A nap, a nap, my kingdom for a nap
Although in my current sleepless state it feels like a zillion years ago, it was only early January when I first attempted to night ween Baby Evan. It went pretty well. Not great, but well enough that I was optimistic that things would only get better from there. I was prepared for set backs during new developmental phases but was super relieved I wouldn’t have to go through angry, stressful, cry-it-out sleep training every couple of months. I was not prepared for a baby who forgot absolutely everything about sleep and how to do it.
First we had the horrible vomiting puking disease that made everyone exhausted for 24 hours and then ravenously hungry for a week. No matter how many times we nursed during the day, Baby Evan woke up every 2 hours crying. Between my own exhaustion from the flu and my fear he might be dehydrated I was in no position to wean anyone, so back to night feedings we went.
Then one of his lower incisors started coming in and the paaaaaaaaain was aaaaaaawful. Teething is one of those “developmental milestones” that almost always disrupts sleep routines everything. My happy smiley baby was cranky and angry and spent many an hour wailing and gnashing his teeth gums. The only time he felt better was while he was nursing. So how could I say no?
Now we have almost no schedule. The baby wakes up for two or three feedings between 10 pm and 7 am. Mornings can start any time between 5:30 and 7:30 with no rhyme or reason. Although bedtime is still supposed to happen at 7 every night, when Baby Evan is still chasing the cat, rolling on the dog and throwing every toy he owns on the floor at 6:55 he’s clearly not tired yet so we push it back. Then there’s the mysterious screaming and thrashing that happens 40 minutes after E puts a full-stomached, sound asleep baby in his crib with his blankey. And don’t even get me started on naps. We’re down to one a day – sometimes for 30 minutes, sometimes for 3 hours. I can’t even remember the last time I took a nap but I’m pretty sure it was before Christmas. Or maybe before I gave birth. It feels like it was before Y2K. Or maybe before the invention of electricity. So I would really like to take one some time soon.
The only reason I’m not back to the same angry, miserable person I was the last time we tried sleep weaning is that E has really stepped up. He’s still doing all rocking at bedtimes and every nap when he’s home. He handled the mysterious screaming fit at 8:45 last night and rocked the baby back to sleep after I fed him at 11 pm the night before. And on Sunday mornings I get to sleep in as long as I want until it’s time for church. He understand that one morning a week where I get to pee and brush my teeth without a child hanging off my knees is vital to my sanity and good for our marriage. It also helps that Baby Evan is at a really good age – able to entertain himself for a good chunk of time (when he feels like it) and fun to play with when he needs someone to interact with. I also get mini-breaks during the various playgroups, classes and activities we attend at Papoose because my social butterfly spends the whole time climbing into other mama’s laps. Thank God he’s cute enough no one seems to mind.
I think I’ll probably try the night weaning again in a few weeks but it doesn’t really seem worth it right now. I’m tired but not incredibly exhausted, frustrated but not overly so, and I fear the other incisor is about to make an appearance so it might be hopeless anyway. I think my only hope for night-weaning is ACTUAL weaning, which is so far in the future I’d need a crystal ball to see it. And since my psychic abilities aren’t all that great (but really, who saw that Tiger Woods thing coming? What kind of rich, powerful, famous dude cheats on his wife?!) for now I’m just going to go rest my eyes for a minute.