’t stop needing our care at sunset. The author does well to validate the challenge of meeting children’s needs when they happen at a time that is not so convenient for their parents.
Excuse me if this post is rambling, it’s written by a very tired mammy — one who only went to bed at half past 4:00 this morning and who got up again at 9:00 a.m. But it’s nowhere near the sheer exhaustion I remember from the first few weeks of my daughter’s life. This is just regular tiredness: I feel like I was out dancing all night!
Littlepixie has just cut her first molars, four or possibly five all at once. The poor pet! Understandably, her mouth is a little sore.
Last night, she nursed to sleep and I snuck downstairs to get some Internet time in. In retrospect I should have gone to sleep, too, because as it turned out it would be a good many hours before my little head hit the pillow!
Littlepixie woke around midnight and was clearly in pain: She was banging her mouth with her hand, crying and sobbing, “Teeth. Teeth.”
We gave her some medicine, but it didn’t seem to help much. Nursing was acceptable to her but only while sitting up with the light on.
Littlepixie and I retired downstairs to the living room.
We’ve been quite lucky recently with her night-wakings. Usually she nurses straight back to sleep. But not last night.
We snuggled on the couch under a big blanket, nursing and reading her bedtime book over and over again. We found every bear, rabbit, sock and red balloon in the book, chatted about them, laughed at them, counted them and then started all over again.
I got sleepier. Littlepixie did not!
It was really just a case of watching the clock tick by and waiting for her to get sleepy. The medicine finally seemed to take effect as she was no longer complaining about her teeth, so that was good.
But I was barely awake!
So, after a while of playing with Littlepixie’s dolls, I resorted to putting on a DVD for her to watch. I know the middle of the night is not usually prime TV time, but the show was nice and calm and of course had no advertisements.
We watched the DVD for about 15 minutes while nursing and reading more books. I then brought her into our office where she often nurses for her naps, in the hopes that she would think it was nap time.
No such luck!
At 4 a.m., we went back up to bed where my husband read her another story, and she finally nursed back to sleep, with her foot lodged firmly in his face.
We were able to sleep in to 9 a.m. We’re very tired, but Littlepixie is in top form. Her teeth don’t seem to be hurting her, and she’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Attachment Parenting can be hard work! But it’s worth it. Littlepixie clearly needed some extra care last night, and I’m glad we could help her out. Fingers crossed we all sleep well tonight!
What about all of you? Do you have any particular things you like to do when you’re passing the wee hours of the night awake with your child?