Emerson's 1st Birthday is right around the corner and if there is one thing I did NOT anticipate, it would be her still not sleeping through the night. She is such a smart, beautiful, happy baby no one knows what a struggle we have with her at night.
Reading web sites about baby sleep is probably the worst idea in the world, since each one contradicts each other in advice and will generally leave you feeling hopeless. Tonight I just needed to rant about this to get it out. As I type, Emerson is crying in the other room, tired beyond belief, but unable to sleep.
We have a bed time routine. It is one we do every night at the same time. We nurse and snuggle, we read a book, I rock and sing her a couple songs, and then she goes in her crib. Some nights, she sleeps without a fight, other nights she fights all night long. Our baby definitely does not lack determination!
In the past year, we have tried allowing her to cry it out, we have constituted set nap times, we have read and implemented dozens of books, tried feeding her different foods, put a white noise machine and projector in her room, and a variety of other things. Nothing seems to work. And everyone who offers up advice swears their magic formula for sleep will work, but to date no suggestions have worked. Instead of people's advice being encouraging it now has the opposite effect of discouraging.
And so the sleep deprivation continues. And it this point I can assure you I have some serious sleep deprivation going on. To the point it scares me sometimes. I can tell I am not as alert as I should be, which causes a fear of driving because I think I may fall asleep behind the wheel. And I know that pregnancy hormones aren't helping in the worrying about sleep or inability to sleep. Most days I am so exhausted I don't know how I will make it through another one.
I have learned a big lesson this year about parenting from this experience though. It is not to compare to other people or assume you know what they go through. Recently an acquaintance told me she thought being a stay at home mom was so easy. She didn't understand why everyone said it was so hard, that when you are tired you can sit down and rest, and that they all needed to stop whining. I choked down the desire to lay a verbal smack down, but weeks later it still bothers me. And I want to know what kind of kids she has that you can sit down and rest and not constantly be on watch. I know I need a room in the house that is completely baby proof, but having a one year old, I can tell you no room is ever this way. Emerson is so curious and busy that she starts picking at the carpet edging if she can't find anything else.
Now I'm not saying that being able to stay home with her is not a wonderful and awesome experience, because I love it. I love being able to watch her grow and learn, to snuggle her during the days, and to love on her like crazy. It is the best job in the world, even if I think it's one of the most demanding. But if anyone wants to send the sandman our way, I won't complain one bit about the dust on the floor. I'll even leave him treats like kids do for Santa. Please Mr. Sandman being us a full night sleep. At least one in the coming year. I don't know that I can handle two babies if I don't get some sleep at night. However, Emerson just finally fell asleep, so I am going to sleep while I can for now!