Ask Not for Whom the Nap is Blown... Napwars Continue

In the war torn world of Never-Nap Land, battle lines were drawn and mommies headed home foolhardy dreams of nap-training in their hearts. Babies began crib Odysseys and drooled more than fierce Charybdis could twirl.

Moving forward surrender set warring with implacable hope, while bleary-bright eyes gleam from boba bogs. Instant insomnia paints the eves ebony and compromises coalesce through the stages of grief



The long dark coffee break of the soul

Dear daughter,

You may think you have the monopoly on destroying my sleep, but I shall prevail! If it takes twenty cups of what I thought was "decaf" coffee imbibed in a short and highly energetic day, so be it. If it takes the hallucinatory tetris chimes of crying babies and a wired wandering mind. Bring it on. I will have my sleepless nights whether or not you feel the urge to squeal.


Monday night was not the most restful of nights.

It figures the first night in a week that baby decided to sleep pretty well had to be the same one that I spent all night awake trying to remember how to blink. Boing boing. Eyes go down and boing! Right back up again.

I did wonder why a stray question about whether the cleaners were coming the next day spurred me into a manic merry maid maelstrom last night. I did exclaim a few times that I was feeling oddly stressed and "keyed up" and couldn't quite figure out why. I did posit that it would be difficult to go to sleep that night because my brain wouldn't turn off. 


Somewhere in all that feedback, the brain resurged with a brief flash ... that new coffee I got. The one that was significantly cheaper than the one I usually get. The one I pored over (before I poured over, har har) trying to figure out "the catch" when I was shopping. Was that actually decaf? Was there any reason for me to think that it was?

Begin the first of many late night and early morning excursions into the kitchen area.

No.

No it was not.

Now if you're not particularly sensitive to caffeine, my cup and a half around seven p.m. probably would not bode well for sleep. If you're me, you might as well have razed your way through a meth lab on sample Sunday.

Yeah, so it's always good to check your beverages before downing them with abandon. Since I had previously had a tag-team father-daughter sleep diaspora, I was craving the deep ebony of a good (or cheap and acrid) brew. All day long. And I kept mixing in the almond milk and vanilla powder. It kept going so well with little tidbits of chocolate.

All night long I felt the after effects. I tried laying my head to rest several times but my manic mind taunted me with lofty agenda items each time we set adrift. Most of them were too loud for middle of the night action. Vacuuming, moving boxes and furniture, remodeling the kitchen... Ambitions best left for the dreamworld that evaded my roving soul. Instead, I alternated between checking the internet, going downstairs on some pretext, and waiting for baby to cry.

She barely did, of course. Several warning shots but few major action sobs.

We were both quite tired the next day, though I swear baby had the best night's sleep in a while. Perhaps it's merely that she quietly wore through the witching hours. I'm developing the theory that little one never actually sleeps, only sometimes being more discrete about her gymnastics practice. This is supported by the nap time monitor patterns during which noises will come every ten to fifteen minutes and after which she'll be quite happily on the other side of the crib/hanging from the ceiling.

Regardless, blowing through naps seems to be a developing baby trend for Miss Chaya. Not my favorite. I am so jealous of those for whom sleep crutches still work. It appears she's in a twilight area of being impervious to the old sleep crutches but not quite ready for daytime sleep training. I'm not really sure if I'm waited too long or not long enough but I certainly seem to miss the proverbial nap window on a regular basis. On the bright side, she's been sleeping much better at night and her mood is not significantly worse by the end of the evening than when she was getting her naps. Still, it would be nice to see that well rested baby we had for a couple of days before she rallied her defenses and rejected the well slept mantle. Of course today, she decided to mix it up and sleep an hour per both earlier naps. No, no she is no different for having done so but mommy enjoyed the quiet time.

Oddly I was far more tired after getting a real taste of sleep the following two days. Chaya remains about the same mysterious tired but not tired most of the time. Sometimes she's bright and sweet and others a raging maniac but at unpredictable times but always well correlated to her sleep patterns. So very, much a baby I suppose.





And my adorable delightful crazy baby at that. She can roll both ways, but not consistently poor dear... Until she masters this, there shall be no peace!







The five stages of parental sleep regression nap strike grief
Denial:

Huh. Always used to nap in the boba. What's going on here? Weird.

She missed that nap because she is going through a wonder week... No it's her stomach. Must be gas. I'm sure probiotics will help... Growth spurt. Teething? Somebody made a noise several blocks away. Bastards.

It'll stick. Just keep going. Keep walking through the back pain with that thumb in her mouth while humming Purple People Eater and hopping up the stairs on one foot... Who cares that you just heard a snapping noise from your back hip area and lost sensation in your leg? Baby will nap if you want it enough!!

Ok, forget that. Sleep training will work. It did for nights. Sort of. Until naps started really sucking. It will just take time. It worked great today... This is awesome. We're fine. I was just standing in the way of her good sleep.

Ok really maybe it's teething. Or she's sick. Or...

Ok naps don't really matter. She'll be fine tonight. Bad day-sleep doesn't mean bad... Oh good so much for all that Ferber work and progress. Leaving the baby monitor downstairs because really like I can't hear her?

Where's the coffee? Forget the coffee. Where's the chocolate-covered-everything stash. She'll sleep tomorrow. It'll be fine.

Maybe, well four months is tough. Maybe once she's five months old, naps will start to consolidate. Just laying the groundwork. Another day or two.

Anger

Screw you Weissbluth! And you Ferber. And seriously, nice sweet pediatrician lady. "Two two-hour naps a day and a shorter one"... seriously? What crack are you smoking.

All you experts and your "Put her down drowsy but awake" crap

HA! There is no such thing.

I take it back, there is a brief moment after a massive snit-fit in which she is vigorously sucking on my thumb, and nodding off straight onto it. This isn't exactly what I'd call drowsy, but it's as close as I've seen.

Baby goes from pleasantly alert to manically focused and intent to epoxysms of joy-mania-insanity with little ado; and she swaps states from minutes to minute. Maybe if I throw her into the crib with one hand while holding a book with the other and singing songs from it before running, I'll magically hit that sweet spot moment with the appropriate ritual. But I seriously doubt it.

And really? "Put her down at the first sign of drowsiness. E.g. yawning, looking away, zoning out."

If I were to do this, I would be putting her down as soon as she woke up. Baby yawns from waking shrieking to overtired shrieking and through the cute phases in between. Baby yawns to show off her beautiful gums. Baby yawns to taunt me. Baby yawns for all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with anything that make sense to anyone but baby And if I put her down after that first yawn, baby boings back up. Drowsy signs my toosh





Bargaining

Two naps works be fine. I know 45 is not great but I'll take it. Ok if she'll just get this one nap today. Just twenty minutes. Seriously, if she'll pass out in the car even. Anything. I'll be happy. That's OK. Just play quietly in your crib. Quietly. Ok just don't scream... Ok fine if you pass out while nursing we'll call it even.

Depression

Oh God I give up. She will never nap. I am once more failing her as a parent. Her development will be permanently stunted and I will never have a second to myself. I can't leave the house because she's so overtired and fussy. And I don't want to miss a nap window just in case it's that rare one that sticks. I can't work. I don't have time to work out. I'm done. We're both just done. We'll be lonely hermits together and she'll grow up with several behavioral and mental disorders while I develop obesity related illnesses and developed my own disorders because I can't read a frigging drowsy sign.



Acceptance

Ok, it's just not going to happen. Or the naps will happen, randomly and without warning. I guess we'll just kind of keep trying and they'll stick when they stick.

I think I need to get out of the house now. Hey maybe she'll nap in the stroller? But if not, no loss considering she wasn't going to at home either probably. At least maybe she'll sit there and let me move. And if she cries and fusses, she's a baby. Other moms will understand.







I am going to let go a little and let the nap chips fall where they may... just enough so I'm not chained the the crib playpen o'fun. There are chores to do and other sleep deprived desperate moms with whom to share a coffee and a war story.





Does that mean her night sleep will go to pot? Lord knows. Probably. Where's the chocolate again? 





Napwars! The 24 Week Edition

And we continue on in the napwar battles of Mommy Wright and Chaya "The Beast" Papaya. I've ebbed on my enthusiasm for a strict nap training. And during the week, I've certainly fallen back on sleep crutches as well as they'll work. Chaya sometimes can be soothed into slumber (sometimes for a while and sometimes for exactly 38 minutes, which must be her sleep cycle length) in the boba again. Sometimes I let her fall asleep on me while nursing. Sometimes... well sadly she doesn't have any other reliable sleep crutches. No swings. No pack and plays. Cars don't usually work...

Of course sometimes she sleeps in her crib. Unpredictably. At least I think she does. She'll be quiet for long stretches of time. We have a video monitor that my sister sent me, but I haven't managed to set it up yet. I'm almost afraid to, except I suspect it will still be hard to tell at times. I think I really just need a little baby fitbit to tell me how much my child actually sleeps (the horror, the horror)

But yes, crib naps. There was Saturday afternoon. As is the recent trend, Miss Chaya's first nap did not stick. Having forlornly abandoned all hope of those who enter into nap-training territory, I spent the morning rediscovering the joy and aches of a long boba walk. Joyously, my baby appears to sleep while I am walking with her again. Achingly, she's now 15.5 pounds. Last time she successfully nap-walked for any duration, she was pushing 13.

Babies grow fast. And I'm learning that every little pound matters; oh, you buxom babes, I am so very sorry for your backs. I made it to about an hour and twenty minutes. Suspect I may have lasted longer but (1) Chaya opened her eyes every single time I walked into the garage and closed them each time I left again; this signified to me that she'd sleep, but only on the preset conditions of active outdoor walking; (2) it began to rain; (3) did I mention she's about fifteen and a half pounds and I'd been walking a while before she fell asleep? And that I had spent the morning walking on an incline on the treadmill?

I didn't mention all of that before, so consider it now mentioned. I finally rested myself up against Andrew's SUV for just a little too long and she stirred. And I finally chose that stirring to go inside and have a long coveted snack.

Her second crib nap went the way of her first: some fussing, some playing, and some completely unfathomable cross-crib journeys to grab toys and bury herself in them in inconceivable orientations.



I was quite happily planning to offer her up to daddy for a boba nap for the second/third attempt. Nostalgic as he used to let her sleep on him while playing video games - another thing that died away during the sleep regression follies. But the first time he loaded her up, she wanted to eat. And then she wanted to play. And by the time I'd cleaned half the kitchen, Andrew was asking whether yawning was a drowsy sign or not.. I said she yawned all the time, but yeah probably (considering it had been some hours since her last nap at this point and "drowsy" was an understatement). So up he went, merrily ad-libbing the nap routine by doing his part of the bedtime routine. I heard her fussing. Hooting. Yeowling. And he came down by himself while baby's inconsolable annoyances broadcast over the monitor. He announced he rather fancied a nap himself. And he promptly left me to listen to the miserable sobbing over the monitor.

I have to admit, I haven't had the heart to listen to her cry like that since the first week of nap training. I have typically left her upstairs as long as she is fussing or playing. But I've had a tough time holding out the faith to let her really lose her shit. And I almost retrieved her after about five minutes of purple-faced sobbing. Then I didn't. I don't know. It seemed like it was Andrew's nap somehow and I didn't want to interfere... just yet. There are limits. I said twenty minutes was my limit.

Lo and what the heck, she amplified right up until ... silence. It was so abrupt I thought she might have smothered herself on a bunny. It lasted for a half hour. Not sterling, but well, an afternoon nap rarely is...

So I've been trying desperately to replicate the absence of "nursing to sleep." This is not as easy as it sounds, since Chaya is a destractible little baby and I think she only feeds well in a dark room while drowsy. If I could attach her to my body reliably and let her nap on nip, I would seriously do it. I do, in fact, try this from time to time, but she kind of slips off and startles herself.

It's had a spotty success rate. Just like everything else. There really are no prevailing trends, essentially. Yesterday, she fell asleep while nursing and slept for an hour and ten minutes. She was grumpier and more tired after waking up, of course. This morning, she went back to sleep without protest at around 6 a.m. Then she almost seemed to go down without falling asleep while nursing this morning. But she made noise just frequently enough to suggest otherwise. In other words, it's all random, but for the surety that somewhere along the way, Miss Chay will not sleep enough for the day and will be kind of tired. Although she may end up manic, happy, grumpy... lord knows by the end of the day. And probably when she actually does sleep, it's just a sign she's feeling under the weather. 


Today's experiment produced two twenty minute to half hour periods of silence and some fussing in between. Interpret that as you will. I'm guessing it means mommy's in for a fussy little baby. 

And the weather, it is variable hereabouts...

Suddenly SAHM's Skirmishes in the Never Never Naplands

As the year turned and daddy fled for the slopes, SLEEP TRAINING sent mommy to and away from the mat. No more TKO on the sleep regression samba, the crib came out. And it was good. There was victory. Single mom alone at home survived and flourished. Finally. 

But though they first came for the nighttime sleeps... they next came for the naps... oh the naps... 





Sleep War Nap Incursions

Chaya will not let go of that sleep deprivation without a fight! We take the nights, she'll destroy the naps...

Yesterday morning was a blessing. A happy, well rested baby! Shocking. She took a while longer to fall asleep in the boba, and woke a half hour earlier, but she was still happy and bright and,,, and then she struck. The early afternoon nap went down in flames at forty minutes. She woke up unhappy and stayed on the edge until a dazed trip through Freddy's (stunned her into staring) and a hail mary half hour car nap. By evening, she was an exhausted wreck. This worried me for evening sleep, but I decided the overtired would just get worse, and put her to bed an hour early.. drumroll please

Shockingly, she actually slept mostly. The neighbors didn't - moving drawers and whatnot - so I also did not, but Chaya took her feeds every three hours, chattered for a while at other times and mostly zonked or plotted quietly until 7. 

So the night went well. The day, however, was a bit harried. Already Chaya has woken up in the once undefeatable boba. I can't really have a long coparenting chat wit my out of area hubby, but I'm thinking if it's already becoming a struggle to get her to nap, why not struggle towards a sustainable end. If this next nap goes sideways, we are going home and baby is starting a New Year's Napolution!

Cue the theme from Rocky! 




Suddenly SAHM - Whysbluth SheNAPigans

So previously on sleep wars, we applied some solid Ferber to our evenings. They actually didn't need too much Ferberization and generally just involved "put the baby in the crib and expect there will be a little crying (but holy crap not as much as you thought!)." Occasionally, she wakes up before the next feeding window. Sometimes she talks to herself before bed. Sometimes I realize much later that she actually blew out her overnight diaper and soiled her sleeper... at some point. Now mommy is pretty paranoid about sniffing Chaya's diaper every time she goes in to feed.

Then of course there were the naps. The dwindling power of the boba called for emergency intervention, so I decided to take advantage of the New Year's holiday, upcoming weekend, and next couple of weeks of strange work schedule to stay at home and focus on getting baby to sleep (1) better during they day, and (2) anywhere but in the boba while mommy is walking, but preferably somewhere that's sustainable and allows her a more restful sleep.

We got both Ferber and Weisbluth's books at the beginning of all this. Weissbluth's book is a pretty wretched read. That's from an editorial standpoint, not because of what he has to say. It's kind of a mess. Full of Cosmo level blurbs and Actionless Action Plans. It can also read like a Choose Your Own Adventure(!) book sometimes, constantly referring you different "plans" on different pages. There are also testimonials. It's a bit much for a sleep deprived parent to handle.

But, that said, I do appreciate what he has to say once you sort out what the heck that is. And think he was far more thorough on napping.

Anyways, it's about day three of napaganza.

Takeaways so far (thanks to my personal battle scars, my handy book references, and a bajillion hours one-handedly browsing the internet while going through the end of the nap ritual/waiting for the nap to implode) -

* Hundreds of thousands of parents are desperately going through the same motions. A few more hundreds are the obnoxious parents of easier babies. They have NO idea what other parents are going through and give horrible, horrible advice.

* Some babies genuinely don't need that much sleep. Some can sleep sleep anywhere. Some make their own beds after waking up to make gluten free paleo pancakes for their parents. Again, parents of these babies give horrible - albeit well meaning - advice. Trust me. If the baby is glassy eyed and miserable, she probably needs more sleep.

* Naps are harder. Much harder than night sleep at this age. I mean, I guess I haven't tried weaning Chaya off night-nursing, so maybe that would be tough. But generally, falling asleep and staying asleep is much easier at night. Which has to do with different brain wave patterns for the respective kinds of sleep. I guess nights consolidate first. Then morning naps - which have more REM. And then the other naps either evolve or die off... So, four month sleep regression just gets more and more fun.

* It's not actually a "regression" at all. Sleep disturbances that start at four months are the results of major and permanent shifts in how babies sleep. That's why what worked before stops working. Babies suddenly are much easier to stimulate, hover through many more delicate sleep transitions, and resist giving up play-time with their parents and the world more. Eventually babies learn to cope with these changes, but their brain wiring is permanently progressed. Just in an awkward and frustrating way.

* This is when babies start routinely waking at 45 minutes and have an immensely impossible time getting back to sleep. That was gonna happen no matter what. In fact using the old methods she was getting less restful sleep and more often waking at thirty minutes. It purportedly "consolidates" over time, but there are all kinds of whacky ways parents have tried to help babies "transition" from one nap cycle to the next.

* The later in the day the nap, the harder it is. Except when it isn't. Like yesterday, when I apparently caught Chaya at the right "nap window" by chance. She slept longer in the afternoon than earlier that day. Who knew?

* Even if it means more awake time overall, it's still liberating to not have baby latched in me with my thumb in her mouth for naps with few hours a day. Hopefully sleeping motionless really is that much more restful that the time lost isn't too bad.

* Routine takes time but it's crucial. Timing is important. Consistency is important. Some flexibility within that matters day to day, but in the long run, you have to stick with the routine. If you want your baby to sleep (and your baby isn't one of those babies that just does that) you're going to have to prioritize schedules and maybe give up some of your own flexibility. But you are possibly regaining some sleep and sanity in the bargain, so there's that. Regardless, my schedule is cleared for the next couple of weeks.

* Dark room. White noise machine. Books. Nursing. Sleep sack. Singing. Getting the hell out of the way and taking a deep breath for potential protest.

* As I've been assured by several of my fellow mothers from the almighty FB group that raising an older baby is a full time job. Newborns can go to the office. Older babies... It's not just your work that will suffer. It's that of everyone around you. You may have to start reconsidering your lucky job. Can you work from home? Can you think/work during naptimes? Would you go insane staying home? Would you really rather pay somebody to spend these fleeting moments with your baby for a job that's going to wrap up within the year anyways? Not necessarily thoughts you'd anticipated considering just yet.

* Earlier bedtime does seem to help overall sleep.

* But there's a Ferber versus Weissbluth versus everyone and anyone debate about whether sleep at night helps or hinders daytime sleep. And over how many hours babies need. But Chaya seems to want more during the day and be happy in the morning.

* In one night, Chaya learned to roll into her stomach and she gets better at it every day since then. The crib is a good thing for her. She's learning a lot in there. 




* She's averaging the same daily sleep as before things got really dire on the "sleep regression scale." Only 12.5 hours a day, but that's better than the 10 she got over Christmas. And better for mommy's brain to sometimes see a happy baby on waking up.

* Did I seriously just (1) start put my baby back down for a nap an hour after she woke up? (2) possibly consign myself to having an angry nap-deprived baby for the rest of the morning starting at 9:30, which is often when she was starting her epic boba nap? (3) go to bed at 7:30 p.m. last night?? Actually that felt pretty good.

* There's actually something pretty zen about letting the rest of the schedules fall, and just attuning yourself to the baby's wonky rhythms. I'm pretty much upstairs nursing/reading/singing, then waiting by the baby monitor, than picking up the baby, then beginning it all again after a teeny tiny window of waking baby. And night times just discard the window and sub in the occasional one-handed internet binge while feeding a semi-sleeping baby.

* In between, I'm filling my time with a house that gets dramatically tempestuously chaotic and then can be scoured and cleaned when I'm dealing with the little windows of stress that happen while baby is crying.

* Chaya can fall asleep on her own. Both at night and during the day. This is progress. Getting the scheduling down a bit better for her needs still needs tweaking. Getting her routinized enough to mix up the routine still needs establishing. But this is still saying something!

* I really really love my baby and nothing smells or feels better than that little nook between her eye and her ear.





Suddenly SAHM Nappies, Naplettes, and Nonsense

We are midway through week one of my theoretical "nap regularization strategy." Which is really code for "totally useless at the office, so let's at least get baby used to "napping" in her crib. I leave the "nap" in quotes because I can't swear that this is what she's doing. There are times where I hear only the (accursed if you're Mr. Wright) waves of the white noise machine. There are times before and after in which I hear baby fussing/crying/etc.

But when I come up, I also see the fruits of her labors. Baby is never in the same place twice. Last night, she bridged the entire span of her crib and had been butting her head up against the far left corner, for instance.

And her little drool puddles tell the peripatetic prowls like slug slime on a wet road.





She gets around.

Yes, baby has learned how to roll onto her belly. She is now hellbent (and then some) on (1) rolling back onto her back, (2) crawling, it appears. Possibly scaling the walls.

She is so close to getting back onto her back. It's even something she accomplishes from time to time. Last weekend, for instance, she managed to bonk her head and stoke daddy's epic guilt complex when she rolled off her play mat. And ok crawling is a bit further off, but informal scooching is obviously well in place. I finally saw what she was doing last night. Until then, we had only new positions and drool marks to go by, and I admit to suspecting poltergeists had been moving her about and disrupting her slumber.

Basically, you put her on her back - especially if you are trying to, say, change her clothes or diaper - and she will roll onto her belly. Then begins the drilling, goat-grunting and eventual crying. First a little head-flinging to attempt rolling. And then she will free her little arms, press her knees underneath her, lift her butt, and PUSH with a tennis player's vocals. Often, the surface is too slick for her to progress, but if not, she'll surge forward with head near the floor and arms gliding along. She's got the cross body motion of legs down, as well. I think maybe her arms just need a little more strength.

And eventually, once she's mastered this skill, maybe she'll sleep again. A mom can hope. I'm giving up much hope of her having a regular nap schedule until she's closer to six months. Four is just a tough time, and that bleeds into five. But I wouldn't mind a less grumpy baby by the evening.

In other news, I am mostly tethered to the household, since I feel oddly guilty about putting baby in her carseat after abandoning her to her crib three or four times a day and all night. Which is silly. Most of the time, she's ready for a crib session and a good practice. Those cries over the monitor (so, I'm learning from watching her when I'm right there and playing) are cries of exertion and frustration. Well, until they're obviously not. But usually she'd just as soon be left to her own devices.

Since I left my treadmill desk back at the office, I haven't been moving much beyond that particularly damaging momarobics that has my back all out of whack and a muscle pulled in my pectorals. I am making up for the lack of walking by gorging on chocolate covered ginger. This should be an interesting experiment in body weight and shape.

Since there's no way she'll even nap in the same room as the treadmill once/if I get her to nap at the office, I'm planning to get it delivered to the basement and try to pick up short running again while baby naps. I did my first run-walk since November 2014 last weekend. My body is still feeling it. I am apparently out of running shape.

And well, there's sanity in there somewhere... but I wouldn't make any guarantees that I know where or how that's going. It was never one of my strong suits.






The Endless Battle 

It's been about two weeks since I first resolved to "help" baby nap in her crib. By which I mean "since I first realized I can no longer be at work without totally making a mockery of the entire concept of work and tanking my mother's productivity in the offing, while also probably deep-sixing the slimmest chance of baby naps..." More or less. Baby kind of stopped sleeping on the go. I'm sure she's able to crash from time to time in a sleep deprived heap. But mostly... not. So here we are. 

Yes that's the baby monitor 


The good news is that she does in fact "sleep" in her crib. I'm pretty sure she sometimes sleeps in there. 



More often she chills in her crib. Or kvetches in her crib, while practicing her gymnastics. Poor thing is mastering scootching and rolling on her tummy and onto her back. She's not brilliant at any of these in a consistent manner, but she can do all of them. Her perambulations about the crib are a testament for her dedication (and sleeplessness)



Since a five month old is actually only capable of about two hours of wake time before going full Vesuvius (things you learn the hard way and over time) - and since the nap "routine" is an excuse to nurse my very distractible baby in an environment that fosters actual nursing (instead of "suck suck oooooh pretty light suck suck ooooh let me grab that tassle, suck suck oooooh mommy's mouth is interesting suck suck SQUIRREL), and thus adds another half hour before putting her down - I don't really do much more than go with the ebbs and flows of baby napping right now.

Another Mars/Venus distinction for sure. And I'm sure the two approaches are very balancing. I'm sure we both think the other is crazy. No, that one I know... 

Andrew wants Chaya to be a part of his life. He wants to take her along to things he's doing. He envisions her doing the things he loves with him someday. He envisions making time in his life to spend with her. He makes compromises by saying he'll just do "one month away" for weekend indulgences. Or only taking a two hour workout instead of a longer one. One night coming home early for another maybe stretching that bedtime back a bit to run an errand on the way home. A trip here balanced with maybe some scheduled quality time there. Parenthood is just another thing to juggle in the scheduling of a modern life.

I guess I more envision my life flowing around and supporting Chaya's. I do my things when she's otherwise occupied. I tear myself away with claw marks in my phone for a weekly date afternoon. I palm the monitor when she's upstairs napping. I envision making little pockets of personal time not making time out of my personal life for Chaya. The idea of taking a half day, let alone an entire week, away just does not compute. I think the inextricability evolves with age, but it's where I am now. To the extent that we diverge in our lives it's because I also want to make sure she has space to figure the world out on her own, and that I do not interfere with her bonds with the other important people in her life.



That said, having about an hour and a half between first waking and when we need to start the routine again... doesn't leave a lot of time for much else. I mean there's tummy time. There's "sing the same couple of songs to a giggling baby until she gets bored and stops doing a baby jig" time. There's pick up various toys from the ground as quickly as Chaya can throw them time. There's "look at the mirror baby" time. And "tour of the house while carrying a bored and/or fussy baby" time. There may also be short walk and "one quick trip to the grocery store" time.

I'm not sure when more freedom from the nap routine will evolve. It doesn't help that Chaya still takes short naps. And that she will likely persist in this behavior for at least another month or two. Her longest stretch is now about an hour and twenty minute and at that point I was about ready to go make sure she hadn't suffocated herself on a bunny or something. 



When she has shorter naps (the norm), I leave her to play for somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour of total downtime. Which is definitely free time for me. I've even managed a paltry run-walk work out or two on the treadmill. Yes, the treadmill desk has made it home to me. Because even if I make it back to work, the only place the baby can nap is in my office. And the treadmill was already waking her up. But it's still pretty short work.

So SAHM gets her nifty workout device. For eensy weensy twenty minute bursts of semi-aerobic activity between shoveling meals into her face, sorta cleaning the house, and pump pump pumping. 

Yeah, although I've actually been fortunate (sometimes "fortunate" such as the times that my baby jabs my nose to bloodiness with her talons after giving me a massive nipple hickey...) to return to exclusively breastfeeding, I am still a little wary of some new mysterious drop in supply. As such, I persist in pumping, albeit at a reduced frequency. I gave up on overnight pumping during the heyday of the sleep regression. Now that she's sleeping a little better, I just can't bring myself to part with the extra sleep. But during the day, I pump after putting her down. And I think that eventually this will get old. My freezer is full. I'm actually trying to arrange to donate some of it, which does give me an aureate glimmer. Beneficence aside, it's time consuming. I'd like to keep a stash, but I don't think I need to rent out of a freezer for this stash.

I'll get there. But the weaning process even from this first effort is very gradual. Having my child heart to. heart with me... for a brief spell, once more a part of me and co-mingling her essential being with me... that is a powerful drug. For both of us. I know nursing to sleep is a major sleep crutch in Ferber land, but it's a miraculous one for babies that just don't want to sleep. And Weissbluth says it's ok for naps and stuff anyways. 

I'll struggle to ever replace that little pocket when she is awake after a feed, laying in my lap, staring up at my face and grabbing at my drawstrings, my mouth, whatever's in view. There's a serious cuddle factor that naturally springs up. Pumping probably doesn't enable that, but there's always a fear of prematurely losing the ability to continue with these little moments. She very nearly went off in preference for the fast flow of a bottle when she was little. She very nearly lost the ability to efficiently nurse. I don't want any little drive for an extra fifteen minutes to sabotage that. This time we have is so fleeting as it is. 

And so the nurse and so the nap. Because when she occasionally does sleep well, she seems oh so happy. And there's nothing sweeter than her smile when she sees me at the end of a nap and breaks her heavy duty practice to grin up at me... 




Sometimes I hold her in my arms before bed and I feel I'm holding her now, as a toddler, as a young girl, all the way to a grown woman.  I'm not one to say she's growing up too quickly. I love watching her become more and more herself every day. But that sensation of touching her through her entire life is still a bit staggering. And I just don't want to miss a single hug. A single moment of her head cradled in my hand. A single eye jabbing, heartrending howl. Ok maybe a couple of the howls.

And at this rate, I probably won't miss much lost to long naps! At least not yet. But we've still made sleep progress. Carry on the charge and bring on the Braveheart face paint! Naps shall be overcome. Or she'll eventually grow out of and back into them! 

The Ferb Four: Warlogs from the incursion into Sleep Training Territory.

In the behemoth battles of yore: The oneiric onus fell heavily on mommy, while Daddy fled south and baby bade adieu to anything resembling consecutive sleep. Infant were immunized ignominiously. Desperation developed when illness agitated. And mommy and daddy got a big fat negative a hundred in the on going battles with baby sleep. 

In the eleventh hour, a final string plucked before Mommy and Daddy strike back. With charts. And intervals. And sports watches. Baby won't know what hit her! But hopefully it will be a big smack of the sleepy stick, goddarnit. Furbies be damned, bring on the Ferbmeister. 







Desperation: All I want for Christmas is a few hours of sleep.


Merry almost Christmas! In my world this would usually be Christmas Day Observed with my mom. But it's Chaya's world now so I'm not sure what day it is! 

Of course Chaya confounded what was nearly "a good evening " of two and three hour sleeps by waking roughly an hour early yesterday. This spells doom in baby land. Or at least begins the morning with a manic baby needing plenty of attention and rapidly evolving into a miserable glum Golem of a creature who still need lots of attention. Actually achieving breakfast was a great feat, one which required an eleventh hour assist from Gramma Pam.  

And of course in the eleventh and a half hour, I remembered it was garbage day. Garbage day once upon a time was a rather inconsequential day. Miss it one day, catch it next week. But this laxity predates baby. Now garbage day comes none too soon and is an imperative.  

And so out into rain lugging a bin stuffed full of diaper detritus and take-out togs. Of course the bin was too full for the lid to stay affixed, and the wind made short work of it. The car subsequently added insult to lidded injury: we backed over the poor thing in our attempt to escape to the office. But before that I managed to mostly avoid spilling the innards of our bin over the driveway,which was already covered in macerated newspaper.  

Shockingly, the rest of the day went well. Chaya reapplied her little baby brain to several milestones, such as sitting on thy chair backwards, dropping things on ground and blowing crazy bubbles in a raspberry drool storm.  

She even helped decorate for Christmas. 

Sadly the sweetness was short-lived, setting mommy up for another night of hourly wakings and a pretty big eyed awake from 4:30 until mommy finished a decent cup of half caff around five (since she managed to leak her tea out of her spill proof thermos all over her bed and pants around three am)... And then idled in bed until the collegiate hour of 6:30.

This really can't be physically sustainable. There was a two and a half hour chunk in there or else I might really be plunking baby down on daddy's pillow and running for the hills. But the up at 4:30 thing is not a winner. Maybe she's just excited to see Santa? 

Still, by my lowered standards, this was more of a meh night than a nightmare. A sinking sense that our holiday tinsel will be pierced with howls and soaked in tears; a sense of futility in the ongoing nap wars. But a "it's been worse" follows on the heels of any cavil. And hey she slept a half hour on daddy while mommy frantically cleaned and showered.  

Every night is a big question mark lottery. I am starting to develop all kinds of superstitions. Pretty soon I'll be sacrificing chickens as part of the bedtime ritual

When she's a teenager, I am going to make sure to be very very loud and wake her up starting at 4 a.m. through 10 a.m. every half hour. She'll never quite know why, but revenge is a dish best served several years cold.



Into the Rabbit Holey-Moley Guacaferbierooniemole

Ok, internet forum miracle mommies, I get it: I'm a horrible parent. I'm neglecting/abusing my child. I'm destroying her future of ever developing healthy attachments, and learning her some cortisol soaked helplessness that will destroy all trust she was just building in me and her daddy. Or something. There. We got it out of our systems.

But again, the alternative was that I was seriously depriving her of sleep, denting her development and hurtling us all down the garden path towards some kind of horrifying postpartum psychosis that probably wouldn't be that great either.

As with many things in my postpartum parenting philosophy, there's an ideal and there's a reality. Ideally, I would have breastfed her in preference to formula and keep that virgin gut intact through to six months, and continued the BFF-with-bf-ing relationship for two years or so. But when my supply tanked down to running on fumes, I guess I came to decide that ultimately somebody who eats a single shot of wheatgrass a day is still going to be less healthy than somebody who gets 1900 calories of Ensure a day.


I'm glad I managed to trick my system and rehaul mother's milk, but if the dom perignon ever stops working, we adjust. Or if I need to continue pumping several times a day (I've cut back to two or three a day as a "just in case"), well... again. We don't live in Eden. Healthy mommy beats manic martyr.

Similarly, in an ideal world, I am so into attachment parenting. I love wearing my baby. I'm great at walking with her several hours a day. If I were a single parent and she were a slightly easier baby, I would bedshare with her until her toddler years.

But I'm not. I'm married to a wonderfully attractive (slightly thrashy snoring and narcoleptic) man. My baby is not that easy baby. Since her birth, we don't sleep much at night. Or during the day. My brains are melting out my ears. And somehow I think that letting baby learn self-soothing in her crib is a superior option yet again to having a broken-marriaged home and a mother who can't care for her. Or, heaven forbid, an injury resulting from mommy's massive sleep debt paired with baby's stunted health from her own massive sleep debt. I know there's a happier Chaya in there somewhere. And I know that we're just not making the current routine work.

And we all know that the gentler methods haven't worked with her. But I've also learned that shockingly, she will calm down after a good cry and can even fall asleep (sadly, not stay asleep yet) on her own after a nightime battle with daddy. In fact she often prefers this to daddy rocking her to sleep (mommy is a massive sleep crutch but that's a different story).

Begin the Ferberization! (cue Wagnerian strains of anticipatory battle)





No, not the practice of burying baby in 1990's AI toys until she passes out from sheer terror. That actually would be child abuse.


But the process of "extinction" (sounds worse than it is). Many know the F-bomb as the CIO method, but I see no Chief Information Officers in sight. Har har. No, it is not exactly crying it out. It's more like "duh the baby's going to cry, and the parents are going to stand outside the door with a stop watch and several tables to keep them occupied between intervals of returning to baby's room, as they pretend their presence is the slightest bit soothing, before leaving again for another interval."

The idea is that all the desperate parental measures that we took to get baby to sleep AT ALL before... are now sleep associations. They will plague baby the rest of her life if we don't detox her immediately with some tough love. Or at least we'll fall into increasingly unsustainable patterns in a desperate stab at getting baby to sleep instead of letting baby learn to fall asleep herself. And I just can't go to college with her because she'll only sleep in my lap with a thumb in her mouth. Ferber is kind of giving the green light in some ways to not try so freakin' hard to deny your child the slightest hint of discomfort or unease, In other words, Ferber is basically the "treat your first born child like the fourth born..." with some modifications and more charts, because it is your first born, right??

And so with a fresh pot of coffee brewing and a new baby monitor in the crib, we began. At the worst possible time. Not only is four months the least advised time to sleep train (developmental things going on, sleep regression, certain relationship things to do with baby and parents), but right before one of the parents leaves on a vacation is pretty roundly recommended against.

But daddy is a man of action. And mommy at this point already isn't sleeping, so she's relieved to share the onus and the major sleep debt. And to have her husband back in bed with her as baby cries.

One night in...

We're all still alive. I think...

Baby is exhausted. Poor thing did not sleep well (big shock). She continued her short jags of sleep - waking every ninety minutes to two and a half hours until she really woke up and would not be waited-to-sleep at 5:30 or earlier. And she took twenty to thirty minutes to go back to sleep some of those times. Then again, twice, she woke up, was fed, and stayed calm/fell asleep after a minute or less of protest.

We have two more days before Andrew heads off to Tahoe. I'm terrified of continuing the trek alone and we've agreed that if it isn't sticking, we'll start again when he gets home and has some vacation time. Tonight is supposed to be the absolute pits. "Most" and/or "many" and/or "a lucky some" find success really kicks in around the 3-4 night mark. Right when we mess with the routine in Andrew's absence.

We're holding off on nap training for now since there's only so much any of us can take. And naps purportedly become easier when/if nights fall into place.

I can't believe how quiet and dark our room is in Chaya's absence. I miss her snuggles, but those few hours of restless sleep are qualitatively lightyears more restful without baby on me. I don't know that this will stick, but I'm increasingly hopeful...

Up next in the annals of - er - adaptive parenting, how I bought my six month old a baby iPhone ...





Fluke or Ferb-fabtastic??

So, I was fully prepared for Babygeddon last night. From all I've heard, the second and third night of Ferberization are harder than the first. Especially considering that I was spacing out feeds by an additional half hour last night, and that baby was insanely fatigued to the point of manic yesterday afternoon.

Daddy napped while baby had a crutch-full walking nap in the morning. Mommy visited an old friend (who does not have children and therefore got the joy of discovering that all new parents are desperate assholes to the non-parental old-friend, and are constantly cutting events short, checking their phones, and changing plans like the shifting sands of the Gobi). 


And nighttime came. Dun dun dun. Baby had been hanging on by a thread since 3 p.m. She took one good morning nap. One boba nap (half hour only, which is apparently not super restful, but versus nothing at all...) and maybe lingered for a snooze or two during the odd nursing session.

She was a powder keg.

Clearly we were in for a long night... however a long night of mostly quiet?? That was a bit of a shock.

After fussing through a bedtime story, Miss Chaya "went down" (way down) and daddy fled the room. She made her noises. But they didn't evolve into crying. They stayed noises. Then de-escalated into baby babbling. Then... silence at just around 8 p.m.

We checked the monitor and the accursed (poor Daddy) white noise machine was still going. We counted it as sleep. Mommy tucked in at 8 in preparation for a long night, while daddy took the monitor and prepared for the Ferberventions according to our nifty "night two table" (five minutes, ten minutes, twelve... twelve onwards and upwards).

Not a peep until 10:30. Meaning she went the two and a half hours between feeds we'd been warily planning to enforce. Mommy charged in with boobs overbrimming. Baby was awake though not screaming just yet and - surprise of all surprises - on her belly. Not ideal with her arms swaddled, but a milestone nonetheless. She's been close to rolling onto her belly for months, but never bothered to take the plunge. I'm not sure how reliably she can go from belly to back, though she has done this more than once. But definitely not with arms swaddled.

Nervous about killing the baby, but equally nervous that unswaddling her would lead to constant night wakings, mommy finished nursing, observed baby immediately flip onto her side, and deferred to daddy. She didn't realize that daddy subsequently unswaddled her arms. Which was a little panic-inducing when she noticed that it was past 1:00 a.m. and baby was shockingly silent. Again, she entertained the various "my baby died due to sleep training" scenarios. After selecting a great grief counselor and just barely saving her marriage after a year of very difficult emotional challenges (but never completely recovering) mommy drifted in and out right until baby blessedly stirred at 2:30 a.m.

2:30 a.m.!!

Proving Chaya can actually go over four hours between feeds. Proving she is not waking up hungry as much as waking up and then nursing to go back to sleep. Proving, holy crap baby remembers how to sleep. I think she woke a little in between those two feeds, but went back to sleep with only a brief "halloo" and unswaddle from daddy.

Figuring that the early morning would be as hard as usual, mommy counted her blessings, thanked the gods and again steeled for a tough last jag of crying. Don't get cocky, she told herself.

And her expectations were partially met at about 5 a.m. when familiar baby noises began. Daddy suggested we might have reached the accursed "waking window" in which Ferber would claim Chaya is no longer willing to sleep. Mommy protested. In general. In fear. But also with some experience that Chaya had been seeming to be very AWAKE at 4:45 a.m. when they were bedsharing, and that she typically slept another hour anyways.

She offered to do the intervals and went to grab the monitor. But then baby just went ahead and talked herself back to silence. Some occasional goo-gaaaas, but nothing substantial until... drumroll please... 6:35 a.m.

Another three hours after her last feed.

Baby anticipated mommy's progressive weaning plan for tonight for the most part (first feed excluded anyways).

She nursed for a good half hour, at which point it really was wake up time. So we got up and shook our heads.

Daddy declared a sleepy victory, while mommy waffled between letting herself succumb to unadulterated hope and some experience with baby messing with her just that little extra bit by having the "I'll break you yet" odd night of good sleep.

Time will tell, but I'll take last night regardless. It proves she can do it. That's kind of a biggie in my world.

So that is amazing. The sleep was... amazing. Sure it's still way less than average. Still a bit interrupted. Still full of anxious awakenings. And sure I still have been going to bed at 8 p.m. and not really seeing much of daddy BUT...

1. Mr. (W)right and I share the same bed again, and I'm not constantly hissing at him or minding his nighttime sleep patterns.

2. The bedroom is dark and mostly quiet and I can sleep in a comfortable position without worrying about moving around.

3. As such, I sleep way better when I do sleep.

4. Nursing in a chair is actually easier in a lot of ways.

5. It seems like Chaya is sleeping better on her own and taking to the crib well.

6. Mommy can get up to use the bathroom or run downstairs or kiss daddy or whatever she wants at night. And if she wants, she can postpone her bedtime to talk to daddy or finish something up downstairs.

Now the real questions:

1. Was it a fluke? Will tonight show some regressions and even if so won't it still be worth it to keep going while Andrew is gone. Will Chaya have the same reaction when mommy is putting her to bed?

2. The biggie: naps. Can we start working on nap training? When? How? Will it help or hurt?

For now, I'm relying on my morning sleep crutch to make sure baby has her two hour nap. When something's golden and you want a slightly rested baby, well... the less rested the baby the less well she'll take to the evening sleeps in theory (although sometimes I wonder if she did so well last night because she was so exhausted).

Naps would be amazing though. I'd have my time back. I'd be able to do the things I currently need to rush around doing while Andrew or my mom watches Chaya. I could get back to cooking. Ask somebody else to "watch" the sleeping baby while I run out for errands without worrying about her melting down so much. I could even work out or read or nap myself. It would be fairly life-changing to get there. And likely spare my back some serious damage, since a fourteen pound baby carried for four hours a day is kind of havoc. And baby would be in such a better mood by the end of the day!

But at the same time, the naps may be harder. We don't have the same bedtime routine for naps; instead the routine involves putting her in the boba etc. etc. We need to put her down consistently in a dark and quiet space. Does that mean I can do it at the office and at home? Do I need to start staying home during naps? Are Chaya's konk out times of "roughly 9:30 and 1:30" good times and how do we work in that third afternoon nap?

If she's totally napless, will that destroy her nighttime sleep?

Will improved nighttime sleep help the napping or are they just separate?

How long should I wait to start trying? I feel like at least until I have black out curtains up and maybe have started more of a nap ritual. And possibly decided where to concentrate it. I'd initially planned to just start all sleep training all at once over a period where my mom was going to be out of the office. Stay home so I could take naps and so on.

Now I'm less certain and feeling like a wuss for not going for it. But then again, I don't know what tonight holds.

So for now, I'm going to marvel at the single miracle and not start banking on the future.

And brew some more coffee for super daddy. Here's hoping he's using his pre-vacation-trip day off for a good long nap. 




Ferbaby Blitz
Night three of Ferberization (seriously, is our child a piece of upholstery getting some kind of chemical treatment?) was not the unadulterated improvement of night two. 

There were perhaps reasons for this. Like, well, duh... things get better and worse. Baby slept more during the day and the prior night, so the sheer and utter exhaustion that occasionally does lend baby towards four plus hours of sleep weren't present. 

And then there was the sartorial snag. On Sunday night, Chaya kept rolling over onto her belly. Which means she can no longer be swaddled. At least not if we care about her safety. So last night we tried the Merlin's Sleep Suit, which is kind of like a mix between an astronaut's kit, a self-defense dummy, and a giant banana (there's always money in the banana baby). Andrew found this particularly hilarious, probably based on the absence of solid sleep for any of the (W)right household. Poor Chaya was moderately offended I'm sure. 

We tried the sleep suit for roughly long enough for Chaya to get really into nursing in our bedtime ritual, at which point, Andrew returned to the room with extensive reservations about the sumo banana suit. I guess you're not supposed to use them if baby is rolling onto her stomach (technically if baby is rolling onto her stomach in the suit, which I guess is supposed to be much harder and kind of the point of the suit... but whichever). I pulled her from nursing and he decided to wrestle her from the suit (no easy task) and put her in the world's most challenging sleeper pajamas.
I think perhaps we missed that Cry-it-out isn't actually supposed to begin by making your child cry.
Ah well.
I sang down an hysterical half dressed baby until she was ok with nursing again, and the nighttime ritual continued unabated. Afraid of Chaya's typical nightly meltdown, Andrew may have read through her evening book apace and skipped any other formalities. 

She was in bed and ready for the action by 7:30. She talked to herself for a good fifteen minutes from her crib. She cried a good not-quite-ten. And she was out. 

For two hours. Which was long enough for me to go in and feed her. She cried again after I put her back in her crib, but again not for particularly long. 

She slept for another two and a half hours. Again enough time to feed her when you consider the time it took to nurse her in the first place and then for her to fall asleep. 

When I came in and went out, there was a lot of movement. Not having that sleep sack was definitely disruptive. But not so much so that she didn't at least have a good three and a half hour sleep after this. Another feeding was followed by plaintive but fleeting fussing. Followed by an hour. Some fussing. Some quiet. Some more fussing and even enough crying that Daddy consulted his timer watch. More quiet. 

ALARM!! Daddy is done with this Ferberization as of this morning. He's off to go ski with his family. Then again, since mommy's mostly been the one doing the visits (since Chaya hasn't gone long enough for the interval check ins the last two nights), this is less terrifying than it could be. He had a morning flight, so up he got in between Chaya noises. 

She wasn't exactly asleep but she wasn't complaining too much either. Eventually she did start calling out and I got her just before seven to see daddy off. 

She's exhausted still. I get the feeling this is not the most restful of sleep, although it wasn't all that restful before either. She may also be catching up on a pretty longstanding deficit. Whatever else, she zonked in the boba (because I am still using my daytime nap-crutches thank you much) and really had a hard time waking up after two hours. 

Last night was pretty ok, but definitely tougher than the second night. I have no idea what tonight holds in store for me, although the idea that she could regress with one big extinction burst pairs well with the awareness that I'm all on my own tonight.


I have it on good authority that daddy has made it to Oakland and is happily on his way to a ski vacation. Mommy and baby are well on their way to Ferber day Four: Ferbmaggeddon. In theory, most babies start sleeping "well" by this point. If not, well we ought to give it a week. If still improving, we keep giving it a little more time to the intervals we aren't hitting already. If things are going downhill fast, then we find some other part of the book and reconsider. Seriously hoping that we meet some metric of "well" tonight just cause. 

It is going to be some long intercom-watched weirdness this evening. But I did get a pretty adorable baby this lunchtime waking period, so something's working. Maybe just my sterling genetics! They can't hurt!





Ferber Flying Solo

On Day Four of the Macrimiza- er Ferberization of our little sprat, I was filled with trepidation.
Husband - proving that there are significant differences between parental styles - was off to ski with his family. Several hundred miles away from both our bedroom and any internet reception. I swear, if I ever consented to be away from the Chay-beast for more than a few hours (at this age, I promise that eventually I'll do this, I promise) and then found myself without internet, I'd wail and scream louder than she can until somebody returned me to workable reception. So, again, good thing that he was the one who went on vacation and I was the one who stayed home. 


The prior night had been pretty fine but not as good as the second night. I was, of course, fearing regression. Especially since baby seemed especially tired yesterday, but also woke earlier than usual from her second nap. Not just earlier, but more unhappy. She actually cried herself awake, which was utterly heartbreaking. It happens sometimes, but naturally all the little mommy-guilt freak out of the various ways I have damaged my sweet angelic (yeah right) little baby.


And of course there was the swaddle solution yet to be discovered. After a restless night in a regular sleeper, Chaya appeared to still at least need her sleep sack. So I opted for sleeper under sleep sack. Like regular babies. Since we've been bed sharing and Chaya runs warm, I typically have just left her in the sleep sack and diaper combo. But it's cold here these days and there's a lot less body heat to build in the crib than "on top of mommy" 


And then there was the compromise 5:00 p.m. car-nap that I let her have. I just couldn't decide if it would disturb or enhance her bedtime. I'd already thought to make her bedtime a little earlier, but at the rate she was going, it would have had to have been 5:30 or so. I can make my peace with her shifting her wake up time to 6:30, but there are limits. At least as long as I really can only keep doing our reliable "9 a.m. boba nap" as the first nap of the day. 


So... all alone... dun dun DUUUUUUUN. I was afraid Chaya might have a harder time being put to sleep by me, since she typically soothes in my arms and gets distressed when I won't pick her up (unlike daddy, to whom she often signals that she would like some space). But apparently she's getting the memo that her crib is awesome. 


She was just amping up an overtired playful as I set her down. Start the clock...


7:30 - Putting her down. She is trying to eat my hand, so I replace it with her bunny. Kissing her head, walking out as she kind of looks sideways at me and makes "crazy person on the bus" noises. What the heck is "drowsy"? She's tired but just about to get kind of keyed up. Does that count?
... over the monitor, grunting self talk continues. 


7:40 quiet... gulp.

7:46 ... gulp...


she's hacked the system so it can't hear her! Genius!
Or she's dead...
Or... monitor is broken so it only hears the white noise machine.

THUMP - I know this is the neighbors, but in my head it is her leaping from her crib.
Holy crap, this house is really really really quiet with a husband on the lam and a suspiciously quiet baby.

10:50 - Baby starts fussing. No crying yet but it's been over three hours (time to feed) and mommy's dazed. Baby is on her stomach when I come in. Not sure how happy she was about that. After feeding there's maybe six minutes of noise and more silence.

11:00ish - Apparently there is a tangibly felt earthquake in Bellingham. We both sleep through it.

12:50 - Brief noise and then quiet again

3:50 - Well past time to feed, baby wakes again. This time, she actually pops off when she's done and goes back to sleep without making a noise. Cue the spinning wheels about the likelihood she'll wake up for the day at 5 am..

5:30 a.m. - Checking the clock in wonderment.

6:20 a.m. - Baby noises. Mommy goes to the bathroom and gets up. Some space to see whether she'll go back to sleep.

6:30 a.m. - Baby is crying in her sleep actually. As soon as mommy wakes her, baby gives the sweetest little baby grin and tries to suck on my chin.

Holy crap, last night was crazy. My brain is more addled from the extra sleep than it's been in a while. And Chaya just got more sleep in the last 24 hours than she has in two months.
I don't know what's coming next, but I'm feeling a lot better about this crib thing. Maybe I feel a little bad that I was disturbing her sleep so much before. Who knew?

I hear naps are infinitely harder for most parents and don't want to interrupt her getting enough sleep to be prone towards better nighttime sleep during "the training" period, but I am really thinking they're coming next. Now that Chaya has a taste for sleeping on her own, I think she's starting to prefer it! Plus I don't have the black out curtains yet.

And yes, yes, I would convert myself to a SAHM (stay at home mom) if it were the only way to get my baby some sleep. I will certainly take some vacation to attempt it. 


TO BE CONTINUED...


COMING UP ON FERB FABLED FRACASES:  But did the fortune carry over? No true course of sleep runs smoothly and naps threaten to throw the whole front awry. Will baby's ongoing attempt to remain sleep deprived take a sneaky new tack? Will mommy quit her job and embrace the Jabba. Only time will tell.

Stay