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If Sleep is for the Weak…

… then I would like to be very weak.

Ask any new parent or parent of babies/toddlers if life has changed for them after the arrival of their little one, and the unanimous answer would be, “I wish I could sleep through the night!”, “I wish I could get more sleep!” or, if speaking to a couple expecting a baby, “You should get all the sleep you can now.”

To be honest, Noah is a relatively easy baby who DOES take naps and sleeps for more than four hours at a stretch at night. But there are days when he just refuses to nap and I am exhausted trying to find ways to keep him entertained. I read to him, sing a couple of songs, talk to him and think that a lot of time has passed but nooooo… If I’m lucky, I would have managed to spend a grand total of fifteen minutes doing all that. It’s bad enough that he won’t nap, but usually, these bouts of ‘I refuse to nap’ come hand-in-hand with crankiness. I keep telling C how difficult it is to keep the baby entertained during the day, but as Murphy’s Law would have it, Noah only goes into wide awake and cranky mode when I’m alone with him. When C works from home, or when my mum takes a day off work to spend time with him, Noah is the perfect angel who naps in the day and smiles happily at them when he wakes up.

These days, Noah only sleeps at about 11plus or midnight, which is REALLY late for a 3-month-old. He begins his ‘tanking up’ at about 7plus or 8, takes a break in between at about 9plus or 10, and spends the next hour or two trying to chat with us or just sits/lies around sucking on his fists. I’ve tried to give him more milk or walked around with him in the Manduca to try and get him to sleep, but he just refuses to do so. After he’s had enough fun, he will start fussing and the ‘tanking up’ process continues until he falls asleep. The only good thing is that his late bedtime is our usual bedtime, and he will wake up for milk again only at about 5-6plus, before going back to sleep for a few more hours.

People always talk about having schedules and before I gave birth, I was determined to implement one. I read all about how we should have fixed daily routines, spoke to people about the Crying It Out (CIO) method and resolved to sleep train the baby. But now, I’ve realised that I can’t force Noah to drink milk or sleep when he doesn’t want to, and my dream of getting him to sleep on his own has remained a dream, as the main way I get the babe to fall asleep is to nurse him. He pretty much runs the show and just when I think I’ve gotten into some sort of a routine, he changes it again, just to keep me on my toes.

For my own sanity, I do bring him out during the day, for lunch appointments or just to do a little shopping, but having dinner out is tough as Noah gets much fussier and sleep becomes more elusive. I don’t know how long this phase will last but I just keep telling myself that ‘this too, shall pass’. For now, I shall enjoy my baby and wait patiently for the day, or rather, the night, that I can get my full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

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