I describe what is going on in this picture below. I promise.
I hear the slightest hint of a growl and my heart stops in my chest. I lie as still as possible as if my rigid pose and held breath will allow me to escape confrontation. The darkness magnifies every sound and then it happens. My fears confirmed. A scream blasts out from the small device next to my bed.
Henry is awake. Again.
Andrew and I were pretty smug new parents when our baby started sleeping 8-9 hours straight at 6 weeks old. Of course as a new mother I vacillated between thinking this was awesome and wondering if something were very wrong with my baby (in a medical sense). People remarked at how well rested we looked, and I couldn’t help but beam back at them because HOT DAMN, we managed to escape the late night scream-fests. I should have kept my stupid mouth shut, because as soon as we hit 12 weeks Henry decided that was enough sound sleeping and it was time for us to earn our keep. So for the past 4 weeks we’ve been baptized as new parents by a sea of middle of the night wake ups, crying and mumbling incoherent things under our breath.
Andrew and I had read lots of sleep books and yet when you are deep in the trenches of sleepless nights and a fussy baby all rules and regulations seem to go out the window. We had him on a good nap/ sleep schedule and after a week of that he refused to sleep those hours anymore. We got him sleeping in the crib and then all of the sudden he would only settle down in his Rock-n- Play. I do my best to try to feed him a lot before bed and not let him “snack nurse” after one big night feeding- but when I am literally in tears from exhaustion with a full day of work ahead of me and the only thing that keeps him from totally flipping out is the boob- the boob he gets. Sorry sleep training books, at 3 am it’s hard not to toss up the white flag of surrender and do whatever it takes.
But now that we are approaching 4 months next week we need to get serious about helping Henry develop good sleep habits and really bite the bullet in the short term in order to protect our sanity long term. So we’re chatting with a sleep consultant recommended to us and hoping that Henry’s natural sleeping abilities resurface once again. He’s going through so many developmental milestones, it’s no wonder he’s always wiggling and wanting to be awake- his itty bitty brain is going a mile a minute and I suspect he may even have started teething already (???)
Like a psycho momzombie, I duct taped Henry’s blackout roman shades to the wall the other day in an attempt to make his room as dark as possible and I had to have a laugh at the opinions of my former self. Whenever clients would say they needed NO LIGHT getting into their child’s room I felt like it was a bit much. High maintenance, perhaps. Silly me. Silly, silly me. I so get it now and am sorry I ever thought that, even just to myself! The perfectionist designer in me has to take a chill pill while I wait for blackout drapes to be made to layer over the blackout romans and Henry’s adorable nursery looks like some kind of drug kingpin hideout shelter. But that is what parenthood is about, right? Learning the hard lessons, building up epic amounts of patience, saying adios to perfect spaces and a neat and tidy life all while knowing that all this hard stuff is SO worth it. That big beaming Henry smile is so hard to resist, even in the middle of the night.
Now please go say a little prayer for a little bit of sleep for me. Amen. And if you have any tips on sleep leave them here. :)
Also, besides duct tape, here are some of my current favorite Henry-centric things:
- This linkable toy with cool colors and patterns and little stuffed friends is genius. We hang them from his play mat bar, his Bjorn bouncer, car seat….everything. He loves grabbing them and stuffing them in his mouth and batting at them.
- Give Henry anything that crinkles and he’s happy- this book is not only crinkly but has great bold drawings to look at and silly tails sticking out of it to grab. It’s his current favorite thing.
- I love this – great support and great to have.
- These are so perfect for us right now. Henry has, Andrew and I need .
- My friend dropped off her no longer used Bjorn seat for us and turns out Henry LOVES it! It’s pretty genius!
- Our borrowed Bjorn seat came with this toy bar and it’s killer. Mr. Googly Eyes gets lots of love in our house.
- OMG, if we ever lost Crinkly Baby (what we call this toy) life would be over. He can’t take it’s eyes off it.