Monday, April 22, 2013

Just a little more sleep

I know it was my fault.
I was laying in bed thinking about my friend who recently had a baby. I told myself that I needed to journal about what it was like to have a newborn because I am starting to forget.
Now that we have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, things are different than they were, well, 2 years ago. They eat solid food, they can tell me what they want or need (although they don’t make the distinction), they are not wearing diapers (except at night), and they play together without my supervision without killing each other (most of the time). And, my children now usually sleep through the night.

Well, sure enough, about 20 minutes after I said those fateful words, my daughter started crying. So, I went in to soothe her and get her tucked back in. I was back in my bed for about 20 minutes – you know, long enough to just be starting to fall back to sleep – when she started crying again. And coughing. Ugg. My husband fled the room in hopes of getting some sleep in a quieter part of the house. So I brought M&M into bed with me. I thought that if she could sleep with me that she would be so comfortable that she would sleep soundly. That didn’t happen. I was constantly being kicked, rolled on, nudged over, and then there was the coughing and snoring. She is only 2 years old, how can she make so much noise?!? So I don’t think I really got any decent sleep all night. I now totally remember what it was like to have a newborn. Thank you very much; I’d rather forget.

With babies back-to-back, it was about 3 years of little to no sleep. That is something the books don’t tell you. They like to lure you in with the promise/hope that your baby will sleep through the night by 6-8 weeks old. I read that even if you have a ‘needy’ child he should be sleeping through the night by 10 weeks. Well, I either did something wrong (I tried everything), or the books are wrong (I have met more families with similar scenarios to ours than those with good sleepers), or my expectations were wrong (8 weeks, really???) because my children didn’t sleep through the night until over 14 months old. That is MONTHS not weeks. And it is still not a guarantee that they will sleep all night. Every night we talk (plead, beg, lay-down-the-law) to our daughter about staying asleep all night. We even got a clock, which changes color in the morning when they can get out of bed. It helps. I can often hear her wake up, but she doesn’t usually cry anymore, she just stays in bed until the clock turns green.

I’m glad for this new phase of life. A life with a little more sleep. I didn’t say a lot more sleep, I know that is not likely to happen. Just a little more...