Friday, April 05, 2013

Downside of a sleeper

My LilMiss was and still is not a great sleeper. Nature vs nurture? Probably a little of both at play here. But as a full time working out of the house mom, that suited me as I was her night time parent so the hubs could recover to keep up with her during the day, after all I was just sitting at a desk using my brain, that doesn't require much sleep. (I kid!)
She nursed a lot through the night until she was over a year old, and she was in our room until almost 2. Even though I wasn't with her much of the day, i still had the night time. We were fine that her bedtime became later than most kids her age as that gave me time with her. I fed her dinner, we'd play a little, bathe her, and have a long bedtime routine. She's a great cuddler! Alas, now at almost 3 she still wants us there as she falls asleep which is adorable and sweet but not always practical because someone will generally fall asleep in her room with her and that leaves no adult time, house work time, free time for us.

Enter Little Dude, who isn't one of those sleep through the night the day they come home kids, but he does sleep way better than LilMiss. The bummer for me is, he is ready for bed around 6 or 6:30 and I've only just gotten home. Hubs usually has him cleaned up, in an overnight diaper, all slathered in diaper cream and in jammies as I walk in the door. I take him and play for a bit and then it's generally a half way decent nursing session before he passes out. If I'm lucky, I'll have gotten home early enough or Dudes has taken a later afternoon snooze, that I can cook dinner for everyone else before Dudes is beside himself tired.

LilMiss was never successfully in a crib so she was in our bed or in her own bed in our room. Lots of cuddle time, kicks in the head, gut and other sensitive parts, and screaming jarring nightmares about her falling out of bed. She'd wake 3+ times a night, crawl over and cuddle my head and fall back to sleep...holding my head.
Dude is in a crib. Doing it differently. He does wake most nights at least once, but that is purely a 'FEED ME' time and he goes right back to sleep. Some nights I let him sleep in my arms before putting him down, or I'll pull him into bed with me but I don't sleep well like that. With LilMiss, her continuing to bedshare seemed necessary. This guy, we all sleep better with him in his crib.
But am I missing too much? Sure, I'm sleeping more (sorta - thank you insomnia) but am I going to regret being so absent during this phase? Will we not have as tight of a connection? Is sleep really that important? (Don't answer that)


Gina said...

Oh god, as someone who has only recently come out the other side of an over three year sleep-deprivation, it is SO important!

My situation was reversed. My son slept like a champ from the time he finally got over his colic (around the six month mark) and my daughter has had major sleep issues up until just recently.

The only thing that saved us was melatonin. Oh, and some natural sleep aid pills from Hyland. Without those, it took her over an hour to fall asleep (some nights up to two hours) and she would wake up for hours at a stretch. It was a freaking nightmare.

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to one-up you, but I am still traumatized!

I have never wrestled with insomnia, but it sounds horrible!

Hugs to you!

J at said...

I'm sorry that you feel like your missing something with Little Dude. Those cuddles are indeed wonderful, and I can see where not having as many as you want would indeed suck.

I don't know that he will be less attached, though. It may just be that he's a better sleeper, period. Or maybe he won't be as mama-focused, but maybe that has nothing to do with sleep, maybe it's just him.

Parenting sure isn't about the answers, is it? Much more about the questions.