I remember one night so clearly. Eliza was 17 weeks old. I was up with her all night, she was just crying and crying. I finally went and got Mark. I had no clue what was wrong with her and the crying was getting to me. I woke him up and said I needed a break, I was breaking down.
At that time, I came across The Wonder Weeks. Thank goodness for this book! There are times as they grow that you can just tell something is off. You have no clue what it is because of course, you have tried everything. This is when the baby is going through a Mental Leap. Clinginess Crankiness and Crying. Lord, we had them all. Though there is no solution, just comforting your child, they do grow out of them as quickly as they came on.
Just when we started to get Emelia's reflux under control, here comes Mental Leap 1. The crying is almost constant unless eating or being held. Not just being held and snuggling, but being held and moving in some way-sometimes even a really hard bounce. She will cry and cry to eat, but as soon as food is ready, she decides-eh not really hungry, just kidding!
Her sleeping is erratic. She will take a few short naps or some times hours long. At night she wakes up 2 times, sometimes she goes right back down after eating, other times it takes an hour or more to get her back to sleep.
Think your little one might be going through Mental Leap 1? Here are some signs:
- highly upset
- needs closeness with you
- if breastfeed, they may nurse around the clock
- difficulty sleeping
Common Concerns Parents Experience:
- worry that something is wrong with him (colic or ill)
- worry that your milk supply is low (if breastfeeding) *This was a big concern for me
How can you help?
- increase skin-to-skin contact and cuddle/ hold more often
- rocking motion, walking with baby, patting
- talking & singing to baby
- wear baby in a sling
To say this past week or so has been though...oh man! Let's add in that Eliza has decided sleeping/napping is SO 2013. Mark is back to working at home full time, about 10 feet from all of the action. At times when he is on a phone call I have to dash to the laundry room(room furthest from his office) as Emelia screams-for no apparent reason. I am sure as soon as we get this all figured out, she will switch it up.
Though the tears can be trying, the snuggling can be great. Makes me take a minute, slow down and just enjoy her.
|"If I have to nap, sissy has to come with me". So I sat on the floor watching this, just living in that minute and making sure no one got smushed.|
And then there comes that magical moment, though during these leaps they might be few and far between, you get that smile that melts you. The one that goes to the center of your heart and reminds you why it is all worth it.
But wait...there comes an even more amazingly magical moment! The one that I dreamt of for so long when I found out Eliza would have a sibling. That moment that goes all the way to your soul. When there is pure joy and happiness between the two of them.
So hang in there Mama, these leaps are tough, and there is another one coming up in just a few weeks, but I promise they are worth it in the end.