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Insert Plug Here

I remember thinking a baby’s cry was the sweetest thing in the world. That raspy little “aaa-aaa” made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside with its innocence. When Jack was born and I couldn’t see a thing except a blue curtain three inches from my face, I longed to hear his cries. They brought tears of joy to my eyes.

They still bring tears to my eyes—now tears of frustration.

Is it just my baby or does every baby cry when he knows he is about to be fed? Or when he’s going down for a nap – even when mommy’s so lovingly rocking him and singing a lullaby?

Let’s see, about 7 feedings and 3 or 4 naps plus bedtime – that’s 11 or 12 times a day when it seems crying is unnecessary. I can see how crying before sleep can help expel a little extra energy, but I expected that he would have the feedings figured out by now. Doesn’t he recognize that I’m going to feed him by the fact that we are sitting in the nursing chair and I’m pulling up my shirt? And yet, he cries.

Reading this, I feel like I’m heartless and should understand that Jack is trying to communicate with me. But on some days, after a broken night of sleep and naps that are too short, Jack’s cries only communicate “Insert Plug Here.”

So I do.

Which makes weaning from the pacifier a bit difficult. Like I said in the previous post, he sometimes tries to find his thumb, but when he gets really worked up his arms start to flail and his body gets all tense. If I try to help him find his thumb he just gets more mad. So, I insert the pacifier. Almost instantly everything is calm and he is half asleep…Well, that used to be the case. Now he knocks the pacifier out of his mouth in search of his fingers, can’t find the

fingers and cries. So I give him the pacifier and we start all over again. That cycle usually occurs a dozen times until he calms down.

After thinking about this some more, I think the real reason his cries grate on me at bedtime is because I so desperately want him to feel safe and calm. I want him to relax and contentedly suck his thumb. Instead he screams. Then I feel like I’m not caring for him well enough and so I give him the pacifier. His cries make me feel insecure.

At least he’s not fussing 3-4 hours every night like he used to. Now he laughs, smiles, and coos most of the day. Yes, that is good.


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