To Sleep, Perchance to Sleep, Dammit!


The Sleep Conundrum; what I’ve come to call my child’s loathing of the act of falling asleep.

For as easy as Tay has been in pretty much every other aspect of babyhood (boob, bottle, spoon, who the hell cares Woman, just feed me faster before I reach over there with my fat little grabby hands and do it myself, GIMME FOOD and your checklists and benchmarks and developmental milestones? Screw that timeline, I’ma do it all early. Sometimes months early. I pity the fool who said babies couldn’t hold their head up and look alertly around the room at 2 weeks old, been there, done that, play on playa*), the one thing that he’s been difficult with since day 3-ish is sleep.

The child hates falling asleep.
With the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.

Once he’s asleep, he’s fine and typically sleeps a good 8-9 hours through the night, but the actual process of falling asleep can be, at best, exasperating.

Napping has also become a bit of a trial lately. For the past week or two, Tay’s late morning and sometimes his afternoon nap have often only lasted 30 minutes. Which means he wakes up with enough energy to stay awake for an hour or two, usually until his next meal, but he’s cranky and fussy and clingy the entire time because he’s so tiiiired…but not tired enough to lose his battle against falling asleep.

And it sucks because when he’s had a good, solid 90 minute nap he wakes up smiling and bright eyed and full of fun. He’s a complete pleasure to be with when he’s slept well. He plays and bounces and looks at books and babbles.
But after a 30 minute crap nap he’s desperate looking and very clearly just wants to scream “please, please, just hold me because my face is going to slide off my skull and I don’t know whyyyyyyy but I hate it and noooooo sleep will not solve anything because sleep is a tool of the devil and please for the love of all that is good in this world, put that laundry down and PICK ME UP NOW!!!!

So when he starts yawning and rubbing his eyes I cradle him in my arms, give him his pacifier and thus begins the wrestling match between me and my 6 month old that eventually results in him succumbing to the demon we call slumber.
Because as soon as his eyelids get heavy, Tay arches his back and screams and cries and I hold him against me and rock him and stroke the side of his face and hum. And he calms down and his eyes slide shut and he starts to drift off…
And realizes he’s drifting and tries kicking and back-arching and rolling over and more screaming.

And so it goes, sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for 20 until he finally falls asleep enough to put him in his crib. And by enough I mean enough for him not to immediately wake up and start crying ass soon as his body hits the mattress. I try to put him down slightly awake because I know he needs to learn to fall asleep on his own, but since he struggles enough falling asleep with help, I admit, I’m pretty lax on that one. I just hope he eventually stops fighting sleep, or Piet and I are going to be in a lot of trouble when he gets old enough to get out of his bed on his own.




*yes, my little uber-white baby sometimes speaks gangsta in my head. That’s just how he rolls….
Stop looking at me, swan! (click here if you don’t get the reference cause you’re a total loser, or Belgian)


One response »

  1. That does sound tough. Hayden drifts off to sleep reasonably easily, but he has only once slept for more than eight hours (21 October, 8 hours 4 minutes).

    Have you read “Happiest Baby on the Block” or “The No-Cry Sleep Solution”? I found them quite useful.

    Sometimes, though, I just tell myself that he’ll grow out of it eventually, and then I never have to go through it again.

    Good luck for tonight.

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