Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sleepless in Salinas

Asher turned 3-months-old last week. It is amazing how fast the time has gone. He keeps hitting milestone after milestone, which has me proud and teary at the same time. He is officially moving into his 3-6 month wardrobe, right on schedule. It's such a relief to see my small-for-gestational-age baby catch up so nicely, but I hate the reminder that he won't stay small and snuggly forever. With school starting this month and all of my Facebook friends commenting about their kindergarteners eschewing hugs and kisses (or, occasionally, a friend's amazement that her kid accepted a hug on the first day of school), I am acutely aware of how quickly Asher's "little kid" time will pass. Even more acutely, I feel regret for not enjoying "every moment" (as we have so often been advised, even by the people eating dinner next to us last night, while I was bouncing him and Crockett was asking to get our entrees to go).

The truth is that every moment that I spend with Asher is not a Hallmark moment. Like most babies, his good time is in the middle of the day. Via the nursery webcam, I get to watch Annie snuggle and play with him throughout the day. When I get home, he's fussy and tired, and I spend the next hour pleading with him to go to sleep, knowing that once he does, I'll get a few hours of peace. And a few is all it is. At this point, Asher sleeps well for 3-4 hours at a stretch initially but still has a lot of trouble sleeping from 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning on, at which point we sometimes have hourly wake-ups.

As it turns out, the other thing I'm learning from Facebook is that people like to comment A LOT about how well their babies sleep through the night at ridiculously young ages; no one admits that their 3-month-olds still wake up 5 times a night and that they're exhausted and routinely think about throwing their beloved babies out the window. I've gotta admit that it makes me feel like crap. As happy as I am for those friends, I am also insanely jealous.

So we muddle through, investing countless dollars in books about baby sleep, disappointed to learn that he's still a little young for sleep training and confused by contradictory advice--one book says that to make babies sleep better at night, put them to bed earlier, while another says to keep them up later. Add to the mix a trip to Alabama later this week...I'm pretty sure we won't be sleeping well any time soon.

But the reality is that these few months are a tiny portion of our lives and that we'll all get some sleep eventually. And I need to cherish this time, however it comes, because soon he'll be on to the 6-9 month outfits. Time goes way too fast.

Here's to everyone else's sweet dreams tonight! One day I will join you!


  1. Lots of people contemplate the window. Despite the fact that I had a good sleeper (sorry, I have no advice as he seemed to come out that way...), i was exhausted, felt inadequate (still do), and had no idea what I was doing. I would stare at my newborn awe and shock all at the same time. I wish a good nights sleep for you (night nanny?) soon. And he will get huge and shun snuggles (hopefully not until kindergarten for you, as it kinda stings at 19 months old). Hang in there mama. You are doing a great job. :)

  2. My kids didn't "sleep through the night" until at least 9 months. I remember being annoyed by babies who were able to do this early too. Around 9 months was when I couldn't handle getting up any more and put Aurelio on night feeding duty with bottles. Ironically this is always the time they gave up the fight. Also with women who told you stories about how easy labor and delivery were.