By: Sarah Nitsch
Guess I picked a bad year to quit caffeine.
Yes, we have a new baby in this house; my 2nd son was born this past August, and yes, we expected to be surviving on less sleep, but it seems as if this lack of sleep has become an epidemic among a lot of Cape families. Our first born will be turning 3 at the end of this Month and has an on-again off-again habit of waking up before dawn. The times have varied but generally it’s been between the hours of 12 and 5am. What has changed? He has mostly stopped napping daytime, he does get some quiet time in his room when he’s home and sometime he does even fall asleep. He falls asleep in the most adorable places and poses; on the bathroom mat, on the floor of his room, halfway off his bed, behind his giant stuffed gorilla named George, you name it.
We are lucky to be a two-parent household so we can take turns with each kid, Mom can sleep while Dad tries to coax the older one back to bed. Getting him back to sleep is the struggle, where does this energy come from in the middle of the night and can I have some of it?! Seriously. We talk about how if it’s dark outside its still bedtime. We lay with him, stroke his back, night-lights, singing, ignoring him. Finally he has passed the hurdle, but what are the tried and true methods to keep little ones in bed. My Mom talked about
my brother sleeping at the top of the stairway, by the refrigerator downstairs with a pillow while they had dinner parties. She did say I was an amazing sleeper, so I definitely blame my husbands side of the family. (Kidding)
The baby sleeps amazingly, much of the time through the night or at least 8-9 hour stretches. He wakes has a quick bite and is back to bed much of the time, I’m lucky I know and his older brother was actually pretty similar. At around 6 or so months we sleep trained him using the Easy Sleep Solution and I swear it has been almost perfect every night since. My husband recently asked at what point does he learn to use the remote for morning cartoons! That will come a little later, and I’m happy now that my husband is a morning person, I’m the night owl. Going to bed early now though has become a necessity and habit to have the energy for our now four-person household.
I am truly amazed at how we can all survive on small amounts of sleep, yes I have had to eat a frozen pizza here and raid my pantry for odd pasta concoctions on days when getting to the store was the last thing I thought of while trying to run everything smoothly. But sacrifices, even that small are what having a family is all about. I guess sacrificing sleep for that matter too is fine as long as my family is happy and healthy.
I know a whole lot of Mom’s out there that are going through lack of sleep with new babies, and changing toddlers. We often share stories, tips, what works for each other and what doesn’t. It’s nice to have others to lean on during any and all parenting struggles. I’m amazed at the patience we all have, how we can all cook, (somewhat) clean and keep the households running while some of us additionally have jobs to do outside the
home. I can see it in the future, maybe not the near future, but I see sleep somewhere down the road, maybe when as teenagers they will sleep until 2pm we will be able to get up do stuff then nap before they even see the light of day. Maybe on a childfree vacation we will sleep more than anything else. It will happen, but who knows with the addition of exercise and tossing the frozen pizzas, the sugar fix and junk we will have more energy and say f*ck the sleep we don’t need it. Maybe we will start getting the kids up for sunrises and early
morning jogs. Haha. Maybe I’ll just start drinking caffeine again. Whatever happens I know I have around me a group of Mom’s going through it with me and no matter the struggle we are kind of loving every minute of seeing these amazing little people grow up before our very eyes. Loving the journey.
What challenges have your little ones given you in the sleep department?
What has worked to resolve these challenges?
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