We hosted a party over the weekend, and a couple with a 9-week-old was among our guests. Their LO cries all the time, and swaddling tight–SO TIGHT that only dad was able to do it–was the only thing that calm him a bit. Day time drives mom (a SAHM) crazy.
Looking at them, it reminded me of our own nightmare with DS. DS was colicky from about 3 weeks and on. There were long, long crying spells, which unfortunately made DH frustrated and furious and, even more unfortunately, made him shout back at DS. Neither of which did I have the heart to withstand. It was only later that I discovered part of his crying was from being overtired, and partly out of fear DH would blow up again, put DS to bed before DH came home from work.
It took all three of us some time to adjust. After we have (correctly) diagnosed DS as being overtired, DH realized DS didn’t cry furiously on purpose–and especially the cry wasn’t directed at him–and in turn became more sympathetic. We became a happier family.
However, we still had troubles putting DS to sleep. It routinely took over an hour to put DS to sleep, only to have him wake up in 1/2 hour for naps, and maybe 3 hours at night. Eventually, I, out of desperation during DS’s 4-month growth spurt, started co-sleeping. Co-sleeping was great to buy me and DS sleep, but at the expense of DH sleeping on the floor for months (initially we had no extra bed, and we were in the middle of moving). It also created a very strong sleep association with nursing, to the point that DS wouldn’t fall asleep without it.
As of now, we have DS in sidecar bed (really just his drop-side crib tied to my side of the bed, without the drop-side). DH gets his side of the bed back. Our bedtime/naptime routine consist of me putting DS seated in his bed, then I lying down on my side of the bed, resulting in DS throws himself over me to nurse. Most of the time, he would still be awake after nursing, so I hum lullaby and we cuddle (really mostly him rolling on my tummy) until he falls asleep. DH and I have tested and we have agreed I am now the new sleep association instead of just nursing.
Ideally, I would like to remove myself from being the only person who can put DS to sleep. However, as separation anxiety has kicked in, this is probably the new norm for a while.
As for my friend and their 9wo, I lent them my Woombie and they were happy to report it is working really well–their LO slept 5 hours straight for the first time. Good for them; I only used it once and the snap broke. (I replaced the metal snap with a resin snap using my snap press, acquired two weeks ago, before I gave it to them.)