Soothing the Savage Infant

Unfortunately, for the past 2 days, Finn has had inexplicable evening bouts of outrage (oh, and a midday bout today). Of course this happens right when we’re trying to put him to bed around 7 or 8 p.m. He goes from zero to screaming his head off in a split second. John and I run through the possibilities–dirty diaper? hungry? gassy? reflux bothering him? should we keep him upright? lie him down to nurse? He doesn’t seem to want any of it and just keeps howling no matter what is offered. It’s frustrating for all three of us. I end up feeling inadequate, John ends up feeling bad for both Finn and me, and I think we all feel like the howling will never end.
It’s John who really shines through on these trying evenings. He demonstrates such calm, patience, and empathy when he takes Finn in his arms, swaddles him, and “shushes” him until he finally, unexpectedly calms down and falls asleep. Then John carefully takes him upstairs and gently deposits him in his bassinet, allowing me to take a hot shower and shake off some of the tension. We don’t know, of course, if Finn will stay asleep or wake up and start freaking any second, but at least for a few minutes we have peace thanks to Dad.

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