Sleep is for the Weak

I have two informal rules about Boy Detective and sleep.

One is that I don’t leave the room if he’s crying. (I have made a few exceptions when I was so angry I thought I would yell at him or I wanted to shake him. In those cases, it was better for me to take a minute or five in my room to breathe before resuming parenting.) I get him calm and put him down before I leave him to fall asleep.

The other rule is that if he really starts to cry, I go to him. I want him to know that if he is upset, I’ll be there. I do not let him cry alone in his room if I think he’s actually upset. (If I can tell he’s just ticked, I often wait and see.)

The problem with my rules is that they’re based on my deep philosophical and moral convictions about how I personally want to treat my child, so I can’t just chuck them out the window when I get desperate.

It’s not that I think getting more sleep is unnecessary, I just can’t figure out a way to do it. I don’t think afternoon naps are going to fill in for the fragmented sleep I’m getting at night, since Boy Detective is waking up screaming anywhere from 3 to 8 times. A lot of sleep advice is vague, or it doesn’t answer the question “And then when that doesn’t work, what do you do next?” His sleep pattern changes every 3-6 weeks anyway, so even if I figured something out, what are the chances that it would work for very long? Also, most proposed solutions that do fit with my values involve me initially getting less sleep, which I currently find terrifying.

Tired. Would like to go back to pre-Christmas behavior when baby slept 7-9 hours each night in one stretch. OK? Thanks.

3 thoughts on “Sleep is for the Weak

  1. Bonnie

    Have you tried co-sleeping? I find that on the nights when baby is most upset and *not* in the mood to sleep, if I tuck him in bed with mom and dad, he’ll sleep for the rest of the night. If you’ve already tried this, or are not interested in this method, then ignore this comment. I know how it feels to be sleep deprived, and believe me, it may seem like it will last forever, but he should be sleeping on his own, in his own room, by the time he’s ten or so. :)

  2. Lucy

    I’m going to blame boy detective’s sleeping struggles on the fact that he is an “early” walker. Seriously! I’ve read (an experienced) that basically a baby’s sleep goes down the crapper when they hit a developmental milestone. First it was rolling over… then sitting… crawling… walking. And BD sort of did those all at once, right? And if there was one magic “sleep solution” there wouldn’t be 100 books on it. We read a lot of them and decided to pick and choose parts from each that we were comfortable with. In my Mom’s Group (we all have 16 mos olds), the ones that don’t sleep through the night still are the ones that co-sleep. But at least they don’t have to get out of bed :) Ok, enough of my babbling. Hang in there!! And tell BD to quit working on milestones in his sleep. ;)

  3. Lisa

    Have you tried really wearing him out like running around the yard in the late afternoon? My baby just turned one and that seems to really tire her out. Then I make sure she eats until she’s full so she can last through the night without eating.

    But sometimes there is no easy solution. I feel your pain…

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