Friday, March 29, 2013

For Anna, Here's Me Writing About Sleep (and the Lack of It)

I'm turning into a zombie. No, I am not kidding. Slowly but surely I am morphing into a slow-moving, mumbling creature with dark circles under my eyes and wild bedhead that just will not go away. When I asked Facebook what I ought to write about - and why are you not my bestie there? - it was Anna who suggested sleep.

Jeez, people... couldn't you have chosen a topic I know something about? Because right now I have only vague memories of what sleep is. What it can be. I kind of remember it being this blissful state where my left arm is not being weighed down by a baby who has my nipple halfway in his mouth and it's dark but I wouldn't know because my eyes are closed and I am unconscious. At some point I would open my eyes. That wouldn't be sleep any more and I would feel rested.

That's what sleep is like, right?

Blame Bo. He was just about the best newborn ever in that he was almost sleeping through the night about a week after we brought him home. It actually scared the hell out of me in that the only newborns I was used to had to be woken up to eat because they - you know who you are *ahem* P. - were too small to wake up without help. So when Bo just snoozed for hours and hours, it freaked me out until the doc said it was cool and to enjoy it.


While it lasted.

And last it did, for about four months. Fast forward to now and it seems Bo has decided he wants to relive his lost youth by waking up about a hundred times a night. Not necessarily to eat, though that's often the big nighttime activity. Sometimes it's to cuddle. Sometimes he wants to talk. And of course, he loves to chew.

We've tried various things. The mister has carried him around like we used to do with P. until Bo is so bored he falls back asleep. We've tried changing him, thinking maybe a wet cloth diaper is the culprit. We've tried letting him be, but that just results in everyone being miserable. We've tried cuddles, which are lovely except that the cuddler is left half awake while the cuddlee snoozes. The thing is, Bo is generally not unhappy. Bo is just awake.

Tonight, we're trying a dose of Tylenol, because the one thing we haven't tried is treating discomfort. I'm really hoping this new normal has something to do with teeth. Could this be the first time in history a parent has wished for teething to start in earnest? Because teething I can handle, whereas sleeplessness makes me stabby.


Edit: Thanks to Julia, I know about the 4-month sleep regression, which we're enjoying at month 5 because Bo was a month early.  At least I can take comfort in the fact that Bo will be leveling up soon! 


  1. It stinks, but sometimes... you just don't get good sleeps! Sometimes, you just can't pinpoint it. They do eventually grow to love sleep... at least you know for sure that when he's 13 *years* old, he'll love it!

    1. I guess I was just hoping the whole 'easy baby' thing would last forever :) We were so sleep deprived bc of P.'s prematurity needs that we once had a drag out fight over who got to change a diaper! We were both fighting for the right to change it!

  2. Oh my this is something I can go on and on about. Except I'm still too tired because T didn't STTN until about two months ago. Well, one month ago solid. I literally don't know how I made it through. I was walking into walls and getting bruises. I couldn't function...well. Just enough. I was drinking a can of coffee every few days. It was nuts. I read every sleep book ever. I don't do sleep training but I did a modified version once we stopped bedsharing (we still co-sleep - it's a one bedroom).

    Then it hit me. He just wasn't a good sleeper. Happy, and well rested for what he got.

    Hope he returns to bliss for you! (there is another regression around 10/11 mo but I don't remember if that is actual or adjusted - actual, I think!).

  3. I am so feeling your pain! Clem has always been a wonderful sleeper, but when she got her first winter cold a few months ago, I decided to cuddle her all night long. Then the whole family passed colds around like candy, so now she demands to be held all night. She will not stand for just being in bed next to me - I have to hold her. Now my hips and back hurt when I wake up because I haven't been permitted to roll over all night. I keep saying I'll work on getting her to sleep without touching me when she gets well, but she hasn't been well for more than a week at a stretch. I'm crossing my fingers that we'll make headway in spring.


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