Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Continuing Saga of the Elusive Nap

So I really wanted to maintain this blog enough to do at least one post per month.  I'm not entirely sure I've managed to do that, but I'm not giving up yet.  This past week has actually been okay, which is why I now have a moment to do a posting.

Last week was not so great.  Elijah has not been a good sleeper since we stopped swaddling him and we finally got to the point where we had to teach him to put himself to sleep.  I hated it and I still feel guilty about it but we had gone weeks without anyone (including him) getting any sleep during the day or at night.  I had even tried several ways to prop myself up and hold him at night so that we could sleep like that, but he would only sleep for a couple of hours and then wake back up, crying and driving everyone crazy.  So he was crying all night anyway.  And of course I'm saying all of this to justify my decisions because I still feel terrible for letting him fuss until he learned to put himself to sleep.  But that's what we ended up doing.  He wasn't crying the whole time or anything but he was fussing or at least making noise.  Mike stayed with him because I couldn't handle it and we didn't want him to be left all alone.

So he finally did learn to put himself to sleep and now, generally, at night I nurse him and he goes down and goes right to sleep without any crying or fussing of any kind and then usually sleeps straight through until 5 or 6 in the morning when he wakes up and needs to nurse.  I nurse him and put him back down and he goes back to sleep until about 7.  I think he's used to waking up at that time because Mike always gets up and Nickel gets up and clomps around and wakes him up anyway, so even if we don't get up then, Elijah's internal alarm clock is set for 7.  Oh well.  I can get up at 7, no big deal.

So the night sleep was going better and he's sitting up by himself now and he's even starting to try and crawl.  In fact, I'm sure it will only be another week or two before he is crawling all over the place.  Which means that he really needs to nap during the day and you would think with the night sleep all hunky dory that naps would follow.  But last week I nearly had a nervous breakdown because the naps kept getting shorter and shorter until they were pretty much non-existent.  First we were doing three mini-naps (anywhere from 30 - 45 minutes) and I was like, "Okay, this sucks, but whatever, at least he's napping some."  Then he started refusing to take the third mini-nap, which meant that he had to be up for like 5 or 6 hours between his mid-afternoon nap to bedtime.  So, naturally, he was insanely cranky by the time Mike would get home.  And I'm like, "Okay, this sucks worse but I guess I can deal with it."  Then finally last Friday he refuses to nap AT ALL.  I got him to sleep for 15 minutes in my arms and then later for 20 minutes in his crib.  And, of course, the rest of the day he's Cranky Von Whinypants because he's so friggin tired!

Part of the reason was this on-again, off-again cough that he's had for months.  But of course his doctor's office is like "too bad, so sad" because if he doesn't have a fever apparently they think a 2 month cough is no big deal.  And there is nothing you can give a child this young just to dry up his snot so he can stop coughing and go to sleep.  Seriously?  It's freaking 2011!

But that was last week.  This week we have managed to have some decent days.  Monday and Tuesday he took two hour and a half naps each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I thought I was going to have to throw a parade.  Then yesterday he napped for an hour and 20 minutes in the morning, but only 35 minutes in the afternoon.  So I'm thinking, "Well, it was fun while it lasted, back to insano-world."  Now he's been napping for about an hour and 20 minutes.  I had to put him down an hour earlier than normal because he's was being so cranky, which kind of pushes back all of his sleep-times but I don't mind because I'm supposed to go somewhere tonight and I was going to try to get him to bed earlier than normal so that Mike's mom can just come over and watch our TV while he sleeps.  Please pray that he does sleep while she's here tonight.

Anyway, I don't know whether to be hopeful that the good naps we've had the past few days continue or just assume this is my reprieve before my life goes back to crazytown.  And, really, I feel guilty for even complaining about it since there are people who I know deal with things way worse than a kid who won't nap.  But it isn't simply about me wanting a break from him, it's also the fact that we can't do anything fun the rest of the day because he's so fussy from being tired.  On the days he has napped well we've taken walks outside in the stroller and played in his bedroom and read books and laughed at the silly dog just walking around the house.  I want to say, "See, kid!  See how much better you feel when you nap like Mommy's been telling you to!"  But, of course, I'd just receive a bunch of nonsense babble and a little hand trying to pull off my glasses again.