Friday, 25 October 2013

Sleep. The new S-word

Do you know what sucks? Staying up late (10pm haha!) on a work night to write a blog post about going back to work after having a baby, only to have said baby wake up at 10:30pm and then stay awake until nearly 2am.

Sleep is the real s-word in our house. Since Seb was born, sleep has been my biggest struggle. My Achilles' Heel. My kryptonite. Not that Seb was ever a particularly bad sleeper. I'm sure he's totally normal. I just had an expectation in my mind of when he should be sleeping through the night or how long he should be napping, and nothing anyone could say to me could shift that expectation.

Lately, if Seb wakes at night, it takes him quite awhile to fall back asleep on his own. If one of us goes into his room and cuddles with him, he instantly falls asleep in our arms, but when we put him in his crib, he often wakes right back up. It's a delicate process; placing a 30-pound sleeping toddler in his crib gently, like a ticking bomb. Then, if he happens to stay down, how do you get out of the room? Our house is nearly 100 years old and the floors are squeaky when you breathe on them with any amount of force. A stealthy exit is not guaranteed.

And there are the questions. What does he want? Is he hungry? Is he thirsty? Is it his teeth? Is it because he goes to daycare now? What should we do? Should we give him some Tylenol? Should we let him cry it out? If we go in, is he learning a bad habit? Is he scared? Was it a nightmare? Does he need a nightlight?

Finally, if he's had a rough night, after Seb does fall back asleep, I am so wound up it can take me another hour (or longer) to fall back asleep myself. Which is what happened on this particular night.

I read recently, "No one ever looks back and thinks 'I wish I held my baby less'." I can't find where I originally saw this quote to give them credit, but I wish I had read this earlier. Now I think of it every time I hear a little cry from down the hall in the night.


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