previous entry :: next entry

You know I read your blog and I have some advice for you...

Those of you who read this blog religiously, or my facebook updates, or who have seen my disheveled countenance in real life know that Harvey has not been sleeping well as of late. At six months he had been on a nice streak of sleeping eight hours starting at seven pm, waking up for a quick bite to eat, and then sleeping until 6:30 or thereabouts. This was an average, of course. Sometimes it would be a first stretch of six hours with two wake ups after that, but you get the idea. There was solid sleeping. And enough for mom and dad to get some sleeping in there too.

Then something changed a few weeks ago - a switch went off inside Harvey's little brain - and now it's just like having a two-month-old where wake-ups come methodically every two hours. We put him down at seven and he wakes up at nine. Then at twelve. Then at two and four, just to fuck with us. Or he won't even go to sleep at seven... he pushes bedtime closer and closer towards eight and on some inexplicable nights he won't close his eyes until his parent's bedtime at nine pm.

I know just what you're thinking: "This sounds just like blah-blah-blah phenomenon. Leah's life would be better if only I tell her my brilliant diagnosis!" Yes, I've heard lots of suggestions of what I should to to remedy the situation. Change food/nursing combinations, establish a quiet evening routine, drug the kid. And boy howdy, I love it. Because you know what mom's love most? hearing your opinion on how they should parent better.

"Your child would sleep," they say, "if you mix this potion of herbs and rub it on your breast and then turn around three times and sing 'you are getting sleepy' to the tune of here comes the bride but backwards."

Or the other advice favorite, diagnose the problem with your infinite wisdom, and then stare at me benevolently. As if (in very Freudian logic) the diagnosis itself will solve the problem.

He's teething.
He's got gas.
His day is too exciting.
His day isn't exciting enough.
He's just going into a different phase.

A different phase? Oh I hadn't noticed. What with my uppity career I'm only in charge of him sixteen hours a day... that's obviously not enough time to know anything about what my son is like. Please, enlighten me.

Dripping sarcasm aside, I have tried out different amounts of all offered advice, and while nothing has worked to make him sleep, some things have worked to make me feel better about it. One initiative I started recently is to get Harvey on a stricter evening routine. I feed him in the high-chair, then bathe him, then play with him on the floor for a while while I get him dressed, then read a story and nurse him to top it off. If he doesn't fall asleep by the end of that (which happens about half the time), then Dan gets a turn for putting him to bed. It hasn't helped with the amount of sleep we get during the night, but it does help make our evenings feel a bit more tidy. And it has the added benefit that I now have an excuse for not going to the gym for the next ten to twenty years.

Of course, hope springs eternal. Harvey is sleeping now and he may well stay that way until tomorrow. My friends and relatives may find problems of their own to diagnose. I might lose my job and get time to nap during the day. You never know! The amazing might happen! Life is unpredictable!

Just like a seven-month old's sleeping patterns.


I'm sorry that you take offers to help solve a problem as criticisms of your mothering style. It takes a village.

The trouble is he's crazy.
The trouble is he drinks.
The trouble is he's lazy.
The trouble is he stinks.
The trouble is he's growing.
The trouble is he's grown.

ha! that's too funny!

We've got troubles of our own!

comments closed for this entry

previous entry :: next entry