When it comes right down to it, we do whatever we can to make things work for our families. What I do might not work for you, and vice versa. But we still all like to tell each other what we do and why it’s the best thing ever. Some things that are the best thing ever for others aren’t the best thing ever for us, but sometimes they really work out. I hope that some of the suggestions I’ve received in the comments here will pan out for me. I’d love to be able to run again–or exercise at all, really–and to get more done while my daughter sleeps. I think we’ve begun to hit the mark with getting her to sleep at night, so that second bit becomes more of a reality each night. Our success started with treating the giardia a second time, and now it’s all about accepting and letting go. Our daughter is both slow to adapt (meaning that, exactly like me, she needs time to transition from one activity to another) and sensitive (to light, noise, touch). According to this book, our daughter’s particular personality traits put her in the hardest-to-get-to-sleep category.
So I’m accepting that, and making allowances, and it’s going well. I’m making a concerted effort to have only one time of day be busy, whether it be morning or afternoon, and have the rest of the day to just chill out. I ordered a SleepMate, as recommended by my friend Rachel, and while it doesn’t block out noises entirely, it dulls everything enough to help Zinashi get to sleep. And finally, I have just accepted that much of the time, Zinashi really needs to be swaddled to get to sleep. She can’t calm herself and drift off without it sometimes. When I mention this to people, most of them are taken aback. Swaddling? For an older toddler? Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Because it works. I do feel like I am putting her in a little toddler strait jacket sometimes, but the truth is that when she needs it, she just needs it, and nothing else will help her. I always give her the opportunity to fall asleep on her own first, because sometimes she can, and I want her to practice that, but if she’s flopping around like a fish with that certain look in her eyes, I know she needs me to still her limbs and hold her close. So that’s what we do.
And it’s working.