A funny thing happens when moms start talking about sleep. Actually a couple of things. Either moms throw up their hands in the air in the spirit of commiseration and sigh that their babies don’t sleep either and offer you wine and Ambien or they offer advice on how to get your child to sleep.
Neither response is incorrect.
(Though the offer of wine is almost always completely correct. And Ambien, too.)
I looked at all of your suggestions, nodding my head as I read them, because we’re doing that. Nearly all of it.
Joshua’s a helper, but there’s only so much I can send him to fetch when I don’t really need much.
He also gets to play with the iPhone and the TV is almost always on here, so I do start a new show or let him know it’s okay to play a game when I need to go take care of Emma.
Dan’s hours should change soon and he should be able to be home a little earlier. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus in your manger.
Co-sleeping isn’t really the problem as it’s virtually the only way I’m even functioning. Seriously, giving Emma the boob while I snooze is way, way too easy for my lazy self.
So I felt a little defeated after reading the comments and thinking “I’m doing this, but WHY doesn’t my kid SLEEP?”
And then I realized what the problem was with the suggestions I was getting.
In a word, nothing.
But I, however, had been unclear about what, exactly, we’re having the most trouble with. While momming both of them is hard, it’s not the part that’s giving us the most trouble right now.
That’s this whole rolling-over-swaddled-Hulk-Smash thing that keeps happening.
Emma’s got a lot of developing happening right now and THAT is what’s jacking with her sleep. And that’s what I don’t know how to help her with.
She’ll go down pretty easily almost every night. I bathe her (or give her a baby massage in place of a bath some nights), put her in her jammies, swaddle her, turn on the white noise, and then nurse her to sleep. I put her in the co-sleeper and leave the bedroom. Sometimes we’re back in there in 45 minutes. Sometimes it’s a couple of hours. But almost every time, she’s flipped over onto her stomach and Hulk Smashed her way out of the swaddle.
She’s on her hands and knees, or in a baby Downward Dog, and completely pissed off at the Universe. It’s like she gets in that position and then can’t figure out what to do or how to get out of that position.
But she won’t sleep if she’s not swaddled.
So we re-swaddle her and the cycle starts all over again.
I’ve tried putting her down unswaddled and patting her butt when she flips onto her stomach. As soon as I stop patting, sometimes even before then, she’s got her butt in the air and she’s starting to scream.
It’s like she has a spring in her butt that flips her over any time she’s laid down on her back.
I don’t know how to wean her from the swaddle. And I truly don’t think I can until she’s mastered this crawling and sitting thing.
Luckily (or unluckily, depending) Dr. Karp agrees with me.
We’ve got white noise going as loud as a shower, maybe even slightly louder. She’s swaddled. Tightly. And at some point almost every night, she ends up in the swing, which usually affords me a decent stretch of sleep. (Like last Thursday night when I got a full five hours–the longest stretch of sleep I’ve had since New York!!!!–and felt ahmayzing!)
But until she gets over this hump and realizes that crawling is just a way to terrorize her brother but not the end-all-be-all of the world, we’re stuck in a holding pattern.
So, I reserve the right to keep complaining about the lack of sleep in my life and revisit this topic once she’s moving.
Until then, send coffee.