Friday, September 28, 2012

The Business of Bedtime

Perhaps it’s because Sully’s getting older or maybe it’s because he’s teething, but going to bed isn’t the easy laid-back routine it used to be.

I used to be able to tuck his little arm under mine, turn him to the side, pat his bum and give him a pacifier. Two minutes and he would be out! I knew in time that I would have to redo our bedtime routine, but I really enjoyed our little quiet time with him staring into my eyes as they drifted closed. I love the idea of me being the very last thing he saw at night.

There was also a period of time, at about two months of age, where Sully was nearly sleeping through the night. I say nearly because he was waking at 5:00 or 5:30 a.m., but I really think that counts. A lot of people start their day that early, although I’m not one of them!

Starting about 2 months ago, things started to go downhill. Even though we started solid foods, which should be filling his little tummy, he started to wake up more and more. (He eats about six different solid food meals, including a snack right before bed with his milk.) And suddenly, he wasn’t content to fall asleep to mommy’s rhythmic patting or even while drinking milk. How dare! In fact, he’s been downright fussy up to an hour before bedtime.

For a while I blamed it on teething. I’m sure it was the cause of his distress for a while, since two little pearly points broke through. But how long can I blame this lack of a full night’s sleep on teething? I feel like I’m making excuses. I’m not sure why I’m embarrassed about him not sleeping, as a lot of my friends have babies that don’t sleep well or kids that never slept well when they were little. I think it may have something to do with Scarlett. She was nearly the perfect baby. I can remember exactly two times where she was fussing uncontrollably and she was sleeping well through the night since about three months old.

After dealing with that perfection, people warned us that the next one was going to be a hellion. Scarlett slept well, so the next one wouldn’t sleep at all. Scarlett is gentle and polite, so Sully would be rambunctious and tiresome. A lot of our friends and family have been good-naturedly waiting for this time. That’s probably why I don’t want to admit that we’re having trouble with bed.

Going to bed isn’t really what’s driving me crazy. It’s keeping Sully asleep. Right now he often wakes at midnight to eat and then again at 3:30-4 a.m. Sometimes he wakes up a few times between them and I’m able to pat him back to sleep. BUT MOMMY NEEDS SLEEP!! I cannot function this way for much longer – sleep deprivation is truly torturous! So that’s why I’m asking for help. I’m open to pretty much anything. Please don’t hesitate to make suggestions and I’ll do an update blog in a week or two letting everyone know the results.

Thanks Dave Vrbas for the ultra-cute naked Sully shot!