Tired Mom, Wakeful Daughter

I’m unsure if it’s all of the changes in sleeping locations and patterns you experienced last week during our vacation, or your cold, or the hot weather, or something else entirely, but you are not sleeping well at all. Your dad and I are doing everything we can think of to determine what’s causing you to not sleep well and to help you sleep better. We’re reading sleep books, researching solutions online, trying different strategies (cloth diapers versus disposable, swaddling versus not, footed pajamas versus a onesie, AC on or windows open), but nothing really seems to be working. I did read that oftentimes a change in sleep patterns preceeds a big developmental milestone by three to four weeks, so I keep thinking in a couple weeks you may start exhibiting a new skill.

Regardless, this is exhausting. When I was on my leave and you weren’t sleeping well, although it was still very tiring, I could at least rest with you during the day. But now that I’m back at work, and needing to look presentable and think clearly during the days, it really is hard to manage with little sleep. You are sleeping some, but you’re waking multiple times in the night. For many, many months now you’ve been sleeping great and waking once in the night to feed, then going back to sleep immediately thereafter. The past week or so you’ve been waking multiple times in the night, and when we put you down after a feeding you usually startle awake with a cry. Then we pick you up and you immediately stop crying and snuggle up to us, only to start crying again when we put you down. You did this when you were very little, but haven’t done it since. Your dad’s found that if he brings you into our bed, or goes and lies down with you on the couch, then you’ll fall back asleep. But I do not sleep well when you’re in bed with us, worried that you’ll get tangled in the sheets or that we’ll somehow roll over you. So even though we’ll finally get you to sleep, I am then awake.

And one other negative aspect of getting little sleep is that after multiple nights of this, I become overwhelmed and highly emotional. So in addition to being overly tired himself, your dad is then having to deal with a weapy and emotional wife. In the moment I know I’m being irrational, but I am just not capable of pulling it together when I’m so tired. The world just seems overwhelming, and the sleep problems seem insurmountable and neverending. I imagine that they will last indefinitely, and the bolded text from the sleep book that read ‘sleep problems that manifest in infancy can lead to sleep problems throughout a person’s entire life’ keeps flashing through my head. Although this has only been going on for a week, and even though it is likely that this period will pass and you’ll move into another one of predictable, good sleep, it’s just hard to imagine it any other way when we’re down in the trenches of such a sleepless and unpredictable routine.

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