Dear Baby E,
I hope you know how much I completely adore you. I love your cute baby nose and chubby cheeks. I love holding your little baby hands and staring at your darling baby toes. I love how your soft baby hair is sprouting curls all over your sweet-smelling head. And I especially love your silly one-toothed smile and your babbling baby talk.
I love nursing you, too. I love that it's the one thing only I am able to do for you. I drink in the quiet moments when it's just you and me, and I feel like I can keep you safe and happy forever. I melt when you stop nursing to look up at me and smile and touch my face as if you have something to say.
But, and I say this with all the love I have in my heart, isn't it time to knock all that off??
I'm not suggesting that we discontinue nursing during the day - a guy's gotta eat right? But all of this night waking is frankly taking it's toll on Mommy.
I know that you barely wake in the night and root around for the comfort that you find with me; and when I am not there, you get mad! What I'm suggesting is this: you know those small, colorful, plastic things that are in your crib? The things you like to bang against the crib slats and toss out onto the floor? Those are called binkies. A coupla sucks on one of those puppies will put you right back to sleep, I promise.
And if that's not comforting enough for you, you know that soft, blue fuzzy thing that's also in your crib? That's a blankie, and it smells like Mommy. I made sure of that. Try cuddling up to that.
Or you could just try your good ole' thumb. I saw you put it in your mouth as I layed you down for your nap just now - how did that work for you?
Look Baby, I know none of these things is as soft and warm as Mommy; but Sweetie, Mommy needs her sleep. This waking up and looking for me four times a night is killing me. I'm not getting any sleep or any chores done, and I'm so tired when I write that I repeat myself.
I'm just so tired that I keep repeating myself.
Oh, I know, I suppose it is my fault for picking you up and then falling asleep with you time and time again. You've gotten used to waking up with my boob right there in your face.
And it's not even that I mind falling asleep with you sometimes. It's just that when I sleep all night in the rocking chair with you, well, frankly I wake up with a sore ass. And I really love my bed. It's so soft and warm and my pillow is so comfortable. I get to lay flat out on my back and work myself into the perfect grove in my bed.
You are over eight months old now, and we both need to be sleeping through the night. I know I make you cry sometimes, and then I come in and pick you up anyway. I know it's confusing, but we need to work on this together. We don't want to get in trouble at your next well-baby visit, do we? Believe me, we don't want to get "the talk."
I'm only saying this because when you were tiny, you did sleep through the night. And I'm not sure what happened along the way, but I need you to do it again. Listen, I'm not saying we can never cuddle at night, but let's keep it to a minimum, shall we?
So to review, it's binkie, blankie, thumb, and then if you're still awake you can call for Mommy, okay?
I love you, Baby, but we really have to stop meeting in the middle of the night like this.