Tuesday, June 16, 2009

month 4: limits

lately we have been testing each others' limits.

i know i talk a lot about leon's sleep patterns, but that's not because i resent waking up every 2-3 hours from midnight to 8 am. i don't know why, but i wake up fully rested most days, even when i feed him 5 times during the night--maybe it's the hormones. when in doubt, i blame everything on the hormones, including all that hair that keeps falling out.

mainly i'm perturbed because he's up all day long, manic, cranky, playful, hungry, and everything in between. you'd think the little guy would benefit from long chunks of restful sleep, but we're lucky if he sleeps 4 hours in a single stretch. but we seem to be reading each other's signals incorrectly, so naps are hard to come by in this household. i wait until he's lost interest in playing, check to see if he's hungry, and then i bring him into the darkened bedroom, turn on the air filter, and gently swing him down into the crib. sadly i don't have the option of tossing a freshly dried towel on the sheets to warm them, but i do keep my hands on leon for 10-20 minutes. as i tiptoe away, he begins crying.

last night leon was sorely tested by his parents. we decided to go to a birthday barbecue that began at 7pm. by 8pm leon was cranky. to make matters worse, we still hadn't eaten anything, although matthew had had a beer or two. by 8.40, i had fed leon 3 times, desperately hoping to calm him. still no food for me, though. at 8.50, the cries were so intense that i fled the house, running toward the car with leon in my arms, both of us crying and miserable. he continued wailing in the car, and it was only when i laid him in our bed and nursed him down that he fell asleep.

we should have known better because for the past week leon has been going to bed at 8.30-9pm. he'll wake up around 10.30 for a snack, and then back to sleep until around 2am. at this point his 2-3 hours sleep cycle begins.

when he has a good night's rest, leon is so sweet and cheerful. he wakes up with a huge grin on his face, cuddles and laughs, rocks his tummy time and diligently plays with all of his toys. i don't want to 'sleep-train' leon, obviously, but i do think that he would benefit from longer naps. he's also a wonderfully intense and observant person, so i don't mind playing with him for hours on end. it's especially nice that he falls asleep around 8.30pm, which means i can spend more time writing in the evenings.


Stephanie said...

Seriously, Erica, these photos are so cute it is distracting.

The whole getting to know you process sounds really intense ...

erica said...

i know, he's my little butterball. i have a hard time looking away, but sometimes you have to. even if it's to upload a few photos.

ok, back to work.

valerie said...

exactly what stephanie said.

i feel for you (and will very soon be feeling right along with you!) regarding the sleep/lack of sleep, but man is he ever the cutest.

romaine said...

agree with others - he looks like an angel. sorry things are so challenging, that sleep thing sounds like the pits. I think the average amount of time babies at that age is around 15 hours a day. I think i have also read that babies that sleep alot less than that are super intelligent. not that babies who sleep average amounts aren't but just sayin - that may be a consolation? hang in there though. when my kids were babies, it did seem like everything else was at a stand still and it was all about them, but in the scheme of things, it goes by fast.

halfandhalf said...

You guys really do have the sweetest little family ever. He's got the sweetest little face -- I'm sure the frustration is lined with a twinge of joy, right? I'm expecting a baby in August, and I really do appreciate the honesty of your blog, especially how not-a-piece-of-cake these early stages can be. Always looking forward to hearing more ... and the outfits of course.

Sesame Jones said...

try putting him to bed earlier, that might help. seriously though, i think what you describe is pretty normal. my baby is 20 months and he's still waking up once or twice during the night. so - hang in there! he's adorable.