There’s this commercial, I think it’s one of those shmoopy Johnson & Johnson “Anything for Baby” ads, where a woman is roused from her comfy bed in the dead of night by her blatting infant (the husband, of course, merely rolls to one side, snores heavily, and lets loose a gunshot-loud fart. I mean, I’m assuming that’s what he does). She comes into the nursery yawning with a look on her face like “Motherfuckerrrrrrrrrr”, but as soon as she picks up her baby she’s all, oh, who’s a widgey widdle pookums? YOU are! And during the diaper change she busts out with this retrained I-have-makeup-on-at-3-AM TV-version of an OM NOM NOM NOM on the baby’s belly. I think the tagline was something like “Midnight Snack.”

I saw that ad during my last pregnancy and I frankly found the whole thing obnoxious, because shut up, anything for baby. Oh, so it’s not enough that my sleep is ruined by the leg restlessness and heartburn and constant peeing and hemorrhoids the size of Concord grapes erupting forth from my poor, horrified rear end, I get to look forward to months of midnight poop-smeared awakenings and I’m not even allowed to resent it.

Now that it’s been a good six months and counting of being woken up every single night, I feel like I’m living that damn ad. Every night, somewhere in the wee hours between 2 and 5, Dylan starts squawking, and without even thinking I get up and trudge into his room. I never lie there thinking, well, THIS is bullshit; my legs automatically swing out from under the covers and I’m down the hall before my eyes are even halfway open (I assume this is some deep seated self-preservation tactic, drawn forth from some ancient reptilian corner of my brain to keep me from just up and smothering the child when he interrupts that shamefully hot cougar-vampire dream I was having about Edward Cullen).

Once I’m in there and sitting in the rocking chair with the lights dimmed and Dylan nestled in the crook of my left arm like a pudgy, feetie-pajama’d otter, contentedly taking deep pulls off his bottle, I rest my lips on the the top of his head and smell the summer-grass aroma of his hair. And then, when I change his diaper, I do in fact find myself unable to keep from smooching his puffed-out belly while his legs bicycle furiously and he makes that goofy, pleased “BMMMMM” sound with his mouth at me.

The whole process is fairly painless and quick: I feed him, change him (I’ve tried to skip the changing step but have found that it’s not worth the potential disastrous results), and I put him back down. He’s usually wide awake at that point, but for some glorious, mysterious reason he doesn’t complain. Occasionally I hear him sort of babbling to himself after I go back to bed, but for the most part he stays quiet and content until he falls back to sleep on his own — a far cry from the furious I WILL BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSES AND SHIT ON YOUR TOOTHBRUSHES attitude he displays when I put him down for his daytime naps.

So he isn’t sleeping through the night (this hasn’t changed since he started solids, and JB is still giving him a bottle around 11-11:30 whether he wakes up on his own or not), but it’s not a major inconvenience. Anything for baby, right? (Barf.) The real problem is that that’s what his routine is like if we put him down in the swing. If we put him in the crib, all bets are off: he wakes up after only an hour or two, he howls like a banshee when he gets put back down.

He’s not yet at the weight limit for the swing but he’s able to partially sit up in the damn thing (we strap him in, but that only contains his lower half) and then gets all whomperjawed, lying off to one side and grousing angrily. So clearly the swing’s days are numbered. But the swing means sleep! The crib means constantly getting up, and having to deploy long drawn out comfort methods to get him back down! My anything for baby capacity begins running real low after I’ve been up at 1, 2:30, and 4 AM, you know what I mean?

Anyway, I’m wondering if any of you inadvertently caused a Swing Addiction or similar with your child, and how you got over it with a minimum of suck-assedness?

Comments

71 Responses to “Swing low, sweet blaring trumpet”

  1. Stacy on August 25th, 2008 6:35 pm

    When I finally decided I had to end the swing sleeping, my son woke up every hour for his pacifier for a month. Not kidding. But, one night he just didn’t wake up anymore and now sleeps great all the time even for naps. They say that it really only takes 3 days of the crying thing before they don’t protest anymore. The other times I have tried this method with my daughter and when my son needed to be rocked to sleep all of the sudden b/c of the babysitter, it really only took 3 days. It sucks for while, but is totally worth it.

  2. Melanie on August 25th, 2008 6:42 pm

    You might try putting something in his crib to soothe him to sleep. I had heard good things about this thing http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2455073
    and I’m so glad we got it. Ben is 10 months now and we still use it every night. When he was Dylan’s age we would have to turn it on two or three time before he fell asleep but he loved looking at it while he was falling asleep. Now that he is pulling up he turns it on himself when it goes off. It has alot of different settings which is really nice too. We don’t leave home with it! Just hang in there Linda and remember to think outside the box. Something will work!!

  3. Joy on August 26th, 2008 6:46 am

    I went through this with my first child. He did not sleep through the night until about 19 months. I read every sleep book on the planet. Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth changed my life. My son went from frequently waking at night and terrible naps to a great sleeper. He still is at age 4. I started Dr. W’s methods immediately with my second child and she was slept great from the beginning. It doesn’t work for everyone, but you may want to give it a try.

  4. Joy on August 26th, 2008 6:47 am

    I went through this with my first child. He did not sleep through the night until about 19 months. I read every sleep book on the planet. Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth changed my life. My son went from frequently waking at night and terrible naps to a great sleeper. He still is at age 4. I started Dr. W’s methods immediately with my second child and she was slept great from the beginning. It doesn’t work for everyone, but you may want to give it a try.

    A white noise/sound machine has worked well for us too with our youngest.

  5. Nancy on August 26th, 2008 9:12 am

    Our BabyB had a swing addiction — she slept and napped in it from about 2 months til 5 months. I was panicking, wondering how the heck we’d get her transitioned from swing to crib, AND break the paci habit, without putting undue stress on us or on her twin sister BabyA.

    Well, right at about 5 months, we had a neighbor start watching them during the day when I went back to work. She started BabyB off napping in the swing, but after a couple weeks, one time when I was fretting about the whole transition, she told me, “Oh, she sleeps in the crib just fine.” Wha? “I just put her down and she goes to sleep.”

    So that night, we tried it at bedtime, and lo and behold, she rolled over and went to sleep. And has every night ever since. (13 months old now).

    All I can recommend is that you get someone else to take over the nap time transition to crib — Dylan might just do it without fuss for someone else. It really surprised me, but wow was I happy about it!

    (We still let her sleep with her paci — it stays in the crib. That whole thing got easier at about 6 months when she figured out how to put it back in on her own.)

  6. Andrea on August 26th, 2008 9:48 am

    We got our first-born addicted to sleeping in the swing and it was the WORST thing we could have done. Oh, I lamented the day we figured out that he was a little offended howler monkey because I deigned to ROCK HIM instead of let him SWING to sleep. How dare I?!?!

    So we went cold-turkey. Took the swing apart even, so we wouldn’t be tempted. And it was a week of sucktasticness, getting him to sleep in his crib. But we did it, and we were better for it.

    I don’t know about an easy way to break the swing habit, but I do know that it can be done. Not that I’m being helpful. The only way I am avoiding it the second time around is not to put Anna in the swing at all. She goes down in her crib every sleep opportunity she has.

  7. Danielle-lee on August 26th, 2008 10:51 am

    LOL! (The fart!!) ‘Well, THIS is bullshit’. That’s me when my 3 year old wakes up at 4:30 in the morning, just to tell me that one of her 7 fucking blankets fell on the floor.
    My girl started sleeping through the night at 1 month, in her crib. So, I’m not much help. But if it makes you feel better, I am pretty sure it will be me ‘doing anything for baby’ with my next one. I can’t possibly be so lucky twice, can I?

  8. Amanda on August 26th, 2008 11:24 am

    ~ far cry from the furious I WILL BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSES AND SHIT ON YOUR TOOTHBRUSHES attitude ~

    I almost snorted tapioca out my nose!

  9. pam on August 26th, 2008 1:03 pm

    dude. huggies overnights. you will NOT have to change him! okay, you’ve probably tried them already. have you? you must’ve. maybe go up a size. we have my boys in size 4 overnights, but they wear size 3s during the day. it’s a friggin miracle, no leaks!

  10. Kfid on August 26th, 2008 4:41 pm

    Зачет! и ниипет!

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