The baby is finally down for a nap, after an hour of rocking and singing (interrupted with a shower for me, because all the rocking and singing was getting ridiculous.)
When Jackson was first born he slept in a pack and play next to my side of the bed. Well, he was supposed to sleep there. A lot of nights he slept on my chest or in between us. I can't really remember why we couldn't get him to sleep in the pack and play... But then Phillip started insisting on making a bigger effort to get him to sleep in the pack and play. (Sad for me. I loved cosleeping!) One night, maybe when he was a month and a half old? Phillip put him to bed in the crib and it was the weirdest thing. Our baby was sleeping in his own bed in his own room! As for naps, up until he was maybe two and a half or three months, Jackson slept wherever we could get him to sleep. He had no discernible schedule, as far as I could tell, so he slept in his grandmothers' arms, in the travel box on our coffee table, in my bed, on the couch with pillows stacked all around him.
Now Jackson sleeps in his crib. Depending on when he last eats (anywhere from six to nine) we usually get him down around nine, ten at the latest. In the last couple of weeks it's become amazingly easier to get him to fall asleep and stay asleep when we put him in his bed. I used to have to stand over his crib for 15 minutes with my hand on his chest, willing him to sleep deeply enough that he wouldn't miss me when I tip toed out of the room. But now we usually rock him a little, sing to him and then oh so gently lay him down. He usually has one night waking, anywhere between midnight and three, and Phillip, my knight in shining pajamas, does this feeding. (Can we get a big round of applause for my husband? Maybe a MacBook gift certificate? Anyone?) And most of the time Jackson wakes up between five and six (one time he slept till eight, oh my God was that a marvelous morning.) I get up to feed him in his room and I always bring him back to bed with me. I have a much better chance of getting another hour of sleep if he's in bed with us, plus, if he wakes up, Phillip will hear him and play with him. (Does anyone else have a husband who cannot hear the baby monitor, even on the highest setting? Maybe you can keep that MacBook discount.)
Napping is easier too, now that he's older. He usually takes his first nap about two hours after he wakes up, his second some time around lunchtime and occasionally he'll sleep again in the afternoon. On a normal day I'll get hour-long naps out of him.
Those are the good days. I can take a shower, I can clean up the kitchen, I can start some laundry and read some blogs. Then there are the days where the boy refuses to sleep, even if he is so obviously exhausted, and I am tempted to put him in a cardboard box on the sidewalk with a a sign that says FREE TO A GOOD HOME.
I feel sort of rotten saying that, because I am blessed with an Easy Baby. He has never ever cried for hours on end- I don't think he's even cried for minutes on end. He'll fuss when he's tired or hungry, but we can almost always figure out what he needs and then he turns back into his cheerful laid back self. (Thank you God for giving my baby my husband's disposition rather than mine. Bring back the MacBook!) And because we know we have a generally happy and healthy baby, we've decided to quit analyzing the sleep thing. We're okay, he's okay, he'll sleep when he sleeps.
But yesterday I was considering swallowing the entire jug of bleach. Jack would not go down for his morning nap. WOULD NOT. He wouldn't cry or anything, he just wouldn't melt into that sleeping mode. Fine, I said. I put him down on his playmat. I strapped him into the bouncy seat while I took a shower. I put him in the Moby and that's when the yawns started. Big "I'm so tired, put me to bed!" yawns.
Except when I put him to bed, he woke up ten minutes later. Again, no crying, just a little fussing. I'd go back into his room, rock him, put him down and bam. Ten minutes later I'm back doing the same thing. Finally I put him down on my bed (why does he sleep better on my bed?) and I got, oh, twenty minutes.
Afternoon nap: same thing. I almost started to feel sorry for him. It was like he was trying so hard to sleep- it would only take seconds to rock him back to sleep- that I felt Moxie and her sleep regression theories must be right. There must be so much going on in that gigantic head of his that he can't shut it down. The nasty part of me is glad to see some of you are suffering as well. Poor baby. I've been super interested in Tara's sleep posts and Maureen's about crying it out (as if by accident!)
He's waking up again... It's been ten minutes exactly.
Yesterday made me think a lot about how awesome this summer has been with my new baby, and how less awesome it might have been had Jackson been a High Maintenance Baby. Would I be loving motherhood just as much if Jack was making me crazy every day? If he never ever went to sleep? Can I even complain when I have a friend who's said she hated her life when her daughter was Jackson's age? Even when my baby is at his fussiest and least willing to sleep, he's still not bawling my ears off or voicing his displeasure to the entire neighborhood. He's just fussy until I pick him up.
And yet, the bleach, it was calling my name.