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.

7 thoughts on “The bugbear named Sleep”

  1. Haha, sleep will come babe, take heart. I truly never knew what a huge chunk of our first year of parenthood would be spent putting the baby to bed. But like you, during those painful, frustrating moments when you are arms are aching from rocking a growing baby and you are so absolutely SICK of pacing the damn floor, I’m just grateful that I HAVE a baby in my arms to hold. All too soon, they’ll be going to school and we’ll be BUGGING them to stop sleeping and wake up. Adults can be so confusing and so hard to please!

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  2. Ah sleep. I have been battling it for the last year or so. It’s frustrating, especially times when I have been trying to get my boy to sleep for an hour or so. I always asked myself I should have been more strict with the sleep training but I m resigned to the fact that maybe he’s just not one of those sleep angels. And he’ll only be this young once, so I just accept him for who he is and cherish these ‘sweet’ moments. Hang in there! You are not alone 🙂

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  3. I feel you 200%!

    It’ll get better, especially if you are going back to work. From experience, C naps better when I am not around. To date, she will not let me put her down for naps (cries the moment I carry her into her room near nap time). The moment dada or my helper puts her down she kisses her animals and sleeps without a squeak. I am sure Mr. A will be fine 🙂

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  4. Hi yann….Just a random question here.
    During your pregnancy, how was your weight gain like? How many kilos gained every trimester??? 🙂
    I’m in my 2nd trimester, & still having zero weight gain. Starting to get worried though…. 😦

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  5. Yi Lin: I know, I keep reminding myself that A will only want me to cuddle him this once. And truth be told, I do enjoy it most times.

    ~Y: I think our boys are similar! Sleep does not come naturally to them. And yes, one day he’s not gonna want you to put him to bed so enjoy it, I suppose?

    Jesslyn: sometimes I do think that A bullies mama! So clover is like that too? I suspect he will behave when he is with my mom or mil, that sneaky little bugger.

    Genie: Congrats!! That’s fantastic news!! Hmm in total my weight gain was under 12kg, I think. I barely gained any in my first tri, maybe one or two kilos? I was nauseous all the time and had little appetite. Don’t worry about your weight gain, a friend only gained 10kg throughout her entire pregnancy. As long as your obgyn is not concerned!

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  6. As I ready through your thoughts, I’m going yes… yes… yes… EXACTLY! My 9mo girl is exactly like how you describe your son. She started her battle with naps when she’s 6mo. She battles still at night. I don’t know how I managed to survive through the past 9 months and still am. Guess this is the power of mothers. We do anything and everything for our child.

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  7. Hi Yann,

    I happen to chance upon your blog while googling something related to baby sleep. My son is now 3 months old and has exactly the same problem as Aiden. Reading your entries regarding sleep is like reading my own story. Well, I recently started using the NAPS program described in this book http://www.pollymoore.com/. After 1 week, I must say I really see some improvement. Now my son can sometimes take 1 hr naps, which is way better than the 10min, 20min, 30min ones I had before. You might want to try it too. Good luck. And let’s persevere.

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