January 6, 2010

Dear sleep: We miss you! Please come home!

For the last couple of weeks, Lincoln's already questionable sleeping habits have declined into the downright miserable category.

We've been sticking to our nighttime ritual of a bath and a story or two before swaddling him up tight (still? I know), and putting him down in the swing at about 7. Used to be he would sleep that first stretch for four or five hours, then I would bring him to bed with us for a pleasant remainder of the night.

Used to be. Oh, how I miss those days right now! Any complaints I had about those wonderful, blissful days, I gladly take them back. Eat my words. And my hat, if necessary, because oh my- how times have changed!

Like I said, our nighttime ritual remains the same, but now that first stretch of sleep is approximately one hour. Sometimes an hour and a half, sometimes just forty minutes. And despite what all the books recommend about just going in and shushing him and lulling him easily back into dreamland, our little monkey demands more. Demands it at about fourteen-million decibles, to be quite plain. And not for just a minute, either. Sometimes for an hour or more.

We try it all, rocking, shushing, singing, walking, un-swaddling, swaddling again, bouncing, snuggling, humming, etc. The only thing that ever usually works is nursing, so fine. Scream, nurse, sleep, repeat. Problem is, the forty minutes to hour and a half interval does not get any longer as the night wears on. The kid is waking up all night long.

A couple of weeks ago, I would barely notice if Lincoln woke up in the middle of the night. He's sleeping on me and we just got into a rhythm of switching sides when he woke up and drifting right back to sleep. Lately, he doesn't just stir- he starts kicking and bucking around, and vocalizing a LOT.

It was possible before that a whole night would go by without David being woken up at all by Lincoln and I, even though we were just a foot away in a not-overly large queen size bed. Not any more! I'm afraid my husband's sleep is just as destroyed as my own lately. I've taken to actually getting out of bed and leaving the room so poor hubby can get some sleep, since he does have to go to work, after all.

Alright, so enough whining. I'm fairly certain I have pinpointed exactly what is causing all the drama, and I'm also fairly certain that there's nothing I can do about it.

See those giant, swollen gums? See the tips of two little teeth about to poke through the surface? My baby is about to have TEETH! How is that even possible, when I swear he was just born a minute ago?

But more importantly: once those puppies break through, will he sleep again? Seriously. This has to stop! Look at my thumb nail there. That's bitten to the quick because when he's screaming and I'm exhausted, that's my first response. Hey- it's better for me than smoking.

Okay, nap time, gotta run. At least those don't seem to be too impacted. If he stops napping too, I might have to pack him up and ship him to some far-flung destination where no one can be affected by his cries. Luckily, I'm pretty sure he'll still fit in a Priority Mail flat-rate box. The big one, obviously.