Monday, March 23, 2009

profile of a sleeping baby

Henry doesn't like to sleep too much.

I suspect it's because he's afraid he'll miss something.

Even though he's only 20-months, he really thinks that he's a four-year-old. So if the other kids don't need to lay down and sleep, why should he?

I've crowed enough that when the triplets were his age, they were sleeping 12+ hours at night and taking solid two-hour naps during the day.

Boy oh boy did I think that I was a MASTER for getting a baby to sleep.

You got sleep problems?

You come see me. I'll straighten you out in no time flat.

And then...

I had a singleton.

Who I breastfed on demand and who I cannot stand to hear cry.

And well...

All of my sure-fire tricks for getting a baby to sleep tanked.

I think it borders on hilarious that I was such an expert at sleep training triplets and yet I can't get one little baby to sleep all night to save my life.

But this much I do know: when my little firecracker does finally fall to sleep, I am absolutely lost in the perfection of his features. I am positively swept away by how miraculous his existence is and how the feeling of tranquility that washes over me is similar to what I imagine Heaven to be. And then, I'll usually whisper to anyone within ear shot that if they so much as make a peep to disturb his slumber, I'll choke them with my own two hands.

OK. Seriously? I do put Henry in to his crib at night when he is awake and he is learning to go to sleep on his own. And his nap times are getting better - but not by much. And for the most part, he will sleep from 8 at night until 5 in the morning before waking up to be nursed. And then, he'll usually go back to sleep for another two hours or so, with me - in our bed. And I do know what it takes to get him to sleep all night. I'm just not willing to subject him - or the rest of our household - to it.

Every so often, I will nurse him to sleep. And when I do, I will hold him and gaze at his adorable features. Like his nose. A perfect little button.

There's his forehead freckle that he's had since he was a tiny infant.

There are his gorgeous eyelashes, that are not adequately captured in this photo but truly seem to go on forever.

There's his little mouth and baby soft lips. And when he falls in to a peaceful sleep, one of the highlights of my life is holding him and listening to his gentle breathing.

His perfect ears. And his adorable little side burns.

And then there's his neck. Oh, that little neck with chub rolls. I kiss that neck a hundred times a day if I kiss it once. I blow raspberries in to it at every single opportunity. Or at least every time I change his diaper and whenever I pick him up. Or put him down.

Or he toddles past me.

Or he is standing on the other side of the room, totally unaware of my presence until I scoop him up and kiss him until he squeals with laughter.

And then there are his chubby little hands which open up, whenever he is completely relaxed.

I'm sorry.

Henry, did you have a question?

Yes, as a matter of fact, it does seem that the best opportunity I have for knitting is when all the children are asleep.

Infact, last night when you feel asleep on my lap, I just about finished the baby blanket that I had started back in January.

I plan to post how to "cast-off" later this week. Which might come as a relief to anyone who has been knitting since my last lesson in early February and is wondering how to end their 20-foot scarf.


  1. Oh so precious! I want one!! or two or three... ;-)

    Love, Marg.

  2. Jen, I feel the same way about my little Monkey. He is just the most gorgeous, precious thing when he's sleeping. And I take advantage of studying him and enjoying him while he's sleeping. When he's awake he doesn't sit stilll long enough for me to barely catch him. But I love that he understands kiss-kiss and hugs now. He doesn't always give them when I ask (which is probably too often - ha), but when he does...sigh...THAT is my Heaven. :-)

  3. Cute post!

    Sounds like me with my kids - Marie was a perfect sleeper and still is, and Hanna never was and still isn't. I also thought that it was because of my skills but I think it depends on the child's character as much.
    I wonder why but I look at Hanna the same way you look at Henry. But I don't think I love my first daughter less. My explanation - I watched and adored Marie as much but forgot about it and everything is new with the new baby.

  4. I truly believe that some babies/toddlers/kids/adults just aren't good sleepers. My child is one of them and has been since early in babyhood. She just does not go to sleep easily, doesn't usually stay asleep, and has trouble getting back to sleep. We don't force it (and hubby and I have both had sleep problems and understand how frustrating it can be), but we do what we can to encourage better sleep and get us all through the tough nights.

    I hear it doesn't last. So someday, Henry and my girl will sleep just fine. I hope. I seriously hope. Until then, I'm with you on enjoying their beauty when they actually do sleep.

    Henry is beautiful.

  5. It's that "baby" thing:) It is delicious! I still am like that with our baby who will turn 7 next month.

  6. I've commented before how Henry sounds like my son's twin (His 4 month younger twin from a different momma) due to the same issues with constant nursing and not sleeping all night. It might interest you to know that my son at 24 months is no longer nursing on demand but just 3 times a day. I NEVER thought the day would come. When people talked about weaning they would say, "find the least important nursing and cut that one out" I just laughed. One nursing out of 50 a day wasn't going to get him weaned.

    ANYWAY, it doesn't sound like you're rushing to wean or anything but I thought I'd mention that it does get easier to suggest milk as they get a little older. We also night-weaned so he's sleeping at night a lot better too. 9pm-5:30am. Not too bad for my little guy.

  7. Beautiful pictures of your Henry.

    I think the memories of nursing or cuddling babies to sleep will be very well cherished in the long run. I think of that when I consider the other methods. :)

  8. Lovely post (and photos). Reminded me of how when my little one was younger and would not sleep on his own, I would rock him to sleep and lean down and breathe his sweet baby breath . . . .

  9. Henry is adorable! I have a 23 months old who I breastfeed on demand and co-slept with us since he was 6 months old and we gave in...I was going to ask you, do you have any tips in weaning a toddler? I am ready to do it, but he is into it more and more each day. The standard "cut down one feeding at the time" doesn't apply to us since it's an open bar 24/7 pretty much ;) Seeing how you are juggling everything gives me strength and makes me think of a second one more and more. Awesome family and you are great!

  10. Do I hear the patter of little feet coming back into the Lawrence family? That is one sure way to wean--and the little feet??? I do not mean Mice.

  11. Jen what exquisite pictures!

  12. Nice pics,
    I have a post on my blog henry can read if he would like a few tips from another lil boy on what to do for his second birthday.

    Up first is smile at mum.

    Cheers Max, (i'm now a very mature25months)