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Monday, January 19, 2009

I have a dream: To one day sleep through the night

Our baby is eight months old, and he’s never slept through the night. Well, OK, once he slept 11-5, if you count that. But that was once.

Consequently, sleep deprivation has become a way of life around here. We’re so used to being bleary-eyed and foggy-headed that we don’t even notice it anymore. Daddy’s life-water is coffee, and I’ve started a nasty Diet Coke habit just to get through the day.

So this long Martin Luther King Day weekend was the kick in the butt we needed to start “sleep training.”

Part of our problem is that we’re unintentional cosleepers. Our toddler is good at sneaking into our bed in the middle of the night, and we’re just too tired to move him back to his own bed. Since the baby is breastfeeding, it’s easy to put him in bed and nurse him on-and-off throughout the night.

But with the four of us packed like sardines, no one is getting much sleep. Our toddler is a kicker. Dad snores (even though he denies it). The baby alternately cries, nurses and falls asleep. And every time the little guy stirs or twitches, I pop right awake, terrified he’s going to nose-dive off the bed.

Basically, the cosleeping arrangement ain’t workin’.

So we’ve started Operation Sleep in Our Own Beds. (To be followed by Operation Stop Nursing at Night and Operation Put Baby to Bed Awake.)

Here’s a recap of our past few nights:

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Swaddle the baby. Nurse the baby. Rock the baby. Jiggle the baby. Hush the baby. Walk the baby. Delicately put the baby in crib. Back away slowly.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Re-swaddle the baby. Pop in his nuk. Pat the baby’s back. Rub the baby’s tummy. Hover over crib. Wait. Wait. Slowly back away.

Tiptoe into hall.

“MOM! I need some water!” or “MOM! Cuddle with me!” yells the toddler.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


Urg. Now, where’s my Diet Coke again?

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