I love her, I do, and I meant everything I wrote in my last post. But she is driving.me.bonkers. right now, to put it politely.
So, she's teething, which I've been talking about for the past six weeks or so. Her four molars are coming in, and I'm counting each molar as four, since there are four different points that break through the gums. Of the sixteen points we need, seven are through. So we've made significant progress, but they're obviously still bothering her. She also has a cold - or her nose is running like crazy because of the teething - and a subsequent diaper rash that is yeast-based and just won't go away (because of the teething, the cold, the ibuprofen we've been giving her for the teeth, or just for another unknown reason altogether).
None of these things are terrible - she seems pretty used to the teething and the diaper rash is persistent but under control - but she's waking up at 5:00 every morning. And not going back to sleep. She's tired and cranky, and she'll calm down in my arms when I walk her, but she howls when I put her back down in her crib, when I sit down in the rocker, or when I take her back to my bed. She wants to nurse, which I refuse to do until at least 6:00 in the morning. Then, lately, she'll often fall back asleep for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half, in my arms in my bed. This little taste of co-sleeping is adorable and lovely, but I don't want it to continue. We both sleep better when she's in her crib. And I don't want to be getting up at 5, fighting with her until 6, then nursing her and dozing off and on again until 7:30. I know it doesn't sound too terrible, especially to someone with a newborn, but her napping is all off too and I'm exhausted. She is too.
She's also been unusually clingy and whiney and needy lately. One day she was toddling around Target like she owned the place, tearing down displays and dragging five Halloween buckets around the aisles, and the next she totally lost it when I put her down in our back yard. She's not eating as well as she used to either. It's like an emotional regression over here.
This popped up about a day before her sleep all went to hell. Thankfully, someone recommended this book to me - The Wonder Weeks. The theory is that all babies go through somewhat predictable mental growth spurts, just as they do physical spurts, when they start to comprehend another level of complexity regarding the world around them. And, these mental leaps forward are preceded by or coincide with behavioral disturbances, as the babies' worlds suddenly become bigger, newer, and more overwhelming. It's written on a fairly simple level but I have noticed Julia's behavioral issues do seem to pop up right about when the book says they should. Basically, I keep it on my shelf, and when she's a bear for a few days in a row, I open it up and sure enough, it's time for the next freaking "Wonder Week."
Anyways, this is my long way of saying, she's been a pain in the butt lately. Fortunately, I'm finally a seasoned enough momma that I know - and can internalize - that it's just a temporary phase. But, we all need some sleep and I'll be really really happy when she comes out of this. I'm trying to be understanding and just roll with this - I busted out my sling for the first time in months - but I'm ready for my big girl to get back here.
Tonight, I followed Weissbluth's suggestions and put her to bed 45 minutes before her usual bedtime. She went right down without a fuss, so we'll see if it helps tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.