My toddler is obsessed with my hair, and it’s stressing me out.
Ever since Bailey turned a couple months old, the only way she’ll fall asleep and stay asleep is if I’m lying next to her and she can wrap her little fingers up in my hair.
If I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom – a given now that I’m 8 months pregnant – she wakes up and won’t settle down until she gets her hands back in my hair.
But with her new sibling due to be born in a month or so, it’s time for her to let go.
Because even though I didn’t plan to co-sleep this long, I know it isn’t safe for my bucking bronco of a toddler to be sleeping near my newborn.
Whose Fault Is This?
I could blame my husband Ty.
When he was a baby, he was obsessed with his mom’s hair, too. If she went on a date night and left him with Grandma and Grandpa, she had the audacity to take her hair with her.
And even though he was a happy little guy most of the time, without Mama’s hair nearby to wrap around his little fingers, he would freak the hell out.
One of his aunts finally discovered a solution – a hairpiece.
When his mom wasn’t around, they could give Ty an old hairpiece to play with, and he was back to his happy-go-lucky self.
But if she were around, nothing else would satisfy as a substitute. He’d wind her hair around his fingers until the poor woman’s hair looked a bit like tumbleweed.
When I wake up in the morning after a full night of Bailey playing with my hair, I walk by the mirror. My resemblance to Medusa is a little unsettling, so I start to untangle the mess.
But I’m out of bed, and so is my hair. Bailey wakes up, no matter how early it is, and I go to her.
The Ugly Truth
Bailey is always on the move.
She likes to spread LEGOs all around the house, and she toddles around collecting the perfect pieces for her creation. Why not dump all the LEGOs out in one place on the living room rug and sit down to build there? BORING.
She’s got a stash of picture books and baby dolls in every room of the house, and we can never seem to find her sippy cup when it’s time to leave the house because it’s been set down in approximately 752 places in the three hours since she woke up.
And then at night, when we lay in bed together, it takes a fair bit of wrangling and sweet-talking and good old-fashioned begging from this mama before Bailey will finally calm her body down and be still.
The house is quiet, and our noses are an inch away. I smell the remnants of peanut butter on her breath, and I wonder if I’m doing anywhere close to a good enough job brushing my child’s teeth every night. She wraps my hair around her pudgy little fingers, and it’s just us.
For the last few months, I’ve been frustrated by how she just can’t seem to let go. But maybe it’s not her who can’t let go.
In the last week, I realized that I’ll never have this sweet time with her again. Just the two of us.
New Sibling Worries
I’m doing that completely silly thing you do when you’re preparing for baby number two or three or four.
Will I love my new baby as fiercely as I love Bailey? Will I love her too much and shunt poor Bailey off to the side?
I know we have room in our hearts for another little one. I know after the kerfuffle of bringing home a newborn, we’ll all settle into our new roles in the family.
And I also know I’m running out of time with these little hands in my hair.
It would be cruel to let it continue right up until my new baby’s born. To take that away from Bailey at the exact same time she’s dealing with the stress of sharing everyone’s attention with a newborn.
I just want a little more time with my baby girl before she’s not my baby girl anymore.
But I think it might be time to go hairpiece shopping.
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To get your big kid ready and excited for a new sibling, check out the story in Don’t Forget This Step When Preparing for Another Baby.
How did you get your big kid ready for a new sibling? Share in a comment below!