As I mentioned last week, before I had children people told me that babies didn’t sleep. Ever. And then once I had Tom, people told me that I should “nap when he naps.” And then it has seemed that since then, people have talked to me constantly about how much their children sleep. About how they slept through the night at 3 weeks old. About how they are getting more sleep now than they were before. Seriously, a new mom told me that. And then I killed her. Because…
My child doesn’t like to go to sleep.
My child doesn’t sleep through the night.
My child doesn’t want to go back to sleep.
My child doesn’t nap.
There. I said it. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that maybe, just maybe, my child is a bad sleeper.
The reason I’ve been in denial — besides the fact that I don’t know how babies are supposed to sleep — is because sometimes he’s a great sleeper.
Sometimes he goes to bed at 7:30 p.m. and wakes up at 6 a.m. Sometimes when he wakes up once at night, it’s at midnight and then he goes right back to sleep and sleeps until 7 — which doesn’t bother me.
But lately, I’ve realized, he’s not normally like that. And lately I’ve realized that he could be sleeping better.
What I’ve really realized is that I’m finally ready for him to sleep.
I mean, of course I always wanted him to sleep through the night — who wouldn’t? But I’ve been perfectly content to get him.
Normally, he goes to sleep at 8 p.m. and sleeps for a few hours, wakes up, screams for an hour and a half, sleeps for a few more hours, wakes up at 5:30 and plays and then takes two 30 minute naps during the day and that’s it.
Sounds kind of awful, right?
But my crazy self didn’t even think this sleeping/non-sleeping pattern was bad. I thought that was normal because my almost-9-month-old is still a baby! And he’s teething. And he has stuffy noses. And I can make all sorts of excuses.
But I think that maybe he’s just not one of those babies where sleeping comes naturally to him. I’ve got to help him understand that darkness = sleeping. That crib = sleeping. That my sweet book reading and singing = sleeping. That the sound machine = sleeping. That me saying “night night” = sleeping.
All of these things mean sleeping, Tom!
I’m putting my own self to sleep, but Tom thinks all of those things are scream-able offenses.
I think I’m finally ready to start working on enforcing the sleep.
I met up with my pediatrician friend, Quyen, at the mall yesterday and she gave me advice. (The mall is the great place to get advice. It’s much better than going to a doctor’s office.) I also have a co-worker who has helped me realize that the person who needs to be ready to work on the sleep — is me.
I hit the jackpot on cuteness. And personality. And he can apparently heal himself of weird disorders.
But sleep is not his strong point.
You know who else isn’t a good sleeper?
So yeah, it’s all his fault.
Not that I’ve ever brought that up to Kevin.
At 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.
Nope, Kev’s never heard that sentence from me.