I know I'm not supposed to, but I really like walking around my apartment with my baby at 4am, pacing and singing her to sleep.
Of course, I don't like having my sleep interrupted. I don't like to hear my baby crying, and I don't like it when M wakes up in the middle of the night--not exactly. And I don't like it when my singing and pacing doesn't work. But usually it does. And when it does, it makes me feel like a good father, which is a really great feeling. When M is crying, and I pick her up and she stops, I love that feeling. And when I rock her and sing to her, and put her back to sleep, and she stays asleep, I'm a happy man.
I really like getting up with her while Jan stays in bed. Mothers have a built-in mechanism for bonding with their children. Especially while she is breastfeeding, Jan has a virtually foolproof way of calming M. But we're trying to convince M to sleep through the night again and a big part of that is breaking the expectation of milk at 4am. Like her big sister, M was an amazing sleeper for her first 6 months or so. But just around the 6 month mark--just before in M's case, just after in G's--she started to wake up in the middle of the night. With G we just assumed it was a fluke and Jan fed her, until before we noticed it had become a habit for G to eat 3 or 4 times a night. With M we're determined not to make that mistake. She's not hungry. She just wants comfort. But M won't calm down in Jan's arms unless Jan feeds her--not in the middle of the night anyway, not when she wants milk. But she'll calm down in my arms. So for fifteen minutes, or half an hour, I hold my baby all alone, in a quiet apartment. Everyone else is sleeping and it's just her and me. And I rock her and sing to her, and she nuzzles in and falls back asleep, because my voice is as soothing as mother's milk.
So yes, I like getting up with my baby and walking around the apartment with her at 4am, singing her to sleep.
Just as long as it doesn't last for too long.