I had forgotten how kissable and huggable 6 month olds are. Strangely Ember has gotten more and more cuddly as time goes on, and now she loves being snuggled up on my shoulder as I kiss her cheek and rub her back. So I do it often, despite the line of snot she always leaves on my shoulder right now. I LOVE cuddles. Which is weird because I am generally not a touchy kind of person. With animals and my own children, however, it’s a very different story!
I think Ember is teething hardcore. I say “I think” because it’s still just an educated guess, teething is one of those things that may or may not be true until you actually see the tooth erupt and then you can be all “Yeah I knew it!” But she is sucking on everything, the drool is out of control, and the nose never stops running. There have also been a couple nights recently where she was tired and fussy but then started kicking and screaming at me when I layed down with her. To say that is not her usual is an understatement. I think it may actually be completely unprecedented. She never cries at night! She was a very unhappy girl and I could just tell it was more than tired with a sniffly nose, it was something hurting her. :( The next day I tried tylenol before bed and she puked all over me. Super. The day after that I tried ibuprofen. Success! I gave it to her about half an hour before I tried putting her down and she went out peacefully.
I just really hate teeth. I feel like just as you get into a nice routine with your baby the teething starts and everything goes to hell at night. I was starting to move her into her own bassinet and now I’m lucky just to get her asleep, period. I still try to put her down at the same time as Kate, but it’s hit or miss and she wakes up a half an hour later. It takes me so long to get her fully asleep that I often don’t even bother to try getting her back to sleep, I just get her up and let her sit with me for a while. It used to take me 5 minutes to nurse her and get her asleep so I could leave. Now it’s like 30+ minutes. She’s not eating, she’s comfort nursing (which tickles and is not a very pleasant feeling when it continues on for such a long time). But she’s not sinking into a deep enough sleep to let go, she remains right at the edge, whimpering and snorting randomly, and when I try taking my boob away she wakes up hysterical. It is very frustrating! My poor baby doesn’t feel well and I hate that, but eegads I can’t just lay there all day with her! She’s only been taking one nap a day because I only have the time to put her down when Kate is also sleeping, and also by waiting until mid-day she’s really tired and tends to take a 3 hour nap instead of a 30 minute nap. Thank goodness for one good nap.
On the topic of sleep I feel myself very torn. Ember is a pretty “normal” kid when it comes to sleep – not high needs like her sister was. I think it would be pretty easy to get her sleeping in a crib (when she is well, at least). I know from the start I just started cosleeping mostly out of habit, it’s what I’m used to with a baby. It would be nice to be able to sleep in my own space again, and it would be nice to encourage her to sleep longer stretches without waking up freaking out for a boob. But…. and here’s the problem: I am loathe to give up this time with her. I’ve been through this before and I know that changing a sleep routine is pretty much an all-or-nothing deal. Right now her sleep association is nursing. Once she has a new association I’m going to have to be consistent – no more nursing to sleep curled up in the bed. Every time I think I should just make the change I think about how this is it, she’s my last one, once she’s in her own bed that’s it for babies sleeping snuggled up with me. And I get sad and end up cuddling her a little bit longer.
Yes I know, older kids can/will start coming in to crash the big bed. Kate doesn’t do that yet – she sleeps until morning and that is that. I’m sure at some point when she’s sick with something and Ember is in her own bed I’ll end up bringing Kate into our bed for an early morning snooze. We actually kind of look forward to it (as long as it’s just mornings!). I fondly remember sneaking into my parents’ bed when my dad would get up for work… I’d snuggle in to his spot, the sheets all warm and soft. Or on weekends I’d wait until my mom got up first and I’d dive into her spot.
But still… it’s not the same as a sweet little baby kneading my shirt with her tiny little hand. As uncomfortable as it can be to be stuck between her and the husband it still seems worth it.