The Re-Learning Curve
Having a baby means learning a lot of new practices. If you haven’t changed a diaper before, the first time can be an eye opener. Feeding a baby can also be a trick, especially when you are still getting to know each other and aren’t aware of baby’s preferences, such as a warm vs. cool bottle, which nipple or bottle baby prefers, and more.
But just when you think you have it all down pat, something changes. Suddenly the baby doesn’t take to the nipple as easily, or the songs you used to sing to get baby to sleep don’t have the same ring to them. It’s time to learn something new, all over again.
I call it the re-learning curve, and for me it happens when baby is about four or five months old.
My son and I are going through it right now, primarily with his sleep. We’ve been blessed with a baby who has been sleeping through the night since he was about a month old, but lately his sleep patterns have been different. He used to nurse to the point of falling asleep, after which I could pick him up, swaddle him in a soft blanket, and gently place him in the crib and he’d be out for the night.
The other night, however, he didn’t cooperate. He nursed and nursed, but showed no signs of falling asleep. Just as I began to feel frustrated with his seemingly cluster feeding, he finished eating and stayed quiet. I looked at him and he looked up at me, inquisitive looks on both our faces. His look seemed to ask me, now what?
Now what, indeed. I sat like that for a few minutes, stroking the wisps of downy hair on his head and enjoying the warmth of his little body next to me. Then my husband walked in and suggested putting him down in the crib.
But he’s not asleep, I thought, before looking at the clock. It was near midnight, and a full hour after the time my son usually nods off. So, at the risk of waking him up and having to un-swaddle him and feed him again, I gently lowered him into the crib. And he slept. All night.
So now, at night, when he seems to be satisfied and full – yet still awake – I put him down for the night. Sometimes he wakes up and eats more, and sometimes he falls right asleep. Either way. it’s definitely something new, and something that we are learning together.