I’d like to preface this by saying I really do like GeekBaby’s pediatrician. She doesn’t hassle me about him sleeping in our bed, possibly sensing a battle she won’t win, but still, it’s refreshing.
GeekBaby’s pediatrician obsesses about his sleep, possibly more than I do. And given that I can only sleep when he sleep, I obsess over his sleep quite a bit. It’s a selfish obsession.
But since his 4 month visit, she has been asking if he’s sleeping through the night. At the 6 month visit, told me that he really should be sleeping through the night. And at yesterday’s visit pulled out the scare tactics of bad habits, crankiness, decreased attention span, and even developmental delays if he doesn’t get enough sleep at night. That I need to let him cry it out, do whatever it takes to get him to sleep.
If she wants to engage in a nighttime battle of wills with my son, she’s welcome to take him home for a night and try it. Just as long as her house isn’t on my street, because that boy has lungs.
I understand that he needs his sleep (I need it too!) but he doesn’t want to sleep. He fights it, he thinks that he’ll miss out on exciting things if he sleeps while others are awake. Occasionally he decides that others should not miss out on his exciting escapades and makes sure we’re awake in the wee hours of the night. Sleeping is boring.
So I follow his cues. If he’s just doing the sleepy cry to wind down, I let him cry. If he’s building to absolute ‘why don’t they love me anymore’ hysteria, I don’t. If he’s got a sore throat / nasty drainage from a cold or allergies, I’ll put up with him nursing more at night – it’s the only way to soothe his throat. Sometimes he’s okay in his crib for a nap, sometimes he’ll reach hysteria level, be taken downstairs and then immediately falls asleep on a lap – he just needed a snuggle.
And this is one thing that I find fundamentally irritating about this sleep nagging. I know when he’s sleepy, I try to get him to sleep as much as he’ll put up with, but I also try to meet his needs. And that means I can’t just let him cry hysterically in his crib (unless I’m at my wits end and just need to put him down somewhere safe for 5 minutes).
The other irritating part is that I don’t sleep well. I never have. I wake up easily and have a hard time going back down. I’m restless, and I’ve been known to have conversations with Mike that I don’t remember in the morning. I’m just like my mom. Why can’t GeekBaby be like me? All evidence suggests that he is. He wakes easily, has trouble going back down, and I know he goes through fussy phases without actually being awake.
Then again, I’m cranky, have bad habits, and a poor attention span. So I guess the real question is “can I cope with my son being just like me?”