**Warning: this isn’t a how-to post.**
I wish it were, but is isn’t.
No, instead, it’s more of a question.
Or an accumulation of many questions.
And thoughts. Yes…those too.
Let me lay it out for you (no pun intended).
The little guy is starting to make me question my parenting. I suppose it’s a good thing because it means that I actually care about the quality of my parenting. Of course, it also means that something is amuck. Or perhaps it isn’t.
*Sigh* why can’t parenting be easy?
Here’s the thing. Little Dude is ten months old. He eats three nicely-sized meals per day at daycare on top of nursing from three to five times in a 24h period (more on the disparity of nursing frequencies in another post). On a typical day, he sleeps 45 min. to an hour in the morning and about 1.5 hours in the afternoon. He’s generally up by 6:30am and down for the night at around 7:30pm. I think we have a good routine going that is conductive to sleep. He seems to disagree.
You see, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that he has slept through the night. And by slept through, I’m not talking about the theoretical “in the books” definition of 6 consecutive hours. I’m talking about going to bed at 7 pm and waking up for the day around 6:30 or something along those lines.
The fact is, the Charles wakes up minimally once every night. On some nights, he wakes up twice. Now, I know that some of you must have it worse than I do and, in all honesty, it didn’t bother me for a while as I was on maternity leave. But now? Now I’m back to work AND I actually need to function. Of course, when the little guy wakes up, the big guy is usually fast asnore (for those of you who are sleep-deprived like me asnore = asleep + snoring). He generally stays that way too unless I let Little Dude try to sort himself out for more than 15 minutes.
A night-waking usually looks something like this:
- Charles wakes up.
- He starts stirring and semi-chattering.
- He moves into whiney mode.
- Whiney mode turns into yelling-at-his-parents mode. (Ahem: “RA-BA-BA-BA-BA-GA! RA-BA-BA-BA-BA-GA!…“)
- Yelling mode turns into semi-crying mode.
- Semi-crying mode either turns into whiney and then sleep mode or FULL-BLOWN CRYING mode.
Generally, when he wakes up twice during a night, he’ll be able to put himself back to sleep during one of his night-wakings. Generally. Sometimes, however, both night-wakings require that I get out of bed (because, of course, the big guy is certainly not going to take the initiative and get out of his toasty bed to try to calm down a screaming baby in the middle of the night – of course, can’t really blame him for wanting to stay in bed ;)). So, I leave the comfort and warmth of the bed, blindly grab my bathrobe and pull it on before I freeze to death, make my way to my son’s room, pick him up, sit in the rocking chair, stick a boob in his mouth and let him suck his way back to sleep.
Right now, I want him to sleep more. But I don’t know if I have reasonable expectations. I mean, is it reasonable for me to expect my son to be able to go through the night without nursing and without waking? Is he waking up because he knows I will come in and nurse him or is he waking for another reason? And if he is waking because I created this habit for him, what do I do about it? Do I kindly wake my snorer and ask him to take care of the little man or do I just let my son banshee himself back to sleep? I mean, how am I supposed to know if he actually needs that nursing session in the middle of the night or not?
To be frank, if I knew that he needed one MOTN feeding I would be fine with it. I’d go with the flow. But if he doesn’t need it…well..I’ll take my sleep.
Insight? Anyone? Please?