Alone in the Dark in My Baby’s Room

He’s finally drifting off to sleep. Tummy full of milk, busy little hands fidgeting into stillness. Sleepy mumbles that sound almost like waking. The dull hum of white noise, the fake rainfall that helps him to sleep better than the sound of real rain, fills the room. Ironic then that my own mind is a blur with a white noise all of its own, a low level buzz of mama anxiety.

I wonder what tonight will be like? Two wake ups, maybe three? Or (miracle of miracles) just one…

I hope he had enough milk today. I hope he isn’t hungry. Did he have enough solids? They say, “food before one is only for fun”. But They say so many things. If he doesn’t get enough milk during the day then he likes to feed all night, but what if he doesn’t get enough solid food?

Who bloody knows. Not me, that’s for damn sure.

Is he tired enough I wonder. Tired but not overtired. Or under-tired. This is apparently a thing. Under-tired, overtired, wombling free. The sleep-deprived desperate crazy person is me.

I’m not supposed to be rocking him to sleep. That guide I read one time said so. “Babies nursed to sleep form powerful sleep associations that are hard to break.” Bad habits bad habits shut up shut up shut up. I wish I’d never read a damn thing about baby sleep.

(I’m so very tired).

I’ve read too many things and listened to too many voices, and they all want to keep me company in the dark tonight. A desperate din of self-doubt and parental-panic. I must be doing this wrong, right? Because if I’m doing everything right then why am I so very tired.

But sometimes, just sometimes, when he falls asleep in my arms. Or curls up in my lap for a feed, or smiles his baby tooth smile. The first time he put his little arms around my neck, little paws tangled up in my hair. Looks into my face and says “mamamamam”. Through a brief lull in the din, a little voice dares to speak.

Just the barest whisper.

Maybe I’m not too terrible at this.

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Overhead image of a small baby with text overlay saying Alone in the Dark in My Baby's Room: Where the mind wanders to at bedtime

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