It seems like we are always thanking people for helping us with Mike. Sometimes it was during the pregnancy. Recently, it’s been with all of the help, tips, and support coming from everyone we know. Many of you we have thanked in person. A few have been mentioned here.
In this particular case, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Tanya and Lisa. Here’s the story…
Mike has been less than happy for the last week, particularly in the evenings. He’s never enjoyed laying on his back which makes bedtime something of an adventure. And this past week, his unhappiness started creeping earlier and earlier into the evening. First it was 11:00. Then 10:00. Then 9:00. Then 8:00. And the unhappiness would usually last until 2:00 or 3:00. Then an hour of sleep (maybe) followed by more unhappiness. We were prepared for waking up once or twice a night to feed Mike, but we weren’t prepared for an hour or less of sleep…
So we read and we search and we search and we read. Nothing useful was to be found anywhere. Most things mentioned “colic” which seems to be an ancient Indian word for “baby’s who cry a lot” and they say that it seems to go away after about 3 months.
3 MONTHS?!?!???!!??! I’ve had 2 hours of sleep in the last three nights!!!!! I can’t wait 3 MONTHS!!!!! What in the world are we to do? Certainly there must be something…
That’s where Lisa comes in. About 2 weeks before Mike was born, I asked her if she had any suggestions for new parents. She seemed an obvious choice for advice since she just had her first baby just a few weeks earlier. She had many good tidbits of advice – but the one that is particular to this story is a DVD titled “The Happiest Baby on the Block”. I had ordered the DVD before Mike was born. It’s been sitting in front of the TV since it arrived from Amazon. But with the hectic excitement of a new baby quickly followed by the panic of getting grades submitted followed by the hectic preparation for Christmas – it wasn’t long before the DVD became buried under a pile of mail.
And that’s when it happened. In our moment of near despair and our pleading, “there must be something else” – there it was. The corner of the box poking out from under last Tuesday’s newspaper and the water bill. “Hey – maybe there is something on this DVD!”
We shoved it in and immediately, Dr. Harvey Karp starting talking to us and giving us suggestions on how to calm a baby who seemingly can’t be calmed. We watched it through to the end (with some skepticism – it can’t be THAT easy), looked at each other, looked at Mike, shrugged our shoulders and decided that we didn’t have anything to lose by trying. Within minutes, Mike was sleeping blissfully on my lap and was very happy the rest of the evening. Then came the dreaded bedtime. We went to bed at 1:00, woke up at 4:00 to feed Mike, and then slept until 9:00 and Mike was a happy baby the entire evening! And behold – he has been happy all day today too!!!
And Tanya plays a part in this too. She has five kids of her own, like a good Catholic mom would (although she has only had one child since she became Catholic!). She gave us a CD that actually works very well with the aforementioned DVD. The title is “Infant Calm” which sounds normal enough. It has 6 “songs” on it – and this is where it gets a little weird. The tracks are “Clothes Dryer Hum, Hair Dryer Whistle, Washing Machine Purr, Vacuum Cleaner Waltz, Washer and Dryer Combo Special, and White Noise Plain Wrap”. Mike’s favorites, at least so far, appear to be “Hair Dryer Whistle”, and “Vacuum Cleaner Waltz” which are both 10 minute recordings of – you guessed it – a hair dryer and a vacuum cleaner. Combined with the tips in the DVD, Mike is now sleeping like a baby. And the pun is fully intended!
So we owe our current sanity – or what is left of it – to Lisa and Tanya. Thanks to you both!!!