Arlo explains how to please a baby at bedtime

by Janelle Hanchett

Hey, mom. Arlo here.

I feel I’ve been pretty clear on this topic, but there appears to be some confusion still, which I can only assume is a result of a profound slow-mindedness on your part, which is cool, I guess. Little disappointing that my genes were plucked from your pool, but hey. Water under the bridge.

I’m a patient, reasonable fellow, so I’m going to lay it out for you, right here. Here is how you please me during the evening and night hours:

In the evenings, from approximately 4pm until 8pm, I want to be carried around. I don’t want you to put me down because that annoys me. It doesn’t annoy me during the rest of the day, but it annoys me then. Don’t try that “put me in the high chair with Cheerios” tactic, or the “here are 75,000 toys at your lap” thing. That shit pisses me off. I’m not an idiot. I see through your games.

I was born 7 months ago, not yesterday.

You say you need to make dinner? Carry me while you make dinner. I like grabbing hot and sharp things. I find that immensely entertaining. That works for me. You see, I’m working with you here, mom.

I like sitting with the family at dinner and eating, sometimes. Sometimes I want to sit on your lap while you try to eat but I want the boob out so I can flip on and off approximately 486 times, snacking while also not missing anything, because everybody knows all the good shit happens at dinner (especially with that Georgia character around. Remember yesterday when she suddenly threw herself onto Rocket, trying to wrap her legs around his neck? That was rad.).

I also enjoy a bit of dinner-plate grabbing in the evenings, particularly if whatever I see on your plate can choke me. Don’t stifle me. I’m trying to learn.

You can give me a bath. I like that, but I don’t like getting dressed after the bath. Can you please figure out a way to bathe me clothed?

I don’t like it when I have to poop but haven’t yet and I don’t like after I’ve pooped, so what I need for you to do is somehow get the poop from insides to outside without the actual diaper-changing fiasco.

No biggee. Figure it out.

Maybe those hippies are on to something with that elimination communication thing. You know, the whole “read your baby’s cues and hold them over a container” philosophy. I’m totally into that. From the look on your face, you’re not. I kind of wish you were a more devoted mother.


There are sheets to play with, people. Why is everybody sleeping?

Anyway, after my bath I like to act tired and fussy and ready for bed. I am, in fact, ready for bed. Good job putting me in your bed and nursing me. I like to fall fast asleep quickly.

But here’s where you seem to get a little confused. You seem to think I want to STAY asleep at that point. Oh, no, honey. You’re not very bright.

I rarely like that. What I usually like is to wake up about 20 or 30 minutes after that so we can PLAY. It’s unclear to me how you ever got in your head that the hours of 8pm-10pm are for sleeping. I like to take a little cat nap then get up all cheerful and adorable so we can HANG OUT TOGETHER. Don’t you like hanging out? I like hanging out. PLUS I’M FUCKING ADORABLE.

Sorry for swearing, but seriously, with you two for parents, can you really expect more?

I signal my desire for play by squealing and cooing and laughing to myself in the bed. It’s weird that you’re usually not equally enthused when you hear me. Luckily though you always seem to come around after I give you a bit of that side-eye charm I throw down.


the side-eye charm in question

Anyway when I’m done playing and tired again, obviously I want you to lie down and nurse me, but I don’t want to go straight to sleep. I want to kick a few hundred times (I like to push off your belly because it pops me up and off the boob, which also serves to keep me awake, so basically, it’s not just fun, it’s USEFUL fun.)

After I kick I like to throw my head backwards and squawk a few times if I feel myself drifting. Sometimes I like to close my mouth a little so my bottom two teeth scrape against your nipple. I think that’s fun. You don’t seem to think it’s fun. Luckily you don’t matter.

Sometimes I cry. I cry because I’m annoyed that I’m tired and the nursing puts me to sleep because even though I’m tired I don’t want to sleep. But if you stop me from nursing I’m annoyed that I’m not nursing. So basically I want to nurse but once I start nursing I’m annoyed that I’m nursing so your job is simply to let me nurse or not nurse or maybe get up and walk me around or play with me or do something other than whatever it is that you’re doing because honestly, I don’t really like anything you do.

This is always a delicate time for me. Work hard to not piss me off. It changes every day. You can do it.

Once I finally fall asleep I prefer that you just stay there next to me all night long with the nipple in my mouth. I just feel better that way. You talk about your back hurting or wanting some space, and because I’m a nice guy, I allow you to move me a few inches from you for an hour or two a night. But other than that I’m gonna need you to just go ahead and keep one nipple in my mouth pretty much at all times. At LEAST I’m gonna need to use your boob as a pillow. I’ve tried other positions and boob-as-pillow is really the only way to go.

It’s not that much to ask, is it? Really? In the big picture?

I didn’t think so.

Thanks. Love you!



P.S. Remember that one time when I slept in my crib for 5-7 hours stretches for an entire week? That was funny, right? God damn I’m funny. The way you thought I would keep doing that! Ha!

I’ll never do that again.


47 Comments | Posted in bitching about the kids I chose to have. | January 18, 2015
  • itzybellababy

    Love it. I miss and also don’t miss those days.. lol

    Have you tried wearing the little critter? My monkey would go to sleep in a Babyhawk and life could continue..never did figure out how to nurse her in it, but that is ok.. lol

  • Phillipa

    I remember how tiring that stage that was….but damn do I ever miss it. He is such a cutie…..

  • Jessica

    Baby!!! (My 4th is 17 months and also still addicted to boob).
    …oops, was that discouraging? Not meant to be, sorry!

  • Michelle Tripcony

    You’ve just cemented my decision to not have anymore!!!!! I do NOT miss those days. It doesn’t feel like it now, but it will pass. You’ll eventually get your nipples back!

  • Joanna

    I thought I was so glad to move beyond that stage with my youngest – yes she only wanted to sleep with my boob in her mouth. Until suddenly she wouldn’t want me near her. Then she’d start crying because I was in her way. So I’d put her back in her crib and happily retreat to my bed. Until she realized I wasn’t there anymore. Then she’d need boob re-implantation. I finally weaned her at 13 months because I was so damn tired. That didn’t work though. She still wakes up and stays up for hours at night at 24 months. ANYWAY. Point is I am done having kids and really was happy she turned 2 and maybe we can move beyond this whole “baby” thing, until I saw that picture of Arlo at the boob. Thanks a lot. You just made my ovaries hurt.

    Seriously – and the side eye? Why is he so damn cute! Love this post.

  • Rachel

    And then I have the most scrumptious sleeping cheeks which will mess with your hormonal head so when I DO finally fall asleep (on you), you find it nearly impossible to move away. At least not without a kiss, which might wake me up. Never know.

    Love it 🙂

  • Cassie

    Perfect. Spot on as always.

  • kerri Fronczak

    Awesome. I’m raising Arlo’s soul mate. She just turned 2 and she’s still nuts! She does sleep better though!

  • Roberta Lyons

    This one was very funny Janelle. Just great. Reminded me of how my mom used to write in the character of us kids sometimes, including your Dad!

  • Marisa

    You are a riot!

  • Daunine

    OH!! My daughter was one of these. She is currently 4,It does get better. 🙂 My 13 year old slept, my daughter not so much for the first 14 months of her life. Oddly the same time I stopped nursing her suddenly she could sleep. I have tattoos of my kiddos names on me, my sons name covers my left hip…. He liked to hang out right there and be his easy self. Miss thang covers my right inner bicep, where she slept or didn’t sleep for 14 months and I regularly had a little ear impression from her sleeping there. 🙂 they are such stinkers! I love this post. So nice when you hear you are not the only one.

  • April

    HAH! I love you and your children. 😀 That side-eye charm is a Taylor Swift song waiting to happen. Can’t add anything more because the last photo melted me into a puddle. Xx

  • Ypsi

    I had THREE of those. The youngest one is 8 today and I don’t exactly miss it, but that side-eye pic sure is nostalgia-inducing 🙂

  • Tina

    I loved this one. And Arlo is downright ADORABLE. We never COMPLETELY co-slept. He would go down in his crib, and I would go to bed, and he’d wake up at I’m not sure when, and I’d start nursing him in bed, and inevitably we would fall asleep that way. Then the next time he woke up, I would switch him to the other side, lol. I don’t think it went on very long, though, not very many months. Pretty sure by the time he was six months old, his crib was out of our bedroom and in what was then called the “boys’ room”, because he roomed with his brother. But then I would fight falling asleep on the love seat while I nursed him. First one, thankfully, went to crib, we’d turn the mobile on, and he’d drift off to that – he was a grumpy gus when he was an infant, so before he could stand in his crib, this was just about the ONLY way to get him to go to sleep in the crib – even if I tried to nurse him to sleep, he would scream. But the mobile made things all better. We would actually have to sit in the room and restart the mobile if he wasn’t asleep yet. And for the first, I don’t know, maybe nine months, his crib was in our room. If he was laying in his crib awake for any reason, and he heard you move, boom, he wanted up and he wanted cuddled and fed. I got trapped in the bathroom once for something like 30 minutes because he woke up between the time I went in and the time I was coming out. Just that quick. I think the bathroom door opening is what woke him up, I don’t know. But my husband had to use hand signals to tell me if it was safe to come out of the bathroom yet or not. And this was about 20 minutes after he slept quite peacefully through the dog barking non-stop for an hour because everyone, including the police were outside, because the little neighbor girl, while her parents were gone, decided it would be cool to go out to their convertible, and back it in and out of the driveway, until she crashed into our retaining wall, but that’s another story. But he slept peacefully through the doggie’s commotion, but we come back in, and get ready to go to bed, and he wakes up when I’m 10 feet from going to bed!

  • leffs

    Oh. My. God. *YES* I am right there with you. Thanks for writing this. Keep it coming, please!

  • Jennifer

    We are most of the way there with our 6 month old. Sounds like our supper times. Thank goodness my girl doesn’t have teeth yet, but she does have a jaw like an iron trap.

  • Gypsy Mama

    Oh my god I love this! My daughter was born may 27 and I could have written this post myself! I am going to send this to my husband to read so he knows our baby is completely normal… Although he already knows that, I think it’s me who really needed to read this. So thanks for sharing!

  • Bryna

    I love this. It is hilarious. and so true.

  • Jess

    Ivy must be Arlo’s soul sister. We squeezed a crib into our bedroom basically for storing stuffed animals. I have tried putting her in at various times of the night, before the boob, after the boob. No matter. One night recently she slept for about 3 hours in the crib and I lay there next to her awake, waiting for her to wake up because I missed her! Oh well, she’s number four and the last so I guess I’m just savoring this until it’s over! Arlo’s side eye matches Ivy’s wrinkle nose… Thanks so much for your wonderful observations on life and mommyness!

  • Jennifer

    Oh, good lord. Arlo and my 9-month-old daughter have been collaborating apparently. I really could have written this about my Emily. As always, your posts make me feel less alone and less crazy. Because if we’re both thinking and feeling it, I’m not too off, right?

  • funder

    My first (only?) baby is nine days old and oh my god does this ~resonate.~

  • heather krcha

    thanks for this! I have a seven month old that is exactly the same…perhaps separated at birth?! 😉 she is currently sleeping with my nipple too. sigh.

  • Emily

    That is one effective side-eye. My Teddy is a little charmer, too. Ham is more like it, or shameless flirt…

  • Jessica

    OMG he is the cutest baby! I feel your pain, both of my babies still don’t sleep well and still sleep with me half the time and they are 2 and 4.

  • Rachel @ Reality Chick

    After the night from hell with 4-month-old Charlie Bear, Arlo’s letter is just that little bit too close to the bone for me… scrumptious as he is 🙂

  • Katie @ A Mother Thing

    wait… Are you sure Arlo wrote this? Because it sounds an awful lot like my 12 week old son, Chester. I mean, he isn’t big on the Cheerio trick yet since he hasn’t yet been introduced to solids, but everything else sounds just like him.

    Seriously though I feel your pain. I’m dreading him getting teeth. My older boys didn’t get them until nearly a year old so fingers crossed he follows suit.

  • Yvonne HILL

    5 sons but only 3 left at home and um this sounds like my house not the feeding but definitely the wanting to sleep in r bed still !!! They r 13,11,and 10 lol it never ends !!!!

  • Vanessa

    My 6 mo does exactly this…thank you for writing this! 🙂 It cheered me up today and reassured me that it is normal at a time when it seems like everyone else’s baby is “sleeping through the night”. Whatever that is.

  • Kashilia

    I wish things were like that! This sounds like it was with my daughter, now four. Things weren’t easy but the boob could always fix it.
    Now, my son… Does NOT like to lay down with the boob and that’s really all I have. Trying to figure out what could make him happy but… Hey he’s a baby and I thought boob was pretty much all they want and need….
    He’s 6 months old now and I haven’t slept for the past 4 so I doubt my foggy brain is able to come up with something….

  • Melanie

    LOLOL, my middle son could have written this.

  • Amanda

    Love this! Me and my 11 month old are right there with you!

  • Ali T

    You are fucking killing me with this!!!! This is my life right now! I want to alternately scream, cry and put him in his crib and put ear plugs in. Oh god. I feel better after reading this! Thank you!

  • Espy

    “Luckily you don’t matter.”

    Right to the heart of it. Hah!

  • Kacie

    This is my life right now and I am exhausted from it.

  • LaToya

    If you replaced Arlo’s name with Braxton, you’d totally be me. (Thanks for the laughs at work, this post was brilliant!)

  • Axelle the french reader

    He’s just TOO cute !! I love his little face’ you’re going to scream but he makes me want another baby 🙂

  • Tarah

    This is awesome and only slightly makes me feel better someone is going through the same thing 😉 It actually made me a little more tired reading it!

  • laura

    I have a 20 month old using boob as pillow while I read this☺ she will sleep no other way. When did you stop nursing your babes? People frown when I say I still nurse my 2 year old. She loves her ‘boo-bahs’ though. Love your blog… keep on keeping on

  • Mateja

    “I’ve tried other positions and boob-as-pillow is really the only way to go.” Haha, good one.
    My little one is 16 months old and still not sleeping as I wish she would. Today she slept 35 minutes during the day. During the night she still wakes up 4-5 times. Oh, joy! 🙂 Sleeping through the night would be like hitting the jackpot.

  • Amanda

    Omg this is totally my life right now with my 8 month old little guy. Great post!

  • jen

    talk about reinforcing bad sleeping habits!! you are all nuts!
    sleep train…for your sanity. but more for babies little brain.
    babes need sleep to develop. playing this game just gets in the way of that.
    and trying to change 7 month old sleep conditions is obviously going to be hard, in my opinion you’ve waited far too long.
    i think you are a great writer but i totally think the challenges with sleep could have been fixed with a different approach and definately a more positive attitude.

    • Michael's mommy

      Umm.. we are “sleep training”.. but our method just maybe different to yours. See our babies our training us.. they let us know what they need in the night, and we listen to those needs. We don’t let them “cry it out” oh I’m sure they will stop EVENTUALLY. (Is that suppose to be before or softer they are hyperventilating?) Not quiet sure. Every parent, parents differently. There is no certain way, no wrong or right. It’s whatever works for you and your family. Whatever you feel is the best thing for your children. And of course they need sleep. Do you think because some of us Co sleep or haven’t “sleep trained” thar our babies NEVER sleep? If do darlin you are the one who is nuts. My son my want to nurse in the middle of the night, but he sleeps at least 9 hours. Wakes up for an hour or so then takes a nap for maybe an hour or two. We are not depriving our children from brain development from loss of sleep. I’m sure renograde mom has a great attitude along with a great bind with her children, she is writing about parenting struggles for our entertainment. Of course it may seem a little dramatic,it’s suppose to.

  • Michael's mommy

    This is AMAZING! LOVE LOVE LOVE READING IT! I can relate on EVER THINKING you said. You rock!

  • katie Middlemast

    Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    This is Sooooo us right now!! Your story has made me smile and laugh out loud!

    Thanks for sharing and making us realise we’re not the only ones.

  • Lissy

    ha ha ha ha! yes! Exactly!

  • Anon

    my 27 months old daughter still uses me as a pacifier. Cannot sleep alone for more than 15 mins and without boob. That too the left one ONLY so I cannot turn my back on her even for a minute :(! 🙂

    Weaning plans are not materializing somehow.

  • Kristen

    Hi have a funny baby too. Maybe we can blame the midwives! (We used the same ones) also my 4th and so effing cute I can’t stand it, I wanna squeeze her! Arlo is super adorbs and has such a great name!