Leo is currently going through Leap 5. If you aren’t familiar with The Wonder Weeks – it’s a book written by a couple that outlines the different developmental leaps that babies go through during their first two years of life. During these weeks – babies tend to be fussier, sleep less, take longer to settle, eat less, and generally be in an unhappy or displeased state for the duration of the leap. Leaps are based off of your due date – not your child’s birthday.
…and, I’ve got to say that our leaps have been spot-on every time. (If you’re a new mama or you have an infant/toddler and haven’t yet downloaded the app – it’s a must-have. Like, go download it right now.) Not only does it help you to understand why your child may be fussier than usual – it also guides you as a parent to be able to help them through their leaps and observe the skills they are able to master after going through the leap. Quite fascinating, right?
Well, Leo is going through Leap 5: Relationships – and, it’s awful. Utterly exhausting, emotionally draining… and, dare I say, worse than the newborn stage. (At least during those days, we could lean on rocking, bouncing, or nursing for survival.)
So, what makes this leap so bad? For one, it’s the moment he learns about distance… as in he actually notices when I leave the room after putting him down for a nap. It’s the moment he learns to crawl and successfully master rolling from back-to-belly and belly-to-back with ease. It’s the moment he notices things can be put inside, on top of, between, underneath, and next to other things…
…and, all of this equals a curious baby who would much rather party all night than sleep. It also equals lots of tears and fussy, grumpy, unhappy behavior.
Babies cry: it’s how they communicate and we are designed to cater to their needs when this happens.
Trust me, I know; I get it.
…but, one thing nobody talks about is how nobody (not even Mother Theresa herself) is equipped to be with a crying baby for hours at a time.
Nobody acknowledges how emotionally trying it is when your baby is fed, changed, burped, and healthy yet continues to cry no matter what you do. Nobody brings up how much it drains you when your child will not take a nap or when they wake up for the third or fourth time during the night just to practice rolling over in their crib. Well, I’ll acknowledge it – it sucks.
I’ve never been more desperate in my life than I’ve been when Leo won’t take a nap. I mean – we are talking “I will pay somebody [anybody] who will walk through the door to get our child to sleep when I am at my wit’s end and my husband isn’t available.”
My bag of tricks ran dry this week when trying to get Leo to bed after he’d been awake for nearly twelve hours with two 20-minute naps in between. I’m fairly certain that I tried everything to soothe him… until I realized that I was actually the one who needed to be soothed.
I needed something to give me a quick break from the whining that didn’t involve walking away from the scene of the crime.
So, since prayer wasn’t instant… I thought of the next best thing: earbuds.
Yes, that’s right. I popped in my earbuds and turned up my praise + worship music to cover up the shrieking that was coming from our tiny cub. Doing so, I was able to muffle the noise while still doing my best to care for Leo without feeling like a loose cannon. Oddly enough, the crying eventually stopped and I was able to approach the situation in a much calmer state-of-mind.
Now, if praise + worship ain’t your thing – choose whatever type of music keeps you chill the next time you have a raging baby.
…and, remember: this too shall pass.