Sleep? What is That?

From about week 3 on, Mr. Burgher or I have not had to complain about the lack of sleep that most new parents do. Lil Man, true to family form, loves his sleep. But coming to this nine month mark, he’s been a beast at night. I hear from many reliable sources that this means he’s on the cusp of something big (walking?) developmentally.

But can a Mama and Daddy get some rest? Waking up at 3 or 4 AM with no apparent reason has become Lil Man’s habit. We sometimes turn on ESPN and let him veg until he passes out. Or one of us will hold him or walk with him or give him a bottle (because even 40 minutes of nursing isn’t enough).

It must be karma. When I was a baby, my mom said I refused to sleep unless she was somehow touching me (so she spent many nights on the floor of my room, holding my hand through the crib bars). How do I know? This weekend, while Mr. Burgher and I were at all things PodCamp (and making new friends), Lil Man slept two whole nights with his Pappy and Grammie from 9 PM to 6 AM without stirring. Just. Like. That.

We get him back Sunday afternoon, and he is wide awake, but luckily passes out with us at 8:30. Not long after, he’s back up and we both barely sleep. What gives? I was wondering if it was being in our room, but no, when at my parents’, he is in their room, too.

Even this evening (when I was graciously given 45 minutes during his nap to get ready for my scrapping weekend), as soon as Mr. Burgher and Lil Miss A pulled away from the curb, I heard giggling and found this:

Good thing he’s cute, right?

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Waking a Sleeping Baby

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A little while ago, I came home from a PodCamp Pittsburgh organizers meeting (preceded by a long day of work). Most sane people would have chosen to pop a squat on the couch or flop into bed.

I, however, chose to wake a sleeping baby. This Mama has her reasons. I didn’t get to see him all day. I have only fed him once today. Not waking him meant having to clean my pump not once but twice AND fight it (as it is dying a valiant death at a ripe 7 months old) to get me a measly 2-3 ounces. Yes, dear friends, for selfish reasons, this Mama chose to wake a sleeping baby.

Gotta tell you, this (no longer) sleeping baby sure was confused, but he is cuddly, clingy, and quite the dose of love one needs after a long day. The room is cool, yet his head of hair is damp with baby sweat. His eyes, while confused as to why he only slept a few hours, are glued to my face. And his feet give happy little kicks of joy every so often.

In a few hours, I will probably tell you I was not so wise to play a selfish card get to snooze while Mr. Burgher takes the punishment for waking a sleeping baby, but right now? These extra moments are all worth it.

Sleep Worry

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Ever since our children were born, I watch and listen like a hawk while they sleep.

Those first days and weeks, I watch for the rise of their chest during first snuggles and long naps.

I try to figure out how they can sleep so sound yet escape the swaddler (or poke a foot or hand out of it just enough to sefl soothe).

Watching and listening combine as the night feedings slow and sleeping through the night begins.

The first time they roll over in the crib, I fiercely stare to make sure their little lips and noses are getting air.

As they become mobile, it is watching for hands or feet poking through the crib slats, curtains pulled down, or diapers pulled off (or all of the above in one night, ahem).

In cold weather, is the blanket too much or too close to their face? For warm nights, is a diaper or pull up enough? Will we wake to an accident?

Moving from the crib to a toddler bed, when is it safe to let the baby free or trust that they won’t stay up all night playing with their stuffed animals?

Was that cough a choke or just a normal cough? Is the vaporizer working the room like it is a set of the Babies of the Mist?

Before we know it, we’ll be worried about the sleep patterns on a school night and if they came home at a decent hour.

Time flies by quickly. As I watched Lil Man sleep a few moments ago, I wondered when he’d have another bad dream (like he did earlier, shaking and clinging to Daddy). I wondered when the kids will want to run from monsters and storms and camp out on pallets in our room. And I wondered how long it would be until we transition Lil Man to his own room (although I am in no rush).

Even then, I’ll still probably sneak in and watch them sleep, worrying about the next breath, the next move, the next milestone. But I’ll remind myself that they will always be my babies to watch and worry over, to just enjoy the sneak peeks at their dream smiles while I can.

Sweet Dreams, Lil Man and Lil Miss A!