Why Questions at Naptime

Why is it that he can sleep through our landscaper (and I realize when I say that I sound high-falootin’ but all I mean is “the dude who mows the lawn in our complex”) mowing directly outside his window, but me sneezing somehow wakes him up? Seriously. 

We’ve been having some sleep woes these days, both night time and nap time, and the short term solution appears to be “bring baby to bed with us”. 

Here’s the thing:

We co-slept that first month, when all Kale did was lie there like a bump on a log. Then we transitioned him to a bassinet beside us, and when he wouldn’t settle, he’d come back to bed. Then the bassinet moved to his room, then he napped in his crib, then he started sleeping in his crib. The whole transitional process took, like, 5 months. I felt it was successful.

I don’t want him in our bed (although I confess I do likesnuggling with him) because frankly, I sleep like crap and wake up stiff and sore from being convoluted in some awkward angle. And when you are chasing after an incredibly fast and busy small boy having back pain just doesn’t make it easier to grab him before he reaches the dog food. 

So now we’ve been at the point of him sleeping in his crib for, I dunno, about three months, I guess. And the solution whenever he wakes in the middle of the night and is fed and then refuses to settle and sleep in his crib is to bring him back to bed. It’s too challenging at 2:00AM for me to spend hours trying to shush and console him. We tried having Ross be the putter-back-to-bed and while it worked for a while, it stopped working and now inevitably, after his middle of the night feeding, he comes to bed with us and wakes with us in the morning and now we are back to the adults having crappy sleep.

I don’t want this to be the long term solution. But I can’t wrap my head around anything else right now. I won’t attempt Cry It Out – while I know there are people who believe this is child abuse, (and I do not agree that it is) for me it’s simply too… draining. For both parties. So I won’t go down that route, although more and more I struggle with this internal little argument that says “Why not?” when it’s 3:00AM and we’ve been trying to get Mr. Man to sleep for an hour. Like I said to Ross at 3:17AM the other night, “this is stupid.” Because it is!

All these babies who angelically sleep through the night are frustrating me too. It’s hard to keep a cheery smile on my face the older Kale gets when people ask “is he sleeping through the night yet?” and provide my usual answer of  “no, of course not! He’s only 9 months!” Because in my mind I am actually thinking “No, dammit, and please stop asking before I stuff this rattly monkey in your cakehole.” 

We have been blessed with a baby who is a good eater, a cheerful and smily little face who is inquisitive and happy almost 99% of the time. But we have also been given (I won’t say “cursed”) a baby who is difficult to get to sleep, who doesn’t like to stay asleep, and who challenges me at hours of the night where my brain, I swear, is considerably slower and is incapable of hatching and executing plans. 

I say all of this because today I am tired. I feel like I ran a marathon in my sleep and even getting Kale down for his first nap (which of course, came early since he too is tired from the tossing and the turning) was a challenge filled with me having to go back and sort him out FOUR times before he finally succumbed to the sleep he needs. 

I realize he is likely going through the 9 month sleep regression that apparently all babies go through as they develop in leaps and bounds, but even my usual serenity now platitude I tell myself  – “this too shall pass” – is annoying me. 

Tips? And please don’t suggest I Cry it Out, and please don’t suggest I just accept the co-sleeping. The co-sleeping is an adhesive bandage but all it does it make me Crotchety Crankypants. Neither path are preferred. I need something creative, in the middle. 

(And yes, I realize the true solution is “ride it out”.)

13 years ago


  1. Try a sidecar. Put the crib beside your bed, he will roll away once asleep and you will get much better sleep because you have the space. I actually miss the cuddles I used to get when he could only go so far as the end of the bed. It can be transitioned out of later since he is still technically in the crib.

    James was also the perfect baby except he woke every hour or two for months and months and months and months. And before that is was 3 or 4 hours. So, it was bad. We co-slept for the most part, though there were many a time he was in his crib for the first part of the night. He is 12 months and we started it about two months ago maybe.

  2. I like Skye’s idea– we have the co-sleeper but Caden never is in it- it holds stuffies/toys and of course the cat.
    Ever consider a king sized bed? Where does Mooki sleep?
    Kale is telling you what he needs, it’s hard to figure out how to match your desires (a good nites sleep) with his needs (feeling secure and safe by being next to momma). Maybe if you can think of it in that way (What are some other ways in which I meet his need to be close at nite) instead of How can I get sleep… What I mean is, once his needs are being met (somehow- I’m not saying Must Co-sleep– just must meet need) then you should start getting your desires met.
    Hmm… I guess this comment doesn’t help much after all. 🙁

  3. What if you tried swaddling and a fan in his room?
    We have the fan pretty close to Aidan but pointed away from him. I also took the mattress pad from the bassinet and a head support pillow and it sort of swaddles him around his waste (http://www.kiddopotamus.com/p_crad.php). I figure it makes him feel less exposed and more cozy like in the bassinet.

    He has become more and more difficult to get to sleep, but he is eating a lot more and teething like crazy. I am just assuming we will be going through the same stuff as you guys.

    I hear you about the back pain, I’m in the same boat. I’m sleeping with a neck pillow between my legs and that seems to help my back. I try feeding him and putting him back in the crib, but some nights, most nights I’m just way too tired to move. If he’s still in the bed in the morning and Michael has gotten up, I move him over to Michael’s spot to sleep so at least I get some morning comfortable sleep.

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