Posted by: mindyourknitting | July 4, 2009


Today I am very, very tired.  I know this probably isn’t news to anyone with a child under….well, what age do they start sleeping through the night reliably?…anyway, the baby’s been a bit of a crap sleeper this week, and it’s finally showing up in the form of large bags under my eyes.  Last night I got a good solid seven hours of rest, but apparently the few nights before are catching up to me.   And stomping on my head.   If I didn’t know better I’d say that Abigail is finally teething –  she’s 11 1/2 months and has no teeth.  If they don’t show up soon we’re going to have to get her fitted for baby dentures.  Or  we’ll get up one morning and she’ll have acquired a full set of chompers overnight, which would be awesome because then we could dispense with that whole teething stage.  But since there are no other signs that toothiness is imminent, apparently she’s just not sleeping well.  We had become kind of used to her sleeping through most, if not all, of the night, so it’s hard to go back to being up a few times a night, followed by a 5am wake-up call from her highness. I can’t take her into bed with us and get her to go back to sleep like I used to because she gets very excited about the ‘treat’ of being in bed with us (we’ve never been much for the co-sleeping), and also tries to crawl straight off the edge of the bed (physics is not her strong suit).  So it’s just easier to get up and start our day, and once I’m up it’s fine, but I just don’t deal with a small amount of sleep as well as I used to and by the end of the day I’m bone-tired.

When I was working on my BA and MA, I could pull all-nighters to write papers, catch a nap in the daytime, and be refreshed to go out partying that night.  Don’t tell anyone, but the first draft of my MA thesis was written in one long overnight session.  I’ve always been a night owl and have often been able to function on little sleep for several days in a row.  I guess it’s my age catching up with me (I’m going to be 34 in ten days, cripes), but I don’t adapt as well as I used to.  Or perhaps it’s the fact that I can’t sleep in until noon after being up all night.  I used to have an actual rule that people couldn’t call me before 10am.  Now, I’m wondering who else is up at 7:30 that I could chat with.

When Abigail was a newborn I heard the advice “nap when the baby naps” many times, and I am here to say that this is hands-down the dumbest piece of advice I have ever heard.  (Actually, the pregnancy advice to “stock up on sleep while I can” might be dumber – last time I checked you can’t really stockpile sleep that way).   The person who came up with this never had an actual baby.  In the early days my baby specialized in the 20-minute nap, which is a useless amount of time for napping, and now that she’s up for most of the day I have the scant couple hours she sleeps during the day to do anything and everything else.  If  I napped when the baby naps, the rest of my life would come to a screeching standstill.  And I’d never bathe again.  So I do what needs to be done to maintain basic personal hygiene and a house that won’t be condemned while Abigail sleeps, then I do things like read and watch tv and write stuff and have phone conversations absent of baby shrieks after she goes to bed.  Oh, and I say hi to my husband.  Bedtime tends to get pushed back further than it should, but that’s my sanity-keeping time.  Obviously I’ll have to start going to bed earlier once I go back to work, but for now every night I just hope she sleeps well.  I’ve talked to other people about the sleep conundrum, and there is no easy answer. I have no sure-fire solution to get my kid to sleep through the night every night, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either.  And neither do the books and “experts” on the subject (and don’t start talking about CIO, it ain’t gonna happen).  I get up with my baby at night because she needs to know that if I’m around I won’t let her scream herself silly, and on the odd occasion she needs a rock or a cuddle in the middle of the night, I’m there.  As it turns out, some of those moments in her room late at night when she cuddles up in my arms clutching her blankie are my favourite moments lately.  And this is all temporary right?  I should cherish these moments right?  Which I will, if I don’t die of sleep deprivation first.

Gotta go, bedtime.



  1. Its amazing how not being able to sleep when you choose to makes you that much more tired! Arya hasn’t been sleeping that great this week either. I suspect she might be teething early. She’s been drooling like crazy for weeks. She’s been more fussy than usual about eating too.

    Great blog btw!

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