Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sleepless in...our house.

Zoë is about at the end of a sleep strike (I think, I hope) which is good. The nice (I guess) thing about sleep strikes is that they can only last so long before they can't continue, at least from my experience. I recently (like two minutes ago) read a blog post by a friend who said that sleepless nights is a phase that simply doesn't last long, but I'd beg to differ with that because sometimes those sleepless nights last for years, not months.

That said, our older kids are pretty good sleepers. Our babies? Not so much. Zoë is no exception to the norm (Miriam, however, blessedly was).

I can't even remember when she slept and when she didn't.

Last night we went to bed around midnight, which was miraculous.

The night before we curled up together around 2 AM.

On Tuesday night we didn't sleep a wink until 6:45 AM. No matter what I did that baby would not settle down. I nursed her (several times), I rocked her, I lay down with her, I let her try to fall asleep on her own, I paced the halls. We watched a show. She pooped at some point and I changed her diaper. I took her for a walk at five o'clock in the dark, cold morning. Nothing would put this child to sleep.

So then you'd think she'd nap during the day, right? Wrong.

She and I did sleep until shortly before 11:00 (though she woke up at 8:00 to nurse...again). Andrew worked from home that morning so that I was able to nab those four hours, more or less, of sleep, otherwise I don't know what I would have done because she was pretty much finished sleeping for the day after that.

On Thursday, after sleeping for about six hours (broken, of course, into bits and pieces by nighttime nursing because I'm a pushover (I'll freely admit that)) she refused to go down for a nap until around 3:45 in the afternoon. I debated for about two minutes about whether or not I should have a nap, too, because I knew the bus was on the way home, but in the end it was kind of a no-brainer, so I left Benjamin with a show on and strict instructions about what to do when the girls got home from school. He delivered his message to the girls perfectly and when I woke up, all three of them were sitting on the couch in absolute silence finishing up another episode of Little Einsteins.

Some children don't sleep well.

I've had one of those children before—it was Rachel—and I had another one for a little sister (pogo sticking in the basement at 2 AM, Josie? C'mon) so I know it will pass...eventually. But let me tell you, it's no short-lived "phase." It lasts for years.

In my memory I think Rachel is pretty well seared into my brain as being the worst sleeper on the planet. It's possible that this was due to shell-shock. As a new mother I was unprepared for the complete derailment of my sleep schedule; to be blessed with a wide-awake cherub was the cherry on top.

Once, when Rachel was around nine months old, my neighbour Kim, who had twins about a year older than Rachel, was over visiting and she said, "Now that the girls are starting nursery I think I need to cut out their second nap but I have no idea how to do that. Any ideas?"

I stared at her and blinked a couple of times before asking, "Second nap?"

Getting one nap in sounded like a luxurious day to me. I had no idea babies were "supposed" to take two naps a day. Rachel was so afraid of missing any part of the day (and also the night) that I had trouble getting her to fall asleep ever. We had a little baby swing my aunt had given me and sometimes I would put Rachel in it and leave her there for a couple of hours and she'd swing and chatter while I three o'clock in the morning.

Zoë may or may not be as sleepless as Rachel. I can't decide because my perspective has been so drastically altered. With so many years of sleep deprivation under my belt it almost feels normal to only be grabbing a few hours of sleep here and a few hours of sleep there.

At any rate, she can only go so long without sleeping before she has to crash somewhere. And when she does, I'll be right there crashing with her.


  1. Second nap! !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hang in there, Nancy!

  2. I can remember laying in bed holding onto Josie's foot as she crawled and wiggled everywhere, but I just HAD to lay down and shut my eyes for awhile! I could not stay awake 24/7 like she could! It does eventually end--now Josie likes to sleep. And she voluntarily takes naps. So, it WILL happen. Eventually.

  3. I had a friend who went through cancer treatments when she had a small baby. She used to put a baby gate around the couch and lay down on the floor with toys and cheerios so that baby was happy. Maybe that would work! :)