We have had a rather difficult week with the little koala. Between her growth spurt and development leap along with the emergence of her first tooth. I may have averaged 3 hours sleep a night and have barely put her down all day.
This is probably the most challenging my little koala has been. Teething is not fun!
It was Monday when I first noticed the little spot on her gum. A little tooth breathing through. It was all downhill from there! She wasn't too cranky on Monday, but by the evening she hadn't slept more than 15 minutes all day. Yet she refused to go to sleep until after midnight! My husband and I spent a good four hours pacing the floor carrying our little screamer. The next day she was a poor little clingy mess. Moaning and groaning, refusing sleep and crying if she left my arms for more than 10 seconds. By today, I was a mess! Three nights of very little sleep and four days of trying to entertain a very cranky, very clingy koala. It was torturous! I couldn't get her to sleep at all. Nothing I did was keeping her happy. I'd sung every song. Walked a good 10km carrying her. Administered the baby panadol. Shoved every teething toy we had in her mouth. But it was no good and I was pulling my hair out!
So what do you do when you feel like just packing it in and hiding in bed for the next 2 months? Well I wish I had some answers, but I don't. Nothing will magically make it all better. There's only so much baby panadol you can administer, pulling faces and singing songs will only calm them for so long. But as they say, these days too shall pass. Not such comforting words when you've had a total of 9 hours sleep in four days.
It's hard to get through these days, but somehow you just do. It might be the way your baby laughs and giggles when daddy gets home from work. Or that feeling when you finally get your baby to sleep (albeit in your arms) and she snuggles into your shoulder. Whatever it is, that precious little face, the musically song of her giggles or beautiful smiles that just lights up the world, you will again look at your baby with marveled joy. That little human is still the most wonderful creature in the world.
- remember that while its hard for you, it must be so much worse for her. That tooth ripping through her gums, the world she knows suddenly changing, realising that mum can just put her down and walk away, or meeting a bunch of strangers who all want to pull at her and squeeze hers cheeks. These things can be scary and sometimes painful for a little baby.
- the cliched 'these days too shall pass' is actually true. The tough time may only last a day, or a week, or a month. But your sweet little baby will return or if you've had a rough time with colic or reflux they will grow out of it. Just repeat it over and over in your head and it might just come true!
- my baby carrier was my best friend today! When nothing else would put her to sleep, at the very least I didn't have to struggle to hold her as she wriggled and screamed. Eventually, she did fall asleep in there too! Even if only for 40 minutes.
- call a friend or relative to come and help you out. Even if they can only stay for half an hour, that might be all you need to have a shower a cup of coffee and a hug.
- if all else fails, there is coffee and wine and the knowledge they'll grow up one day!
...and remember, if these days do not pass, you might be suffering Post-Natal Depression. If you think this might be you, please talk to your GP, call PANDA Post and Ante Natal Depression Australia or talk to a friend! It will help.
... now where's that glass of wine?