You know how every now and then you realize what is really going on, but it was obvious all along? That’s what happened to me two nights ago.
For the past few weeks, after sleeping for five to seven hours at a time, Amor Chiquito has been waking up many times. I was getting one to two-hour chunks of sleep at a time. To top it off, when she woke me up around 4 or 5:00 a.m., it took me at least an hour to fall back asleep. It has been hard, really hard. I don’t handle sleep deprivation well. I was showing multiple symptoms of depression. It made no sense. I kept thinking “Everything is fine. Everyone is healthy. The bills get paid. My husband is awesome. My kid is happy… What is it? Why do I feel like this?” And, of course, I was wondering “What the hell is going on? What am I doing wrong? What changed? Why are we going through this again? Didn’t we go through this for long enough? We’ve dealt with this almost her entire life. The break was welcomed appreciated, and great while it lasted.”
Each and every night, I kept waking up because I was hot. I figured it was just me. The thermostat was set at 65 degrees. Geeky Entrepreneur was sleeping comfortably, with two blankets up to his shoulders. Amor Chiquito kept kicking the blankets off of her. I didn’t think anything of it. What kid keeps the blankets on her/him, I thought?
Finally, it dunned on me. She might be hot. And, I am way too hot, so I will open the window. She slept great for the rest of the night. That was two nights ago. Last night, I opened the window and she slept straight through until 6:30 a.m. She woke up at 6:30, nursed, and went back to sleep for another two hours.
I feel like a new woman today. I feel like a moron, but a happy one! I know I am very lucky that this is the hardest thing the three of us are dealing with. I did forget that a few times, particularly at 5:00 a.m. when I had only gotten three hours of interrupted sleep, I admit.
Moral of the story: when your child is not sleeping well, think about the simple, common causes: hot, cold, hungry, diaper, teeth. Also, think of things that might not be directly related, but that might affect sleep patterns, such physical activity, what the child ate before bed, if you are a breastfeeding mommy, what you are eating, is the child sick but asymptomatic? Another suggestion: create a list and keep it somewhere easy to find at 3:00 a.m. That way, when the cute little person can’t sleep, you simply go down the list, rather than trying to think.
I am sure there are more things to keep in mind. If you think of something, feel free to add it to my list.
Shh, I didn’t say this, but she napped at a reasonable time today and I am cautiously optimistic that I might be able to get her back on schedule! It’s the little things! Geeky Entrepreneur and I would be happy if she goes down before 10 p.m. I swear we do try!