Sweet Dreams


One of my very first blog posts, as a parent, was about my “Newborn Vampire” and how he had his days and nights mixed up. That was on my old blog and I’ve never figured out how to move the posts here.  This one started a few months later, and focused a lot on Little Man’s helmet journey and my mixed up emotions. Heck, it still focuses on my mixed up emotions!

Anyway, I’m talking about sleep because it’s a precious thing. I’ve driven around for an hour to keep Little Man napping–if he fell asleep in the car. Though I never drove anywhere to get him to fall asleep like some of my mom friends have. Thankfully I never felt that desperate.  At the beginning, Little Man was a terrible sleeper–particularly during the day. The only place he’d sleep was ON ME or in his infant carrier. The latter contributed to his brachycephaly.

Somewhere around 3 months of age, he slept through the night (STTN).  It was short-lived. And from 3-6 months, his sleep was erratic. Some nights he’d sleep from 10 pm (his initial bedtime) to around 5 am, then take a bottle and go back to sleep for 2 hours. Other nights he’d sleep from 10-2 and then from 3-6 and nap several times during the day. There was a dark period–from 6 to 9 months, where he was just a rotten sleeper. I blame that on teeth (got the first 2 just before/at 6 months and the second 2 around 9 months).  Thankfully, at 9 months, he began sleeping on his tummy. Once he did that, STTN was common and no longer infrequent. His bedtime was (and still is) at 8-8:30 and he usually sleeps until 6:30 am. So his average is 10 hours of sleep per night–I wish I could have 8!

Naps, however, took longer to get on track.  As I said, initially he’d only sleep in his infant carrier or ON me–until about 5/6 months when he got too heavy, I was fine with him sleeping in my Baby K’tan Carrier. He’d also sleep pretty well in his travel swing (once he had the DOC Band, I didn’t worry about that). But he never slept in a Pack-n-Play and that caused some issues, as it was his “nap place” at my office until he was 9 months old.

At that time, my in-laws moved and I got the crib they had for the grandkids. Little Man would sleep there–but only after I had rocked him to sleep and transferred him to the crib. And the naps were short. Both weren’t more than 45 minutes most days. And he’d almost always fall asleep in the car, on the way home, for about 20 minutes.

Finally at 11 months of age, I decided that enough was enough! I needed him to nap! So I let him cry it out (CIO) for naps. No Ferber checks. Just crying. The first day he wailed for about 30 minutes but eventually slept (sniffling in his sleep) for close to 2 hours). The second day was worse. But by day 3, he was napping within 10 minutes of being put in his crib. And until last February, when he turned 18 months, he took his first nap at home (at around 9 am, and I’d be at work by 11) and his second nap at the office, at around 1:30 pm.  Both naps were about 1-1.5 hours long.

Since he was 18 months old, he’s been on a “schedule” of sorts. One nap per day. The nap usually begins at 12:30 after his lunch.  He’ll sleep anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours, with 2 being the average until recently. Lately it’s been 2.5 to 3 hours. But if he sleeps too long he’s crabby.  But I think he is happier at night after his 3 hour nap. I know I can get much more done while he’s sleeping. And, when I’m home, I’ll nap too.  My husband doesn’t understand–he’s not a good napper. But I love naps and will nap whenever I can, especially while Little Man still does.

I’ll miss the days of napping when he eventually drops them.  I hope it’s not for a while. While it does limit my afternoon activities, I like naps.

Last Tuesday after Little Man’s follow-up visit at the burn unit (did fabulously and is healing nicely and does not need to go back) we headed up to Newport, Rhode Island for our first family vacation to celebrate my 40th birthday.  Dude’s car was jam-packed with suitcases, baby gear, etc. It is NOT easy to travel with a baby in a Volkswagen Jetta!

But the trip was fun.  Rhode Island was the only state on the East Coast that I had not been to, so that’s why we chose it. The weather was GORGEOUS. Sunny and in the 70’s for much of our trip. Very rare for the first week of April. Heck, it’s even snowed on my birthday in the past. But not this year. Yay for me.

Little Man did very well on the trip. He slept in the car for most of the drive and was fine when he was awake.  The main issue we had was sleeping at night—and it’s continued since our return.  The hotels provide a “port-a-crib” (a pack-n-play/playard) and Little Man does NOT sleep well in them.  But we managed to put him down each night but then he’d wake up SCREAMING and would not go back to sleep. Finally, out of exhaustion, I put him in bed between Dude and I.  That happened each night.

Of course when we got home on Saturday night, he would not sleep.

Dude, out of frustration, said to me: “That’s what you get for letting a baby sleep with you!”

I sobbed. I was so hurt and upset and tired.  I didn’t know what to do and letting Little Man sleep with us allowed ME to sleep for a bit. I cannot function without at least SOME sleep.

The last 3 nights have not been much better.  He keeps waking and it’s not easy to get him back down. I’m not sure if it’s the travel, teething or if he’s having nightmares from being burned. But what I do know is that I’m seriously tired and am getting worried about commuting to work now. I’m finding it hard to stay awake in the afternoon.

But, overall, we had a fun vacation and I’m so glad we went away.  Little Man was just so good and friendly at all the restaurants—he charmed everyone he met. And he loved the fish and the sea lions at the Mystic Aquarium—we stayed in Mystic on Friday night, yet another place I hadn’t been.  Plus he adored swimming in the hotel pool in Newport. I can’t wait to start swim lessons with him.

Here’s the one and only family photo from our trip (there are pics of Dude with Little Man and me with him, but just the one of the 3 of us) that was taken at night by the lighthouse on Goat Island, where we stayed. Self-timers are great things!

Last night, around 2:00 am, Little Man was crying in his sleep because he couldn’t find his pacifier (we call it a noonie because that’s what Dude called his as a baby). He generally feels around in his crib and then pops it in his mouth and falls back into a deep sleep.  I often hear him whimpering and watch this on the video monitor.

But last night he couldn’t find it and so I went into his room and moved him (he’d rolled on top of it) to put it in his mouth. But when I moved him, I felt that he was sopping wet. He’d peed through his diaper, pajamas and sleep sack.

The dilemma!

He was ASLEEP. But I couldn’t let him sleep in soaking wet clothes (sheets were dry, peed up front). So I tried to change Little Man in his sleep without waking him.

No go! He woke up SCREAMING!

He wailed throughout the diaper change as I fumbled in the dark, only lit by a night light. Then he sniffled and snuffled for about 15 minutes as I rocked him back to sleep in the glider.

I went back into my bedroom and Dude was like “what was that all about?” When I told him he’d peed through he was like well you had to change him and we both went back to sleep.

Little Man kvetched again at 5:45 am, but I easily popped in his pacifier and then he slept until nearly 7.  I changed him, gave him his bottle and he was rubbing his eyes. He was still tired. So I put him back in his crib but he was having none of that this morning! He just wanted to be HELD! So I rocked with him in the glider for about a half hour. I thought, how often in life will he want me like this? So I held him and he’s sleeping again and now I’ll get my day started.

And he’s teething, no less.  Top right center tooth and two more bottom teeth (that I can see). Haven’t poked out of the gums yet… but soon!

So on top of the teething, Little Man also has a cold (unless the congestion/coughing is teething related). That meant I was up nearly every hour last night. 10:30 pm. 11:30 pm. 12:30 am. 1 am. (only 1/2 hour then). 2 am (even Dude woke up).

Then he gave me a 2 hour stretch and the 4 am cry only lasted a few seconds and he fell back to sleep. Another cry at 5 am. At 6 am I woke up to go to the bathroom and my DH to get ready for work (earlier than usual due to the snow). Little Man  woke up at 6:30, as usual, because he was hungry.

I’m SUPPOSED to go to Cranial Technologies at 10:30 for his helmet adjustment and digital image scan for helmet #2. I’m barely functional right now—yet online, go figure—and am waiting for him to fall back to sleep (he’s signing, a sure sign of impending sleep) so I can shower.

I truly feel for all you mamas who deal with this on a daily basis. I got so spoiled by the STTN. I’m shaky from the lack of sleep.

For two hours this afternoon/evening. I can hardly believe it!

I tried to nap myself, but was unable to fall asleep. I hate when that happens—and it happens quite often. I think if I were able to fall asleep easier, I’d be more rested since Little Man does sleep in 4-5 hour stretches at night.

Now I just don’t know if I should wake him up to feed him so he’ll sleep tonight or if I should let him sleep so when Dude gets home from work we can eat our dinner in peace.

I’ll probably let him sleep even if it means I’ll be up all night (and with work tomorrow that will SUCK) because I’d like to eat dinner with both my hands. But figuring this stuff out is not easy. On my last post, Debbie said we analyze ourselves away from what is instinctive. My instincts say: Let Little Man sleep. So I will.