Chris had been shoveling snow for much of the day, so later in the evening he exclaimed how sore his back was. I suggested he take a bath to relax his muscles, and then I suggested how about we share a bath seeing as I was having a bath most nights (which were seriously helping with my postpartum recovery and slightly sore back & boobs from breastfeeding!). What a great idea! Now all we needed to do was figure out how to fit the time in so that we could both be in the bath together at the same time! Ha! Not so easy with a new born- am I right??!
We have already discovered the ‘witching hour’, or ‘fussy time’ Aviana has in the evenings. She is a perfect angel the rest of the day – and even at night she isn’t too bad at sticking to Eat, Activity, Sleep, You Time (E.A.S.Y. – more on this in another post!). So trying to fit time in the evening to share a relaxing bath together was always going to be a challenge! But! We fed her, changed her, and after a bit of soothing help she went down to sleep at about 7.30PM. Or so we thought….
Quick! Let’s run the bath, light the candles, grab a glass of wine and hop in whilst she sleeps!
We got to lighting the candles and filling up the tub before she started fussing. Of course, I had just got in the bath, Chris had stripped down and was about to join me. We knew that she wasn’t hungry (it wasn’t a hungry cry), she was comfortable, she was dry – she was fussing because she was too tired/overstimulated from being awake for the past 3.5 hours. So Chris suggested just letting her soothe herself this time. Chris got in the bath with me, and she cried. Her crib was literally the other side of the wall, her cries made the bath a tortuous place to be! This wasn’t what it was meant to be like!
We timed her crying. 3 minutes is how long we agreed to wait to see if she would soothe herself. That’s what many books say is a reasonable time.
Low and behold at about 2 minutes 45 seconds later, she quietly stopped crying and babbled away to herself.
Ahhhhhh and breathe.
3 minutes later, the same thing happened. We reset the clock and timed her crying, and again she stopped crying on her own. It is amazing, Chris asked me how long did I think she had been crying for, and to me it fell like 3 or 4 minutes, when it had actually only been 1 minute. It seemed like forever, what mind mess!
The third time she started crying again, I said to Chris, I think she must be hungry still. He urged me to just see if she will stop. As she cried and as we watched the clock sat in our candle lit bath, drinking wine, he turned to me and said – ‘Are we bad parents for letting our baby cry as we sit next door to her drinking wine in a bath?’ I said, ‘probably….But I can’t take this anymore.’ So Chris got up out of the bath and said, you stay here, I will soothe her. And just as Chris got out, she stopped crying and fell asleep. In fact she fell asleep and stayed asleep for her longest stretch so far – 4hrs of solid sleep!
We won’t be trying any cry it out methods. But we learned that she can actually soothe herself – as long as we know that she is fed, clean, dry, safe, not ill and we have tried soothing her with the 5 Ss (Swaddle, Suck, Side, Sway and Shhhhh-ing),we discovered a bit of crying is OK when they are just too tired.