Yeah, I know, I’m totally MIA these days. And for good reason, I just don’t have the time or energy to blog lately. I’ll try to get my act together soon, but realistically, it might take awhile.
Things around here are still pretty hard with Harris, but I will say it’s better than it was. He’ll be 12 weeks on Tuesday, and it really helps to keep looking back and remembering how bad it was and think, “Oh yeah, that was baaaad. That really sucked. It’s not great now, but it’s definitely not that bad anymore!” He’s still a pretty bad sleeper, but I’m starting to figure him out a little bit, so as long as we stay in a regular napping routine and don’t let him get overtired by being awake too long (which he does at the drop of a hat), there’s not much crying. But if we go somewhere and it happens to be when he should be napping or he gets tired while we’re out (he can only be happily awake for about a little over an hour these days and by the time he eats and we get out the door, we have about 40 minutes to go), then it gets bad. To his credit, he does a lot more fussing than actual crying now since he’s aware of his environment enough to be distracted and more calm. (This is only if he’s being held, of course.) He still screams hysterically in the car if he’s anything less than fresh from a nap, so that still sucks. On the way to church this morning it sounded like he was going to choke or something because he was crying so hard.
We kinda have a weird nap routine that’s currently working for us. It probably won’t work for very much longer, but that’s ok, it’s good for now. I nurse him to sleep (don’t knock it unless you’ve had a colicky baby who screams hysterically for a really long time if you try to get him to sleep any other way but peacefully drifts-off in 10 minutes if you nurse–I literally don’t have the patience or physical energy to get him to sleep any other way. And even the times he does go down awake, it makes no difference in how he sleeps.) and he’ll sleep for 45 minutes in the swing or bed. When he wakes-up I get him back to sleep with a paci and hold him for an hour. (this is the part that gets difficult with a 2 year-old!) Then I go put him back down in the bed and he’ll sleep for another 30-45 minutes. So pretty much, he’s taking 2.5 hr. naps and that’s what it takes to keep him rested, anything less and he’s a mess. I do that whole cycle 3 times a day, and then it’s bedtime around 7-8, depending on when he woke-up from his last nap. It’s not great, but it’s doable and it works.
The nights are still iffy. He has gone 5 hours a couple of times, but I would say 4 is average for his first stretch. (I usually get the last hour or two of that since he goes to bed early.) After that he’s up about every 2.5-3 hours if he’s well-rested from the previous day’s naps. If he’s overtired, he’ll wake-up more often, like every 45 minutes- 1.5 hrs. On a good night, I’m up 3 times, on a bad night, 4-5 times. There’s no real way for me to ever nap during the day since he sleeps in such short spurts and it never times right with Evelyne’s nap, so I’m pretty tired. I think I’ve maybe had 3 naps in the past month or so, one of those being today. I think I’m so sleep-deprived that my body is just used to it because I rarely feel very tired during the day, but I know lack of sleep is definitely factoring into my emotions and irritability.
I’ve been re-reading my well-worn copy of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, (a very high recommendation, by the way!) and some other resources about infant temperament and how it affects sleep. As I’ve learned more, I’m amazed at how different and unique each baby is, truly, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to babies! What works for parents of an easy baby does NOT work for parents of a baby with a more “difficult” temperament. (And it’s more than a little annoying when moms of easy babies think that their baby is such a wonderful sleeper because of something magical they did! I’m not thinking of anyone in particular, this is just a general impression I’ve gotten since becoming a mom.) I think I’m understanding that some of Harris’ sleep problems are just a part of his current temperament and are something he has to grow out of, there’s not much I can do about it other than being careful that he gets enough sleep and wait for him to get a little older. When he’s a little older, we’ll reevaluate and change our plan of action.
On a happy note, he is getting cuter and cuter and more fun to be around! He has the sweetest smiles, and I swear the boy is ticklish because he squirms and smiles and sometimes even giggles when I tickle him! When I keep him rested, he’s the happiest and most chill baby who loves to smile at me, so that definitely helps after a sleepless night. He’s turning into a real sweetheart when he’s not fussing at me!
So yeah, that’s now. Still in survival mode, counting the days until he turns 4 months. But it is much more bearable than it was, so although some days I still feel like I’m hanging by a thread, I’m still hanging.