Monday, October 20, 2008

Reinventing Bed Time

I don't know who this child is. Certainly he's not the baby who went down for bed time in his own crib without a fight since he was two months old. Certainly he's not the infant who has slept through the night for months with only occasional midnight wake ups during teething bouts.

No, this is not my baby.
This is my toddler.

In the last month or so, Caleb has completely abandoned the idea of being my little champion sleeper, and now exhibits a preference for ignoring his bed time, fighting fatigue, and waking in the middle of the night for a 3 am play session.

3 am Kelly misses 11 month old Caleb.

Surely this is a phase, right? Just something he'll pass through on the way to becoming a big boy. A big boy that goes to bed on time and sleeps through the night again. Just a phase. Right?!

Or perhaps it's a growth spurt. Maybe he's about to shoot up three inches (his father would be so proud!) Or a development spurt. Perhaps all this fussiness and change is a precursor to walking. That's not unheard of, right? A weird bout of unexplained fussiness just before a big developmental change? I've heard that happens in some babies!

I guess it could be the introduction of separation anxiety, which I've ready can strike at about this age. Perhaps he's realized that bed time means he won't see Mommy and Daddy for a long time. Maybe occasional wakings during the night are much scarier now that he's aware that he's by himself in his room.

Or maybe it's teething. That's it. We'll use the generic catch-all excuse for infantile crabbiness. "He's teething." Sure he is. Just try and prove me wrong! Certainly we can chalk many things up to teething as he'll have teeth coming in for many more months to come.

The fact of the matter is, I don't know why Caleb's suddenly decided to boycott bed time. My husband came down at about 4 am the other morning when Caleb had already been awake for a good two hours and was screaming and fighting sleep. "What's wrong?" Tommy innocently asked. To which my exhausted self screamed, "I DON'T KNOW!" If I knew, he wouldn't be crying any more! If I knew, I'd fix it! My poor husband was trying to help, but my sleep deprived brain couldn't handle the interrogation in the face of a sleepless child.

Whatever the cause, it seems clear that the easy days of simple bed time routines are least for the time being. Gone are the days of 8:30 baths, 8:45 bottles, and 9:00 bed times without a fight. Now we try everything from baths to story time to snack time to rocking and singing. But usually we just have to wait until he's played himself exhausted and just falls asleep on the floor.

But our fingers are crossed that this is all just a phase. I guess only time will tell...

1 comment:

  1. I am still waiting for Evander (9.5 months) to sleep through the night. He's teased me with 3 nights at a time a couple times, but it hasn't held.... ugh. Sleep deprivation is the WORST, as are those weeks when kids seem to be having a developmental jump and are consquently crabby!