Monday, July 05, 2010

5 months! And: In defense of crying

And then she fell over.

Guys. A five-month-old is, like, a real baby. That I can put on my hip and go about my business (cleaning cloth dipes, making quinoa, dancing) with. That's an important test in my book. The hip test.

While the newborn days were magical and gooey, I'm really in love with this phase. She really feels like a little sidekick now. Beams at me when I come back into view, flirts during nursing, is thisclose to sitting without help, grabs my hand/the spoon and pulls it closer for more rice cereal, rolls around like a bale of hay, chats like a Kathy, loves all music (specifically, uh, John Mayer?), digs shopping (facing out in the Bjorn), and has finally started napping. Like, actual naps. Nighttime sleep is...not quite resolved yet. But some nights are better than others and I think moving into the new pad (less than a week!) will help things out.

One big change around here is I'm letting little muffinpants cry more. For the first 4.5 months of her life I barely-let-her-squeak-before-attending-to-her-every-need-Her-Highness-I-am-her-beeyatch. Which was the right style for me. Those first few months are all about building trust and I worked at teaching her I've alwaysalways got her back.

But lately things were getting semi...out of control. She wouldn't sleep without fussing first, so I picked her up and rocked her down and soon I was, uh, letting her sleep in my arms all the time. If she cried in the car, I would pull over right away. I was starting to turn down social invites because I had to drive and driving meant crying and...yeah. Slippery slope.

And then we went back East and attended Grammy bootcamp. Since I'm my mom's baby, she doesn't quite like seeing me held hostage 24/7. So we mixed up a few things in the daily routine and saw some real changes. Because turns out...sometimes babies need to/like to cry some? Not for hours, not alone in a dark corner of a closet, not if her other needs aren't attended to, but yeah. She lets out her ya-yas, releases some tension, gets to be alone with her feelings. When she's tired and just tired (not hungry/cold/wet etc) it almost sounds like angry talking. Crying: It's a thing!

I've yet to get hardcore with it (read: Ferberize) (though I don't even think Ferberizing is really all that hardcore anymore), but I've really changed my mind on the whole thing. Now it actually seems a little ridiculous that everyone's trying so hard to avoid a little crying. Because, ahem, babies cry.

And hey! For those mamas that are anti-crying-it-out? I feel you, I hear you, I get you. Because trust me -- I'm still a major softie. I'm just a little less afraid of some noise.


  1. I thought for a moment you were say Febreze-ing, and I was really confused about the connection.

    Anyway, little Harper June is growing up beautiful. And I'm glad you're getting the hang of the Mama Thing. :)

  2. I miss the lil' hipster! She a good gooahl...

  3. love her! will eat her up! nomz.

  4. I probably lean on the neglectful side of parenting, completely opposite of you. I seem to be missing that part of my mommy brain that says "GET BABY RIGHT NOW HE IS CRYING". My brain says something more like "He'll be okay, finish what you're doing (quickly) then attend to his needs."

    I am looking forward to 5 months though, I say it all the time, I like him more the more he grows and we have a relationship with each other. I don't really like the blob stage.


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