Monday, March 3, 2008

The kid has made her decision

The kid has decided that she no longer needs to sleep. No naps, no rest periods. And certainly no need to sleep for more than an hour or so at a time at night. It appears that she believes that there is just too much going on for her to waste her time unconscious. She confided that her new mantra is "I can sleep when I'm dead."

This is challenging to me to say the least. The fact that she vehemently hates naps is something that I am trying to work on, although there are a lot of days where I just don't have it in me to fight about it. Sometimes I just let her bounce off the walls until she wears herself out. But the nighttime thing is a new phenomenon.

After about 3 hours of sleep she wakes up to eat. She drinks her bottle and goes back to sleep with little problem. But an hour later she wakes up wide-awake and ready to party.

Lila can outscream my patience in the middle of the day. There was a time where I took the advice of the so-called experts to let her cry herself back to sleep and she would do so after 5 or 10 minutes. But lately she has been on streaks or 30-45 minutes, at which point I am wide awake anyway and so I just go try to get her back to sleep.

Last night she woke up screaming. I assumed she was hungry and got her a bottle and rocked her. She took two sips and was out cold. So I eased her back into her crib. I then went back to bed. A few minutes later, she was screaming again. I assumed she was ready to have her bottle so I gave it to her and what do you know? Two sips and she was out. We did this three times. Then I decided that since she was just wanting me, I had to put her back to bed. A few nights earlier I brought her to bed with me and she thought it was play time and kicked and giggled and stuck her hands into her sleeping daddy's mouth repeatedly. That wasn't an option. And so commenced the crying.

After 30 minutes, Ben went to get her. He picked her up, tried to give her a bottle but she refused. She wanted to play. He rocked her and she realized he was trying to get her back to sleep and that was the start of the battle of wills. She cried for 30 minutes in his arms. She just did not want to sleep. We traded.

I decided that we really do need to let her learn that night time is not play time and we aren't going to reward her antics by getting up and hanging out with her. We put her in her bed. She screamed for another 45 minutes before she finally wore herself out.

I lay there thinking what a terrible mother I am for doing this to her. If she wants me shouldn't I be there? The emotional side of me says I should. But parenting is also about teaching hard lessons, and lesson one for her is "at night, mom needs some sleep or else she won't be able to deal with your daytime antics without medication and caffeine."

1 comment:

  1. Tsk tsk! Bringing baby into bed is a no-no!

    I often wonder....about babies and situations like this, "Colic" if you will. Isn't it, from a survival standpoint, dangerous for a baby to wake up in the middle of the night screaming her lungs out? It would alert predators, rival clans, even prey to your whereabouts. That's if we came from hunter-gatherer bands, which we did not. We being divine creations, one has to question: God, you're supposedly this really smart cosmic being responsible for everything that was, is, and will be, so why the fuck would you give a little lifeform the size of a sack of potatos the ability to drive the ones responsible for their life in every sense completely nuts? Thanks, God, I'll wait to hear from You before I decide on whether I should knock anyone up. Okay.

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