Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fighting the Sleep Wars

My four month old is currently practicing her opera impression in the next room. She's not crying, per se, just warbling. She is supposed to be sleeping, and was very nearly there. I put her down, tiptoed out and closed the door...2 minutes later the serendade began.

To say we are having sleep issues is sort of misleading. Most of the time (tonight's performance notwithstanding) she goes to sleep great! Like a dream! It is the staying asleep where we run into issues. She wakes up 2, 3, 4, 10 times a night sometimes. I can deal with 2 times a night. She's not even five months old yet. I can't make it though the night without a snack sometimes, and believe me when I tell you my stomach gets filled on a regular basis. I could even manage three times a night. But when she is up every 90 minutes, every 45 minutes, every 20 minutes...I start to contemplate why I wanted kids so bad in the first place.

In an effort to not a) spend all my waking hours (waaaaaaaay too many of them) crying, b) run away, and/or c) sell my darling angel on the black market for a tidy little profit , I swear I have purchased every book available about sleep. I have noticed two through lines these books (all of which present conflicting "methods", "ideas" and "techniques"). The first is that all sleep experts find the work of all other sleep experts to be misinformed, cruel, ignorant or ineffective. Or all of the above. The second is that you should always put your baby down "drowsy, but awake" and she will just drift off easily and sweetly.

Uh huh.

They have not met my sweet little PITA Bread. The instant she senses crib-ward movement, the legs start kicking, the arms start flailing, the lungs start wailing. So I pick her back up and start over. And over. And over. And when she is finally sleeping peacefully in her crib, I stumble back to bed, and lie awake, hearing the seconds ticking away, knowing that it is only a matter of time (oh, such a short, teasing amount of time) until she wakes up again and we start the whole ridiculous dance all over again.

Now, I am sure there is a mom out there who can put her baby down in her crib "drowsy but awake", kiss her goodnight, leave the room and know that Junior will drift off happily. But I am not sure I want to meet her.

Now, if you will excuse me, my lovely little girl fell asleep 20 minutes ago, and it is about time for her to wake up and yell at me again.