No one told me the the hardest part of motherhood would be SLEEP. I mean come on, everyone knows that you will be sleep deprived with a child. I expected it, I knew it was coming, but you can NOT PREPARE. I don’t mean that just being tired is the hardest part, the hardest part is just trying to figure out their sleep and help them figure it out.
My first born, James, was the worst sleeper, ever. I didn’t have anything to compare it to but early on I started picking up on just how awful of a sleeper he was when I saw babies sleeping soundly in their car seats, or in a crowded restaurant, in their stroller. My chin would hit the floor and I’d think, ugh, why can’t that be me? Why can’t that be MY kid. Why wont he he just SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.
Early on I swore I would never tip toe around and be quiet for him, that he would just have to learn to live with noise and if we did that from early on he’d sleep through it, right? WRONG. He let us know that he wasn’t that kind of kid. He needed his quiet, dark room, white noise, sleep sack, perfect temperature, his OWN environment. There was no sleeping on the go. People thought I was crazy, like I was just over the top about how he would sleep. The truth is, people didn’t understand how particular he was and if it wasn’t that way there would be no sleep. No sleep for him meant no sleep for me. One bad day of naps or night of no sleep turned into days of no sleep. I had his sleep schedule down to an exact science. If he started showing those tired cues, you better get out of the way because I’d be like a mad woman rushing him to his room before that tired window was over and that unwelcomed rush of cortisol came for a visit. Everyone around me had easy babies, babies that would just sleep. Once you have a baby that doesn’t sleep, you’ll get it. He didn’t nap, like ever. At night it was a whole song and dance to get him to sleep and then he would wake up every hour and a half or so before midnight and then he would be awake from 2-5am every.single.night. Didn’t matter what we did or what I would do to get him to sleep. Every night for a few hours he would be awake, crying. I was DEAD.
No one told me.
Fast forward and he is now 2 and a half. He is the best sleeper ever. Such a good sleeper that I am envious of his sleep. I can’t even take the credit for it. We finally used a sleep coach, that’s right people, there is such thing as a sleep coach. It exists, and it is genius. I love her.
My second born, Harrison (sigh). Okay, so he’s not as bad as his brother. He actually got the memo about sleep. But he came out a colicky baby. When I heard people say “colicky” before having one myself I thought, oh that baby cries a lot. Well let me tell you, a colicky baby sounds like they’re being tortured and in pain pretty much 24/7. They cry with a blood curdling scream, they sweat, they arch and wince in pain. Harrison would cry like this for 8+ hours some days. No joke. With no sleep, no breaks, nothing I did stopped it. I was depleted of every ounce of anything and literally just surviving. I don’t even know how I did it looking back, but thank God He got us through it. It is absolutely awful. I didn’t think we’d get through it but we did. We even ended up in the ER because the doctor was concerned with how inconsolable he was at their office. He had a full work up done and we discovered some blood issues he has (not related to colic at all). That’ll be another story for another post.
He has turned into a happy baby, except for when he’s tired. You’d think if a baby was tired they’d fuss a little then get tired enough to just fall asleep. LOL (I seriously just laughed), not my kid! He does great at night, but naps are a battle. A battle I pretty much lose on a daily basis. I’ll spare you all the lengthy details, but it’s not fun. Especially when you have a 2 year old who will literally hunt you down the second you disappear, or the exact second Harrisons eyes are closing James will show up in the doorway. I’ll give him the look, like don’t you dare make a sound and do the head nod to shoo him away. Doesn’t work. Harrison wakes up because James throws a fit because at that exact moment he “NEEDS” a snack.
So, there you have it. No one told me so I’m telling you…you’ll be sleep deprived but your kid also might not sleep, like ever. Godspeed ahead.