The Music of Sleep. Or, The Sleep of Music.

“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in its sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!”*

August 16, 2011.
1 month, 2 days.

While in the womb, it’s been said that music has a wonderful, calming effect on a baby. Studies have made connections between brain development and music, dubbing this as the “Mozart Effect”. There are critics for everything you go searching for, so I’ll just tell you my results. (Dan thinks it’s hogwash that if you play Mozart, your baby will be smart, however, he kept urging Mozart for my baby playlist.)

I made a playlist of different music, (all mellow sounds), and played it to Mila by placing headphone speakers to my belly, every night as I lay reaching for sleep. Most of the time, this playlist put me to sleep. I mixed happy songs and sad songs, since I figured it didn’t much matter since she didn’t know the words. It’s the vibrations that become the baby’s lullaby.

Fisher-Price World Baby
Peaceful Celtic Lullabies

Once Mila arrived, I played this playlist on repeat throughout the night and it seemed to send her into a calm and restful sleep.  When the CD no longer worked, (I’m noticing a trend here with Mila boring of things), I switched it with this — a CD I was given by a friend. –>

I instantly fell in love with this CD. And so did Mila.

To keep things interesting – and Mila to sleep – I would switch between this CD and my original playlist. At some point Dan put the country music station on and we added a third to the mix. It never fails – when Mila is fussy and wont sleep, I change the style of music and it really does help her drift off to sleep.

We have a few other CDs in this collection but they don’t seem to do the trick the way this one does. I highly recommend this to mothers of newborns – or even to those playing music to their unborn child. And definitely, for your sake, keep a radio/CD player in the nursery. The music helps drown out other noise in the house and it gets baby used to sleeping through noise.

August 20, 2011.
1 month, 6 days.

Another item I found very useful at getting Mila to sleep is the glow seahorse or some variation of that. I used this when Mila was really little and actually just started using it again. There are nights that Mila just refuses to close her eyes. The light from this distracts her, gives her something to focus on and between the glow and the song, she falls asleep in no time.

*Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, (1865).

Don’t ask me what any of that had to do with this – I just liked the quote.

Lesson #86: And In The Beginning…

You will miss what you thought would never end.

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The morning of July 14, 2011 brought many anxieties. I was nervous and excited. My thoughts, that still echo to this day:

“This is the last day I will feel my baby inside of me. It’s bittersweet. There’s nothing closer, nothing more sacred. It makes me a little sad to say goodbye to this.”

Newborn Lesson #39

August 9, 2011: Enjoy your pregnancy and don’t become attached to anything – the good or the not so good. It all fades.

For example, my hair and nails never grew so fast, (and no it wasn’t the prenatal vitamins, because I’m still taking them); I can bend over again; I can walk again without wobbling; I see Mila’s twitching and remember that feeling inside of me, yet I don’t remember the pain.

Newborn Lesson #9: Oh Toes, Where Art Thou?

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July 25, 2011: It’s the little things you take for granted before you are pregnant. For example, that simple movement of bending over – huge deal! Now, I can again garden, shave my legs without cutting myself, dry my toes properly after I shower, and pick up things I’ve dropped instead of  staring at them longingly from my standing position.

Newborn Lesson #5

July 21, 2011 (one week old): Days go by way too fast, (and I can only imagine they’ll go faster). Mila is one week old today and I swear I can still feel her kicks inside of me from time to time. Seems like just yesterday I was wabbling around with a huge belly…and mom was here.

I remember being only a month or so pregnant complaining that pregnancy should be 9 weeks not 9 months. 9 weeks I could handle. My first trimester wasn’t so pleasant…by my second, when I could feel the baby (we opted not to know the gender) inside of me, I was in a constant state of amazement. I loved all the baby’s movements and could have lived like that for, well, for a while anyway.

Nearing the end of my pregnancy, I wasn’t a happy camper. I was pretty short with everyone and cranky. I was ready to offload the extra weight (and lose the swelling) and I was excited to meet my baby. My mom lives in Florida and I was really lucky to have her here when I did give birth. I later apologized to her for being so snippy and she noted how everything changed in me the minute Mila was born. I had nothing but love the moment I exited the delivery room, new baby in my arms.