Earlier this week, I was woken at 3 am to the sounds of whimpering coming from the room next door. I rolled over and reached for the baby monitor. I watched my baby lie in his crib as still as can be. I could hear the whimpering and moaning coming from next door but there was no movement to accompany it. His whimpers eventually turned into little cries. There were moments of silence. I waited and watched. He was still. Perhaps he fell back asleep. Then, little cries pierced the silence. No. No, he did not fall back asleep.
I spent the next two hours quietly rocking him in his nursery. We moved from the glider to standing and back to the glider. We swayed. We rocked. We nursed. At one point, I was pacing the floor while holding my son and patting his back. His head was gently resting on my shoulder and I began to cry. It was at this moment that I realized that I missed rocking him to sleep. I had not held him this way in months. The last time I held him this way, I was just praying it would be over soon. I felt like I couldn’t rock him anymore. I couldn’t endure the hour long nursing and rocking to sleep sessions. I was tired. I needed time to recharge. I was failing at my job. My child wasn’t able to fall asleep. My child wasn’t able to stay asleep. I couldn’t do this anymore. Ironically, here I was savoring the moment. The exact moment that only months ago I had secretly wished would end. This time, I held on to my son and cried.
Time is fleeting. It goes by so fast. I miss so many moments and opportunities because I am distracted throughout the day and tired at night. This night was different though. I cherished the opportunity to spend two hours alone with my son. I would have rocked him for another 2 hours, 2 days or 2 weeks for that matter.
The house was quiet. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. Just me and him.
Who coined that phrase? Obviously, they know diddlysquat about babies. Or at least my baby. We’ve gone weeks without sleep in my house. People, I’m talking weeks. Do you hear me? Am I making myself clear?
It’s true. It’s all true. There have been many a sleepless night in my house for the past many, many, many weeks. I don’t actually know how many weeks anymore. My ability to complete basic math computations has failed me. Trust me though….it has been weeks. You probably got that part already though, right?
So, why all the sleepless nights? It has something to do with a baby. I mean you don’t actually think I’m the one waking up in the middle of the night crying, pooping my pants or wanting to nurse did you? Nope. Not me this time. It’s my babypants. High maintenance middle of the night baby antics happening here.
What you probably didn’t know though is that not only does my babypants have all types of middle of the night shenanigans but now he has them during the day too. What kind of shenanigans you ask? The no napping anymore, at all, never ever kind. It’s like final destination except at my house there aren’t 5 sequels lined up. Just one….no sleep.
So back to the question at hand, who coined the term sleeping like a baby? What does that mean? In my house it means not sleeping. Sleeping like a husband. Sleeping like a dog. Sleeping like a cat. I would like to try one of those, please.
Yep. This is my kid. I found him on a mission in baby jail. Maybe looking for a way out. Looking for a spoon to dig his way to China. Searching for the missing teeth (more on that later). Or perhaps he just wanted some light reading from the stack of books by the baby jail. I’m not sure what the agenda was. What I am sure of though is now I have to lower the mattress. Ya know..for safety reasons and all. I’ll be sad to see the pretty crib skirt leave tonight but responsible parents ditch the cribskirt to keep the kid alive. At least that is what I read on google.
Ta Ta crib skirt. Hello lowered, impossible to put my kid to sleep in, mattress. Sweet dreams.
I don’t know what kind of voodoo was performed last night but my kid was out like a light. Dr. Karp never showed up so clearly I’ve got the magic touch. Once I figure out the magic, I’ll write a book and pass it along. You can then keep my book in your nightstand and never read it.
Anyway, my kid spent the night doing what I’ve been secretly coveting and longing for….sweet, sweet sleep. He logged 9 hours last night with one waking.
In case you had a restless night, I’m not bragging. I’m about to go and totally screw myself out of this freshly new found glorious sleep. Trust me.
Dear Dr. Karp,
My child has a serious disdain for sleep anymore. He does not enjoy the soothing lull of white noise or the incessant rocking he requires. He is over the swaddle and is a mini Houdini in training. I am quite surprised that he hasn’t learned to break out of his crib yet. Honestly. The kid is smart as a whip and clever. Anyway, the title of your book eludes me as you speak of happy babies and great sleep. All on the front cover! I have neither a happy baby nor great sleep. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb and say I have had no sleep seeing that my child is currently waking up every 60 minutes crying with the need to nurse and rock only to wake up again in 60 minutes. We spend a lot of time awake in the middle of the night when we should all be sleeping. Not too mention the small fact that he suddenly feels alert and ready to start his day at 5 am now. I don’t really have time to read your book in detail with having a demanding baby and all. It would be really helpful if you could write a cliff note version of your book for me. Better yet, perhaps you could swing by tonight around 11pm when he is just getting geared up to start the all night crying marathon. You could rock him or do whatever hocus pocus magic you have up your sleeve to put him to sleep. My husband and I would appreciate this greatly. We would like some sleep too so feel free to swaddle us in the event that we can’t fall asleep. See you soon!!
p.s. gotta run….my kid just woke up from his super refreshing 20 minute power nap.