Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Unexpected Slumber

Something amazing (and frankly, very confusing) has happened in babyland.  My child is ... wait for it ... SLEEPING.  

It's such a change of pace that I'm actually a bit worried about it.  Like, to the point that I just googled "Is my baby sleeping too much" and "sleeping sickness in infants."  Dr. Google was like, Ummm, babies are supposed to sleep.  Moron.

But not this baby.  Not until very recently.  For the first few months of my poor little bean's life, she was so sick and no one could figure out why.  She pretty much screamed 22.5 hours a day and slept in ten-minute intervals.  I am not kidding.  One of my friends once asked me why almost every single picture I took of Josephine was of her sleeping.  Well, probably because when she WAS sleeping it was the most exciting and magical moment.  And when she was awake, it was usually NOT something you wanted to take a picture of.

This is seriously only one-third of the sleeping pictures I took in the first three months of her life:

And this is the only way she would sleep at night ... every night ... for many moons.

When she wasn't sleeping, she looked like this:

Or this:

Although, to be fair, Gone With the Wind  made me cry too.

Eventually we learned that her agony was related to oversupply, and the healing process took some time, but soon she was spending time awake NOT SCREAMING.  So amazing.  However, she seemed pretty set in her sleep ways.  For a while Jeremy called her Einstein, because she took ten-minute naps every few hours.  While it would be fantastic to have produced a tiny genius, my precarious sanity was unraveling.  How do you convince a child it is awesome to sleep longer than ten minutes at a time?

At one of her check-ups, I let a medical student examine Josephine and ask me some questions before our pediatrician came in.  He asked if she was sleeping through the night, and when I said no, he asked about her sleeping patterns.  When I told him, he said, "Have you tried giving her a bath at 7 PM, reading her a story, and then just laying her down in her crib?  She should fall right asleep if you do that!"  Oh, how I wanted to pat that 25-year-old man's hand and say, "Aww, that's sweet.  Until you have rocked a screaming child for eight straight hours or listened to four straight hours of screaming before giving up on "cry it out," please don't give me that naive advice.  Thanks, though."  Instead, I smiled through clenched teeth and thanked him.

She fought and fought and fought sleep.  Then we would finally, mercifully, get her to sleep, and she would hear a dog fart four houses away, and bolt awake, looking around, like Something happened!  Something happened while I was sleeping, and I MISSED IT!  I must stay awake so I never miss anything EVER AGAIN!  She was just so into the new sights and sounds of the world around her that, combined with her terrible sleep training from the past, she just thought being awake was much much better than that silly sleep stuff.

Eventually she got to the point where she would fall asleep sometime around midnight, get up once or twice to eat, and then wake up at 6 AM.  Most people probably think this sounds like hell, but I was over the moon.  She has slowly been getting better and better, and her day-time naps are highly erratic, but this week?  Well, this week is insanely unprecedented.  Yesterday, she went to bed around 10 PM, got up once to eat in the night, woke up at 6 AM for a snack, 8 AM for breakfast, and then immediately went back to sleep until NOON.  Yeah.  Fourteen hours of sleep, with only a few minor interruptions.  Today she did the same thing, except she "only" slept until 11 AM.  

I seriously checked to see if she was breathing every ten minutes both mornings.  I have no idea how long this sleeping thing will last, and I know my mom will scold me for talking about it, because it will likely stop dead in its tracks tonight after my daring to write about it, but I just can't shut up about it because it is unbelievable.

And if you DO have information about some rare infant sleeping sickness that comes on at 8 months, DON'T TELL ME ABOUT.  Let me bask in this glory for a few days first.  Mmmkay?  Thanks.

Mom of a baby who SLEEPS!


  1. The only wat we could ever get my oldest to fall asleep was to drive around in the car.

    The boy is now 12 and still has sleeping problems. Still needs a nightlight too. Guess he misses the dome light.

  2. Ed -- We have resorted to that as well, but only during the day. I don't trust myself to drive aimlessly in the middle of the night. :)

  3. The only wat we could ever get my oldest to fall asleep was to drive around in the car.

    The boy is now 12 and still has sleeping problems. Still needs a nightlight too. Guess he misses the dome light.


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