Sleep. Never gonna get it.
“It’s your turn.”
“I was just up at 2.”
“Well I was up at 3:12. Clearly, it’s YOUR TURN!”
My husband and I have this argument on a nightly basis. Or, I guess it would be early morning.
Maverick is 4 months old and he’s been on a sleep strike for 3 weeks, with one Christmas miracle in between (he slept for like 7 hours straight on Christmas night. Whaaaaaa? I’ll take it).
I miss sleep. My husband misses sleep.
I’ve come to realize I do unreasonable things when I don’t get enough sleep.
I do things like buy sleep sacks named Zipadee-Zip. Shark Tank bought into it, it’s gotta work. Let me tell you, it ain’t all rainbows and sleepy unicorns with my zippy. I’ve found the key to the zippy is to put baby down very much asleep, and never awake. Never, ever awake. Self-soothing is not your friend with the zippy. At least not with my child. All he likes to do with this thing is look like a starfish. That and suck on the material over the hands. Probably because that’s what 4-month-olds like to do. They like to suck on their hands (or the material that covers their hands). That’s cool and everything, if he’d just put himself back to sleep after he gets the zippy hands disgustingly wet.
But, nope, after he’s done sucking on his hands, he just gets mad and starts hitting himself in the face. Probably because that thing called the moro reflex is still a real thing. I thought that would be gone by now. Sigh.
After two failed attempts. Maybe three. Who knows how many, I just know I tried really hard. I wanted to like it. Okay, I wanted to like THEM. I bought two Zipadee-Zips. It was the best deal. Two zippies and a cute onesie, all for the low price of $59.95. Yes, indeed, I’ll buy me some sleep. Now, since the zippy didn’t work, I wish they would have had a free hotline to go along with your purchase. Or at least a “things will get better, just keep pushing through” line.
So, now, the zippy was out.
The next unreasonable (that seemed totally reasonable at the time) thing I tried was only allowing myself to follow a strict bedtime routine… I would hold the baby with my left arm, while feeding him a semi-warm bottle and patting his butt and humming to the tune of Silent Night.
That didn’t work, either. The humming kept him awake.
So, I thought I’d outsmart him and close my eyes. If I can’t see the baby, the baby can’t see me. That may have been the best idea yet. We both fell asleep. VICTORY! But shortly after I startled awake, probably because I almost dropped the tiny human cradled in my arms. I tried to put him back in his crib, carefully, very, very carefully. But, he woke up. Again.
The strict bedtime routine was now out.
Then I thought, why not take this opportunity to get him transitioned out of the swaddle during this horrible, no good, non-sleeping time. I’m not sleeping. He’s not sleeping. Let’s make it worse. Let’s let his little arms flail about and hit him in the face, without any material or resistance (at least the zippy had a little of both. Totally worth $59.95).
Quickly the no swaddle was out the window, too.
Back in the swaddle, he went. Both arms in. Because it made me feel secure. It brought me back to those lovely newborn nights that he would sleep 4-5 hours straight. The swaddle made me feel like the night would be a success. It had to be a success. He’s all bundled up in his sleep sack with his arms velcroed to his sides. If he can’t move, then surely he’ll stay there, sleeping. Peacefully.
Some nights he would surprise us and sleep a 4-5 hour stretch, playing with our sleep-deprived emotions. Maybe he’ll keep doing that, we think. Yes! We will sleep again! Then an hour later he’s crying, begging for food. And then 1-2 hours later, he’s up again. And then again. We’re never gonna sleep again. Siiiiiiigh.
All the books say this is the dreaded 4-month sleep regression and nothing you do will make it better. Great. Perfect. I love a good excuse for my baby not sleeping. I’ll take it. Preston doesn’t buy it.
But, now, I’m afraid if I call it the 4-month sleep regression and he’s still not sleeping at 9 months, it’ll be my fault. And, if it’s my fault, that means it’s not the 4-month sleep regression’s fault.
Maybe I should just go ahead and blame myself. After all, I didn’t let my poor mom sleep for 18 months after I was born. 18 months! That’s a long time.
Sweet Maverick, I’m giving you 14 more months of waking me in the night and that’s it. Not a day more.
Until then, I’m keeping score and I’m pretty sure it was just my turn. At 3:12 am.