Big Kid Things: The Big Boy Bed Edition

We knew this was coming, but neither of us were prepared for how it came about.

Last week, as Rob was just getting home from work at 3:40 am, Max woke up screaming.  We went into his room comforted him and put him back to bed and left.  About a minute later we hear a THUMP, followed by the pitter patter of a flat footed two year old.  When I turned the corner in the hallway to go to his room I was greeted with sad little boy.  I picked him up, put him back in his bed and within seconds he had swung his leg over the rail and was out.  SHIT.

You see, he had a nightmare.  He kept saying “tat” (cat) and pointing to his closet.  We have no cats, as I am allergic, and he is harboring no strays in his room.  He spent the rest of the night and the next night, in our bed with us for the first time ever.

Naps have been hit or miss. I think he’s napped only once in the last five days.  And he’s been staying up waaaay too late, especially with the 4th and all the fireworks.

So, instead of fighting him to stay in his crib any longer we took the rail off and made his bed a big boy bed.  His first night in it was the night of the 4th.  He hadn’t napped, we had a party and watched fireworks.  Needless to say he was pooped by his 11:00 bedtime.  So he passed out while I was reading to him.  The following nights were not as easy.BigBoyBedThe combination of no naps and still being scared of this fictitious cat have made for a very upset boy.  Bedtime, for now, consists of myself or Rob laying or sitting next to his bed until he falls asleep.  And the same is done when he wakes up at 1:00 and 2:30 in the morning.

Do you have any tips for us to make this transition easier? Or to help us reassure him that there is no cat?  I really don’t know what to do with that.

It’s tired in here.

I’m tired.

Max has been getting up earlier and earlier it seems and it’s really taking it’s toll.  Last night he woke up at 3:50 and went back to sleep just after 4:00.  The night before last he woke up at about 3:15 and didn’t go back to sleep until after 4:30.  Rob and I spent that hour + racking our brains on how to get him back to sleep while taking turns in his room with him.  I could spend hours trying to figure out what the hell his problem is (Teething? He does have 3, almost 4, new teeth coming in.  Is he not feeling well?  No fever, no runny nose no cough.  No visible signs of illness.  No dirty diaper.  Etc.).  He woke up at 5:37 this morning.  I went in his room, made sure he had his pacifier, tucked him back in (for, like, the 1938435w94657th time tonight) and went back to bed.  About 10 seconds after closing his door he started screaming.

He was ready to get up.  I was not.

In my mind, getting up before 7:00 should be illegal.  That being said, Max’s new “normal” wake up time is 6:00.  On. The.  Dot.  Except for today, of course.  Or any morning where I’ve been out the night before.

It’s like he knows I was out late consuming alcoholic beverages and wants to punish me for it.  Thankfully, Rob has gotten up with him the last couple of times he’s tried to punish me.

It’s really hard to be in a good mood when you’re woken up every morning by a whiny, crying toddler hollering at you. It’s also really hard to keep my anger in check on these mornings, especially when he’s being all clingy and super whiny.  I try to tell myself that it’s no big deal and just go on with my day, and some days it works.  And some days it doesn’t and I snap at him and feel guilty about it.  Some mornings I feel resentful towards him for making me get up at such an ungodly hour.  And then I feel guilty about feeling resentful.  I know these are all things all parents feel, but it’s something I think I need to work on.  I shouldn’t be that angry that he woke up early.  I just need to learn to not let it get to that point.I just want to see more of this.

I’m not asking for advice or answers.  Because in a few weeks his sleep pattern will change, AGAIN.  Because it always does.  And if it doesn’t I’m just going to have to accept the fact that Max is a Dark and Early Morning Person, and I’m an After the Sun Rises at a Reasonable Hour Morning Person.  I’ll probably need help in the form of quadruple shot espresso drinks, 5 Hour Energy Shots, crates of Red Bull and cocaine.  I hear that stuff really gets you going.  (I kid, I kid!  Geez, relax.)

The Continuing Adventures of the Sleepy Mom and Baby

It’s finally happening, he’s sleeping, better.  In the last week he’s gone from waking an average of 7 times to 4 or less. One night he only got up once!  One time!

The night he got up once, he slept 10 hours straight.  That’s the longest stretch of sleep he’s ever had in his tiny little life!  I, on the other hand, did not sleep so well.  I kept waking up thinking Why isn’t he getting up?  Is he OK?  Should I check on him?  He was totally fine.  Just sleeping.  He got up at 5:00 am to nurse and went right back down until 8:00.

Every night is different, but overall he’s sleeping better, and now so am I.  I sleep deeper now, so much so that I have to have the monitor on to hear him when he gets up.  Rob has gone in to tend to him a few times because I’ve slept through his cries on the monitor.  In the morning when I wake up to squeals of delight and babbling of ma ma ma, and da da da, I walk in to find this:

Not such a bad thing to wake up to, is it?

On Teething and Sleep Deprivation

I’ve figured it out.  I finally get why I don’t sleep, why Max doesn’t sleep and why neither if us will sleep for a long, long time.

Of course new parents are sleep deprived, everyone and their dog knows this, but this sleep deprivation has gone to a whole new makes-me-want-to-injure-myself-so-I-can-stay-overnight-in-the-hospital-and-get-some-effing-sleep level.  And that’s not good.  I said something to the effect of “I’m going to stab myself so I have to be in the hospital overnight” (only half kidding) to my friend Katrina (who’s in grad school getting her masters degree in social work) and she told me if I kept talking like that she’d have me committed.  Hmmmm……

Anyhoo, I think about how out of my mind tired I am and how it effects my day to day life.  It’s been going on so long that I’ve had to figure out how to live with it, I have no other choice.  And then I think about Max and how his little baby body and brain deals with sleep deprivation, and it isn’t good.  Babies, and people of all ages for that matter, need the proper amount of sleep to go through day to day life.

When Max was 4 or 5 months old I’d tell myself that by the time he was 10 months old he’d be sleeping through the night, and maybe Rob and I could get away for an overnighter.  Shit, was I wrong.  There are so many things that can cause a baby to sleep badly, but there’s one thing that I’m blaming for this whole damn mess.  Teething.

Babies can be ‘teething’ for weeks or even months without any visible sign of an actual tooth (which is just plain mean on Mother Nature’s part).  So imagine going through weeks of agonizing pain in your mouth and not being able to tell someone to remedy it.  That’s what babies go through every single time a new tooth erupts.  Basically what I’m saying is, babies are always teething.  Even when you don’t think that’s what’s wrong, it is.

Last night the kid wouldn’t eat his dinner, he was incredibly whiney and clingy.  I laid him down and started inspecting his mouth thinking I wouldn’t find anything.  I saw a white spot on the top left part of his gummy little mouth.  I shoved my finger in there and felt a sharp poke.  The poor kid has a friggin’ molar coming in.  I immediately grabbed him a teething ring, some ibuprofen and teething tablets.  About a half hour later he was back to himself.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that babies are constantly teething, and until Max has all of his teeth, or until he can toughen up and handle the pain (kidding!), neither of us will sleep.  Until then we’ll be up 6-10 times a night, sometimes more, rarely less, cuddling and nursing back to sleep.  Or I’ll just down a bottle of NyQuil.  That should knock us both out.