Monday, June 04, 2007

the sleep files

when you have your first baby you think they're a clean slate but you soon realise they come hard-wired with all sorts of likes and dislikes and preferences that have nothing to do with you. My first daughter wouldn't sleep unless she was on me until she was 6 months old. By then she was rolling over and the first time i managed to get her to sleep in her cot she'd flipped onto her belly and i patted her to sleep like that, full of anxiety because of all the sids warnings about putting babies to sleep on their back. She didn't sleep through the night until she was one and even then she woke at 5 o'clock every morning to start her day. She had two twenty minute naps a day, on her belly, until she was 2 and then gave them up all together. I was a wreck and figured it was all my fault somehow.
She's eight now and reads in bed until nine every night and gets up at six. And she still sleeps face down.

My second daughter saved my sanity and self-respect by sleeping like a dream, but at about 6 months she took to hugging a cot sheet when she slept. When she was about one she discovered all the extra pieces of the sheet i'd torn into hugging sizes in case she lost one and started sleeping with all of them. For the last five years she's gone to bed with an enormous bundle of ever disintegrating rags she calls her huggies. This is what excessive hugging can do to a piece of flannelette.

And this one sleeps when and wherever she likes.

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