Even as adults we often struggle with sleep. Lack of time devoted to sleep, important intrusions, thoughts spinning so enchantingly they keep us awake when we do have the time and peace for sweet slumber …

But it seems like a different kind of struggle for a baby. It’s those limbs again. The brain and limbs are connected in a dance that is inching toward mastery. But when the body and brain are exhausted the moves that were smooth during the day become twitchy. Hands that have learned how to clasp one another suddenly smack into the face instead of the other hand. The face that was so peacefully relaxed, eyes closed. Or suddenly both arms are spinning and legs are kicking.

When our daughter is on the verge of sleep these spasmodic actions, which seem divided by left and right more than arms and legs, usually just makes her turn her head from side to side and whimper or grunt depending on how long the flailing lasts. She seems to be a lover of sleep, willing to put up with a little bodily imprudence as long as it will soon fade into slumber with her.

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