Saturday, July 21, 2012

sleep/no sleep

I feel like I spend (or have spent) the vast majority of the first year of my kids' lives just trying to get them to sleep. Perhaps the only thing that takes more time is feeding them. Either he (because I've only had boys) is in a phase of eating well and not sleeping or he is sleeping well and not eating. Occasionally phases will include both eating well and sleeping well, and occasionally phases may come with neither eating nor sleeping well.

I remember Nate's 10 month sleep-and-eat-regression (otherwise known as the fussy phase leading up to Wonder Week 46) only because of photographic evidence of him trying to play in the middle of the night and written evidence in the form of a notebook I found in which we recorded all of his intake for about a month. He cut 6 teeth in 22 days while going through WW46, so not only did he want to play all night because of the new mental development, he also didn't want to eat because his mouth hurt so much.

Ben is in the middle of this now. He already cut his first set of upper teeth, but his second sets of teeth are starting to show themselves beneath the gums. He is in an eat-everything-in-sight phase, rather than refusing to eat, so that's one less problem. He is not sleeping well, though. Whether from teething pain or his active mind during this developmental phase, he wakes up or cries in his sleep several times per night.

He takes 2 naps per day. It should be a 1-hour nap in the morning and a 2-hour nap in the afternoon. However, he is so extra tired in the mornings from not sleeping well at night that he sleeps forever, then has a hard time sleeping in the afternoon, then is ready for bed early, which leads to a rough evening and another hard night.

To get him ready for nap, I change his diaper, then cuddle him with his blankie while he takes a bottle. He snuggles his face in my shirt when he's had enough milk (he never finishes the bottle), and I give him his paci. Then he pulls the blankie up to his face and waits for me to put him in bed so he can fall asleep. But lately (and this is the sweet part of a sleep regression) he is so exhausted by naptime that he falls asleep as soon as he's done with his milk. I can remember only a handful of occasions in the past 5 months that I have gotten to cuddle Ben to sleep. It's like a special treat for me!

I haven't taken a picture of him sleeping on me, but here is a still-cranky-after-nap cuddle

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