Imagine being tucked under your warm, cozy blanket on a breezy fall night. You have found the right position for your arm and your head. It might’ve taken a minute or two, but you eventually found it. You’re about to fall asleep, but then you hear it. You hear your baby let out the slightest cry. And then you die a little on the inside. That’s me, over here, almost every night for the past year. Cries.
Get enough sleep before the baby comes, they say. She will sleep through the night after a few months, they say. Well, they were wrong. While that may be true for some babies, it is definitely not for my one-year-old daughter. She is the cutest and best sleep killer out there. She is the worst sleeper (she doesn’t take after me in that department) and I have barely slept her first year of life.
I knew that I would not be getting full nights of sleep the first few months after my daughter was born. I have already experienced this with my first born. My son started sleeping through the night after 3 months. There were a few sleep regressions during his first year, which are perfectly normal, but he always went back to sleeping throughout the night. I assumed my daughter would do the same. No. Not even close. She has yet to master the art of sleeping. Who would have thought something so natural, vital, and beautiful would be so hard to attain? In the middle of the night, she is a little, crying energizer bunny that won’t stop waking up. Sometimes she cries, wants to play, or she just stares at me with those piercing eyes and smiles while I’m holding her. It’s as if she missed me so much and hasn’t seen me in months. It can be cute, but you know what’s not cute? The bags under my eyes.
My attitude in the morning is also not very pleasant. Sometimes, I feel sorry for my husband, God bless him. He puts up with me on my bad mornings, which are quite often. My daughter wakes up every morning repeating “Hi” from her crib. It’s one of the cutest things you will ever hear. It makes me forget that she is a night-terrorist hijacking my sleep. She wakes up happy and fresh-faced as if she slept a full eight hours. On the other hand, I wake up in a daze. I get my son ready for school with my eyes practically closed, and then I drop him off, while my eyes are still halfway shut. After I get back home, I don’t even remember how I got there. Was I asleep on the road? No. Am I a danger on the road? Quite possibly, but I always make it home safe and sound! Let’s just say that coffee and I have become very close friends this year.
“It makes me forget that she is a night-terrorist hijacking my sleep.”
I know that a lot of babies take a really long time learning how to sleep through the night, and there are methods that work for some babies that don’t necessarily work for others. It turns out my kids aren’t really that much alike. I let my son “cry it out” when he was a few months old in order to get him to start sleeping through the night. This worked with ease. It took a few days, but he eventually started snoozing on his own. I thought this method would also work with my daughter. Nope, no shot. The cries turned into screams and wails. It’s as if sleep is the most terrifying thing on the planet. My tired, aching heart couldn’t take it. My husband and I always end up picking her up, soothing her, and then the process starts over throughout the night.
A few days ago I was teased by a lovely and peaceful eight hour snoozefest. My daughter slept throughout the night. She quickly tore that night to shreds by the night after that, when she woke up three times in one hour, crushing all hope for sweet, blissful sleeps to come.
Even though my daughter doesn’t like to sleep that much, she is still a very happy and friendly baby. She’s a great eater and loves to play with her older brother. I know that she will create a healthy sleeping habit on her own time, and I have come to terms with that. My mind is put to ease when I think of the future. When she is a teenager, she will want to sleep until the afternoon.