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Posts Tagged ‘sleeping through the night’

2012, the year that April starts sleeping through the night again. i can feel it.

oh wait. maybe i was dreaming. nope, it wouldn’t have been dreaming. i feel like i’ve been awake for the last 36 hours. Rob has too. poor thing. has to get up and go to work in the cold and snow after being up with a little complaining peanut all night long.

someone is teething.

we didn’t even notice it at first. April was the happy little girl that she always is. Rob discovered it when she chomped down on his finger and he felt little tiny daggers. i guess the awareness of her new teeth brought on the sleepless nights. every two hours, she woke up last night with a cry that wasn’t a hunger cry. probably not the best time to get someone used to sleeping in their crib. someone who also discovered how to roll over even though she was wrapped up tight and crawl to the corner of her crib. April doesn’t know how to crawl forward in her awake state. only in her sleep apparently. amazing, the things you can do in your sleep when you’re fearless because it’s 3am.

and for someone who didn’t want to sleep last night, you would think they’d be happy to have a nap this morning. hmmmph. not shy of at least ten times did i flip April from all fours to her back, in hopes of getting her to sleep. every single time led to a runny nosed baby with a puddle of tears on her mattress.

mama. i'm so angry at you for trying to make me have a nap.

this was the result of that futile attempt.

naps are for the birds. or at least, not for April today.

 

happy january!

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what do you do when your baby is too big for her bassinet, but won’t sleep in her crib?

peekaboo! i'm not napping!

i don’t know either.

the temporary solution is to squeeze all three of us into our double bed. but somebody is bound to end up on the floor one of these nights. and it’s not going to be April.

for two nights in a row, i have woken up to stick April’s soother back in her mouth only to find that she’s on all fours in her bassinet, ready for action….and probably as surprised as i am to find herself in the position that she’s in.

we’re attempting to get her to get used to her crib by getting her to start napping in it. baby steps, right? well. she’s lying in her crib. wide awake. staring at the ceiling as if she’s being punished as i type this. the times when i have tried to put her in her crib at night, she wakes up in such a state of spacial confusion that i cannot get her back to bed until i nurse her. which means that sleeping through the night has gone completely out the window because now she expects a midnight snack.

no napping for meeeee in my big girl bed!

i didn’t understand, until six months into this adventure, why it still stands that lack of sleep is the number one aggravation to new parents. i was riding on the belief that the sleepless nights would end. just one more month and the hardest part would be over. i didn’t realize that i was just barely hanging on throughout the day because our baby wakes me up at least twice, and sometimes three times in a night. i wondered why little things aggravate me, and why nothing ever gets crossed off my to do list.

exhaustion. six months of piled up exhaustion.

i started reading one of the books on the list that i need to read for my moksha teacher training (living your yoga by Judith Lasater) that is coming up in june (hellz yes!) and within the first chapter, the author spelled it out for me. it was as if she had written that first chapter just for me to read, on a particularly tired day when i finally decided it was okay for me to have a bath with the baby monitor sitting next to the tub while April had a nap. she spoke of how she always focused on the “to-do” list, and getting things done. and it wasn’t bringing her any peace. and then she learned to be happy by being present and honest with herself, and accepting that not everything would get done, and that does not indicate failure. i think that it’s so important for new moms to remember that they don’t need to be super woman, and if you’re up three times in the night, yeah, the house probably won’t be fit for a mr. clean commercial, and the laundry probably won’t get finished, and that’s okay. i think it’s far more important to get down on my stomach with April and talk to her and make her animals tell her stories, and help her to get better at crawling than it is to say i’ve accomplished everything on my list today. and if that’s all i can muster from the bottom of my energy reserves, then that too is okay. even better than okay.

the bottom line, is that if i need to have a few more tired days because of sleepless nights because we’re trying to sleep train April to transition into her crib, i don’t need to feel bad if the little things fall to the sidelines. and for anyone who has struggled with trying to get their baby to sleep, you know that sleep training does not come without it’s heartaches. just the name alone tells a lot. sleep training. think of the training you did when you were trying out for a sports team. was it something that you looked forward to? that made you burst with love and happiness? no, probably not. you may have even been doubled over, kicking yourself for not being in better shape. sleep training is evil. it requires either one of two methods. let ’em cry, or don’t let ’em cry. either way, i don’t think either one is all that successful. i’ve tried both. letting April cry is about as fun at 3am as you could imagine. and it doesn’t work. she doesn’t “self-soothe” or cry herself back to sleep. and the not letting her cry? well, we just end up having a super fun sleepover in mama and daddy’s bed, which is only making things worse by getting her used to needing to be next to mama to fall asleep. and like most sleepovers of days gone by, amounts to little sleep for at least one of the group. (that’s me.)

it’s a time for transition for everyone. coaxing April to sleep in her crib starting with naps, and working toward a night of slumber for all of us. being present. forgetting the to-do lists.

happy 2011, transitioning into 2012! may this year bring sleep!

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as a new mom with new other new mom friends, i’ve learned a few things that you do and don’t share with your other mom friends about your baby. namely the don’ts. because we all want to keep our new mom friends, right? right.

and nobody wants to be that mom. you know the type. the ones who brag about how amazing their children are, how their babies were playing mozart by ear on the piano at six months and that they’ve already been scouted for the NHL. so don’t be that mom. unless you want to get served a cool glass of shut the he…. ahem.

now, i don’t think i’ve gotten myself into this situation. i still have my mama friends. and how i love them dearly. but i’ve naively come close.

it all began when i started to let the world know that April was magnificently sleeping (ok, almost sleeping) through the night. but to me she was sleeping through the night…aka til 4:30am, because let’s face it. having your baby sleep until 4:30, rather than midnight, after you’ve only been sleeping for little over an hour yourself, is sleeping through the night. but telling this to your mama friends is worse than telling them that your baby can play mozart with her eyes closed. it’s worse than saying that labour wasn’t so laborious. because labour doesn’t last for months. but your baby being awake in the night, every night does.

so when April finally slept past midnight, and i checked that she was still breathing…i was overjoyed, ecstatic, refreshed! a new woman! i could get out of bed at nine in the morning without feeling as though i’d been hit by a train…a train pulling emotional weepy cars, at that. all because i didn’t give in to the little squeaks that April made when she would start to wake up. i’d be up faster than a flash and whipping that soother back in her mouth faster than you can say wah! but it wasn’t easy. some nights she actually would howl (as Rob said, like a little wolf) for a few minutes before she realised her efforts were fruitless and she may as well hunker down for a few more hours of sleep. we felt cruel indeed, but it only took a few nights of adjusting for everyone.

and i wanted to tell all my mama friends that April was finally sleeping! not in a bragging sort of way, but more of a hot damn, i’ve survived the first few months of new motherhood! kind of way. and then i realised…this is not the way to make friends. and April didn’t even start sleeping through the “night” until she was three months old. i only realised this kind of sharing is not cool when i heard other moms talk of their babes sleeping through the night at three, eight or ten weeks and it made my blood boil…. weeks, you say!!!!!????? weeks?! because i don’t know how old April is in weeks anymore. she’s too many weeks for me to still be keeping track of her age in weeks. when someone says eight weeks, you can figure it out pretty fast, but when you’re getting up into the high teens…it’s time to move to months, friends. months. and yes. for months, i dragged my ass out of bed sometimes three times a night. i didn’t even know the meaning of night anymore. April would be chowing down and i’d have my head leaning back on the sofa, trying not to conk out, begging her to drink faster so that i could crawl back into bed and hopefully pass out before she wanted to eat again. sleep? you ask? what sleep?

so unless you can wave a magic wand over your friends’ babies heads’ to get them to sleep, don’t brag to them about your baby sleeping. offer advice, and hugs. but remember that every baby is different. don’t compare. and keep the rest of it to yourself.

asleep

clearly not asleep.

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Okay, Internet world. Never, Evah again will I brag about my amazing baby who sleeps through the night. Ever. Somebody decided that three times was all I was getting this week for a good night’s sleep. Someone decided to be a BABY and be up TWICE in the night. And not just the way she normally wakes up in a sweet, quiet way. No, no. This was a night of full-on wake up screaming because she was hungry rightnow. Or possibly five minutes ago, but who’s a baby mind reader at four am? Cross that strength off the resume strengths list. Can’t a person get a little sleep ’round these parts anymore? Apparently not. ps. If you haven’t seen the new TV show called “up all night” you should. It’s seriously funny. Maybe just for all the parental units out there, but still.
Hurrah to my first 4:45am blog post. Wah!

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