Aidan, Motherhood

The bugbear named Sleep

Ah, sleep. The love of my life (sorry, husband) and the bane of my life (sorry, son).

As you probably already know by now, from my uterus came forth a son who does not nap. Well, he used to, until he simply didn’t. Those days of him happily snoozing for an hour or more in the day are over. OVER. DEAD AND GONE. On good days, I can get him to go down for two or three naps of 30 minutes each. On bad days, he simply will not sleep. WILL. NOT. SLEEP. His built-in height sensor kicks in automatically and he screams bloody murder if we even attempt to put His Royal Potatoness down onto his cot.

To get him to nap, I have to resort to tricks: placing him onto my chest (which is fast losing its effectiveness), sticking the boob into his mouth (works 50 percent of the time), holding him in my arms (works for about 10 minutes), going out with him in the stroller (works until the stroller stops) and stuffing him into the Boba baby wrap and going out for a walk (WORKS! WORKS!).

I have long since given up trying to rehabilitate him, I don’t think it’s something that we can fix. And thanks to the wisdom of Moxie and her readers, I’ve learnt that some babies are just not natural nappers. Short of sleep training him, there is nothing I can do except wait it out.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a painful process. Some days, it’s frustrating and I find myself circling the little garden at our estate a gazillion times just so he can sleep for a bit more in the stroller. Or I’d be pacing the floor of the bedroom, hoping against hope that he will doze off. It takes a lot of self-preservation and positivity to ignore the crying and get a grip.

It’s hard.

And now that I am going back to work soon, I am starting to worry about how my mother will handle a wakeful baby, on top of having to take care of a rambunctious toddler. Sure, we have hired a helper to give her an additional pair of eyes and hands but it’s not going to be easy.

I can say that I wish Aidan is an easy baby when it comes to sleep but I won’t, simply because he makes me a grateful mama on so many other levels. He’s a happy baby most of the time, when he isn’t fighting naps (or the lack of) and he is chatty and fun. He’s good when out with us and has been so fantastic when it comes to nursing. And more importantly, he is HERE. He is MY son.

Perhaps we will sleep train him in future, perhaps we won’t. Right now, I am just gritting my teeth and praying that we will get through the 4-month sleep regression in one piece.

Ah, sleep.