Saturday, February 14, 2009

Babies can sleep with their eyes open, right?

This post will be boring and totally devoid of any pictures. It probably won’t even be well-written, coherent or interesting to anyone else but me in the slightest. But, it will be good for me to look back on someday when I’m wearing my rose-colored glasses about the early years of Little S.

Naptime continues to be a bear, and it’s just getting worse. Last week I spent three hours one afternoon trying to get her to take a nap, to no avail. Today two hours. It’s not that she’s not tired, it’s that she just won’t make the leap to closing her eyes even a little.

It doesn’t help that I created an addict. I was all proud of running and snowshoeing and even snowboarding for much of my pregnancy; well, now Little S needs motion to get to sleep. When she was smaller, it wasn’t a problem, but these last two days have nearly killed me.

Yesterday I spent the day lifting thousands of cases of Girl Scout Cookies, many of them over my head, in a warehouse. Little S spent the day not napping after getting up early so I could get to the warehouse early. So, I knew she was tired and it would be a battle to get her to sleep. I know I’ve caused it myself, but the only way to get her to sleep is jiggling and bouncing and rocking her in my arms. After about 10 minutes of the sleep dance, everything on me was tired and hurt, so I tried to lay her down and get her to sleep.  Nope! After 45 minutes of basically swaddling her with my body, I finally got her to sleep. And that was a good night.

Today she had very short naps and her schedule was a little off from normal. I tried an early nap and she was having none of it, so I put her down again at 3:00, the time Big S puts her down. After a half hour, I thought we were there. Then SPRING! Her eyes open up and it’s time to play. I spend another half hour rocking, bouncing, jiggling, crying, begging, pleading, walking, anything I can to no avail. She’ll lay there very quietly; calm and relaxed, but those beautiful blue eyes just stare, unblinkingly. I’m so frustrated at myself for not having nipped this in the bud months ago, and my arms are hurting so badly that I decide “Cry It Out” doesn’t stress me at all and that’s where she’s headed. I have been reading a good book on babies and naps that points out babies used to sleeping in arms and co-sleeping like to have a cozy little nest, instead of a big open crib. So, I create a little nest using the co-sleeper nest we got a while ago and the super fuzzy, faux-fur blanket that my friend Sunny made us. Usually cry it out for Little S means standing at the end of the crib screaming for at least an hour with no sign of wanting to nap. Today I had planned to just keep laying her down. So, I swaddle her up and put her in the little nest and start shushing and patting her, and wait! The crib mattress is bouncy. Putting a little pressure on the nest make it bounce quite a bit! Hmmmmmm…. While I spent another 20 minutes bouncing her without success, I was closer than I had been the previous half-hour. I finally give up though and let her play while I mix a drink. After any hope of doing anything today was pretty well shot, it’s the least I could do for my sanity.

But, I did formulate a little plan. Between my discovery today and the nap book, I think I have a way to get her napping in the crib and maybe, just maybe, moving her away from needing to give me a cardio and strength workout every time she needs to sleep. While I will miss that, it would be nice to not have to subsist on cheese and crackers, chips and salsa and mozzarella cheese sticks and instead have a real meal occasionally. So, I’ll give little updates on her progress, and will get back to posts with gratuitous photos again soon. Why no post about Valentine’s Day? Ha. That went out the window on the second hour of no naps.  At least it’s a three day weekend. Hooray for Presidents.


Zozopdx said...

oh no. I'm so sorry. We have created a little monster who will only go to sleep if we hold and rock her (or nurse her in my case). Good luck. from what I can tell there are no easy answers, no matter how many books you read. and it doesn't help that different books will liken other approaches to child abuse!

soilmama said...

Sleep issues are the very hardest thing, I know! Having gone through bad phases a few times, I can just feel that dreadful feeling rising to the surface of memory while reading your post. Hang in there! We tried all sorts of things, but eventually figured it out each time. You will too!