I made some progress in my ability to soothe The Baby this weekend, which is welcome news. It's been very difficult for The Wife, for the first 18 months; I seem to remember Little Bear calming to me a bit earlier than The Baby. The only way The Baby's been able to get to sleep and stay asleep is by sleeping on top of my wife or by nursing himself to sleep.
The older boys have their thumb and fingers, respectively, on which to suck for comfort. They don't do it often, except when putting themselves to sleep, although The Boy still has the tendency to ask for belly, snuggle up, and stick his thumb in his mouth. It's very cute. The Baby stopped sucking his thumb after his teeth started to grow. I've wondered if he didn't replace his thumb with the breast for comfort, and it's been a concern to me.
So, long story short, I've had mixed success getting him to sleep. And then, the party on Sunday happened. The boys and The Wife were at the JCC early - they arrived around 9 o'clock for an 11 o'clock party - and they played in the aftercare playroom for a couple of hours. The Baby, who can only sometimes skip his morning nap, skipped his morning nap. He hadn't slept well the night before. Around 12:30 or so, he threw an absolute fit for some reason or another; the basic reason was, "I'm tired and need to sleep," regardless of the exact cause. I picked him up, put him on my shoulder, and walked around.
Daddy is baby tranquilizer.
After about five minutes of walking, he was absolutely asleep. It's a wonderful thing, feeling a baby settle himself to sleep. Their little body snuggles in to your body and relaxes utterly, and their breathing slows nicely. My children snore a bit when sleeping vertically, which is cute. After walking for a little while, I sat down at a table and played on my phone while the family cleaned up after the party.
The amazing thing? I got him in his car seat still asleep, and he was asleep for the first hour and a half of the trip back to Pittsburgh.
So, later that night, he was sleeping in bed. The Wife had settled him down and gone downstairs, and I was snuggled up with my iPad to do some reading. He woke up and started to fuss; I picked him up, walked around a bit, and he fell right back to sleep. I climbed back into bed with the baby on my chest, and he rolled off of me onto the matress, still asleep.
The next night, Monday night, he woke up around 1am, projectile vomiting the milk he'd eaten. The Wife ran to get some towels and a mattress cover, and I pulled him onto my chest, where he proceeded to continue puking. The Wife came back with the towel, which I put underneath him. He snuggled in and allowed me to comfort him while The Wife did some emergency cleanup. She kept him up for a little while to make sure that nothing bad happened, but they eventually settled back to sleep downstairs. Just a random puking event. Important bit: he let me comfort him instead of just screaming for Mom.
Then, last night, The Wife was getting ready for bed and he woke up. I brought him onto my chest, and he fell back asleep. I was already kind of asleep, so I went back to sleep. At some point in the night, he crawled off of me and back to The Wife, which is fine. Important bit: he slept right on top of me without an issue, even though he took a minute to squirm and find his comfortable spot. (I'm shaped a bit differently from The Wife.)
I'm very, very happy about this. I've been concerned about my ability to comfort The Baby - he's important, and very cute, and very snuggly, and I've been missing out on some of those snuggles. This is progress towards goal, and hopefully Daddy will become a bit more important for him.
In the meantime, here's a picture of him in a Superman cape watching the iPad. The Geek is strong with this one.