Friday, April 13, 2012

The Baby Who Never Sleeps

Cute, isn't he? Now, if only we could get him to sleep. He STILL doesn't. He is nine months old. I have tried to be patient. I've tried to stop comparing him to Aidan, who slept through the night at 12 weeks. I've tried letting him cry. I've tried changing his routine. I've tried giving him his bottle earlier. I've tried keeping him up later. I've tried everything. And for a long time I didn't let it get to me. After all, he is a baby. Some sleep good and some don't. Part of being a parent means that you don't get to sleep, right? 

Tommy and I have always believed in the "rotating" method. One night he wakes up with Gray and I get to sleep. The next night, I wake up and he gets to sleep. This method works for us and keeps us both sane. After talking with other mamas out there, I realize how lucky I am and that some mamas do. it. all. So before I continue, I would like to acknowledge how lucky I am. Thank you dear husband for sharing in ALL the parenting responsibilities with me. Thank GOD. I have always been a BEAR without sleep. If I had to do every night alone, I would be one unhappy lady. To all you mamas out there that do it all, I applaud you.  That being said, I've also realized how different Tommy and I parent and deal with the fact that we have a child who flat out does not sleep. 

Yesterday Gray had his nine month check-up. Everything is as it should be. He weighs 17 pounds 10 ounces (a lil' peanut!) and is 28 3/4 inches "tall"... 25 and 75 percentile, respectively. He is developmentally right on track. Because it was his nine month check up, shots were also given. Plus, he is getting two more teeth AND he has a cold. For those of you out there that need a bit more of an explanation as to what this all means, let me explain. The child did NOT sleep last night. Literally. did not sleep. He feel asleep as he normally does but was up 45 minutes later and that continued on until about 2 am. At 2, he was just up. Tossing and turning. Crying. Boogers everywhere. Coughing. Poor little guy was so uncomfortable. Oh, I forgot to mention, it was Tommy's night. So you would think none of this would affect me based on the fact that we rotate nights and it was his night, right? WRONG. Part of it I'm sure is just my Mama gene...I hear him crying. I wake up. I want to comfort him. I want to take his pain away. I want to kiss him and snuggle with him. I want him to get better. Part of it is the fact that the person next to me (I won't name names) was pouting, punching the bed, throwing the covers off of him to get up and go to the baby.  This obviously kept me up as well. Don't get me wrong. I get frustrated too. It's hard. Nobody said parenting was easy. Especially on no sleep. And after already being up and down a few times, I would probably have been frustrated too. BUT I firmly believe that babies can TELL if you're angry, frustrated or annoyed and that only makes them more uncomfortable and fussy. After an hour of hearing nothing but sighs and cries from the room next door I got up and went to Gray. I told Tommy just to go to bed. He believes we should just let Gray cry it out. That he needs to self-soothe. I think he is probably right. BUT not when he has a cold. Not after he got shots and not when he is teething like crazy. Tommy went back to sleep and I was awake for the rest of the night (well, morning). 

I don't want to generalize but I suppose that is what I'm doing. However, this is just my opinion and maybe not how it is everywhere. In my experience, it seems like it is so easy for the dad to let the child cry it out or to tell the child to "rub some dirt" on their boo-boo if they fall down. They have a tough as nails attitude. They encourage the child not to cry because babies cry not big boys. Maybe I have this perspective because we only have boys. Maybe this is how Daddy's are with girls too. I don't know. I'm a Mama. My natural instincts tell me to run to my boys when they get hurt and to try to make things better. My instincts tell me to go to a crying baby. When either of my boys cry, it breaks my heart.  I can't tell Aidan to walk it off when he falls off his bike. I want to kiss him and wipe his tears. Maybe I baby him. Heck, maybe I baby BOTH of my boys.  Maybe Grayson should cry it out at night even when he has a cold. But it's so hard for me to let that happen. I have this innate sense of wanting to nurture them. I think that just comes with being a mama. In all honesty, this is probably why Tommy and I work so well together. Because we parent a little differently. We balance each other out. Now, if only we could figure out how to get Gray to sleep. 

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