Better Than an Alarm Clock

December 10, 2007

It’s been eleven weeks and two days since BabyN was born.  That’s eleven weeks and two days since I’ve gotten a decent night’s sleep–well, technically about a month longer than that when you consider how fragmented my sleep was when I had to get up every few hours to pee.  I’m starting to wonder if some of the moodiness is no longer hormone-related but a result of sleep deprivation instead.  The lack of sleep thing is getting really old.  Even PJ was sleeping through the night by the time he was this old, and he supposedly fell into a decent sleep schedule much later due to his prematurity.

But see, it’s not that BabyN doesn’t sleep.  Last night he slept an eight-hour stretch, and it’s not the first time.  He usually has about a six-hour interval followed by another four-hour one at least.  The problem is that he would rather imitate his brother’s bedtime instead of ours.  PJ used to go down for the night (when he was about this age) between ten and midnight and then sleep until early morning, a perfectly reasonable schedule.  BabyN is almost always out before eight, which means that if he sleeps eight hours, I’m still getting up in the middle of the night to feed him.  I’m lucky to get a full four hours of sleep at a time.  It’s no wonder that I get so impatient with PJ and have no energy for anything but the bare minimum during the day.

I wish BabyN was one of those babies whose sleep schedule I could manipulate some, but he’s nothing if not strong-willed.  When he wants to sleep, there’s no waking him up.  And if he’s awake, there’s not a thing in the world I can do to make him drowsy.  I’ve even tried Tylenol (he had a mild fever anyway), and even that didn’t work.  It looks as though I’m stuck with middle-of-the-night feedings until he can sleep much more than eight hours at a time.

The sleep schedule has led to my favorite moment of the day, however.  By morning, BabyN isn’t sleeping as deeply and usually wakes up gassy sometime between seven and nine.  PJ isn’t awake yet, so I’m reluctant to get out of bed.  It’s become my routine to get BabyN out of his crib, help him pass that gas, and then snuggle with him in bed.  Often he is able to doze off for another hour after that, and I am too.  It is the best feeling in the world when I wake up more leisurely on my own after that last little snooze to have a sweet baby head in the crook of my arm and my arm slung around his chubby belly.  He always looks so content.  I cherish that special moment with him.  It makes it much easier to love him the rest of the day, regardless of his behavior.  I wish I’d gotten such bonding moments with PJ when he was that age.