To date, I would say the hardest thing about being a mother is trying to get my sweet boy to sleep. You have no idea how much energy Sam and I put into coaxing, convincing, and tricking the lentil into sleeping.
We had our bout with The Baby Whisperer. I whispered that baby for weeks and each time I thought I had it figured out, Sam proved me wrong. He didn't WANT to prove me wrong, but no sooner would I utter the words, "I think he's ready for you to put him down for a nap" than the whole "schedule" and "sleep" would fly out the window. Back then, Zayd fought naps with exaggerated kicks. Nowadays, he just screams at the top of his lungs and attempts to climb out of his crib.
A couple of weeks ago, I took Zayd for his evening walk. We went by the Circle School and realized they were hosting their annual Fall Festival complete with hay and jack-o-lanterns. A perfect photo opportunity. So, we rushed home, put our Halloween jammies on, and headed back. After signing up for the story time in the hay field, I turned around to find this little man:
Really, Zayd? Really? I try and try and try to get you to sleep at least twice a day and AT LEAST three times a night and you refuse. Then I take you for a photo shoot aaaannnddd...really? I will have you readers know that as soon as I pulled him out of the stroller to place him in his crib, he woke up, freaked out, and screamed at me for quite some time.
Lately, it seems he is discovering the ability to self soothe. But only in the strangest ways, The other day I had some Cruise Holidays work to do so I put him in his jumperoo for about 15 minutes. I heard him bouncing happily along for quite some time and then he went quiet. For a couple of minutes I wasn't concerned, maybe he had found something to chew on. I come out to find this:
He is 100% passed out. He bounced himself to sleep. This is a hysterical twist on the foresaken yoga ball that we got to "help with colic" and now the whole Mammen clan (not to mention the Manny) is enslaved to. "Should I bounce him?" is heard every day in our house. I have given up bouncing for the most part, but I just replace bouncing with nursing and we "crutch" our baby to sleep.
Here is Zayd just this Tuesday at the park around 8:45am.
This is a new thing and I am hoping it is a sign of positive changes to come. He wasn't asleep but he was tired, so Zayd shut his eyes and relaxed his little neck for a minute. I thought for sure he would have a great morning nap that day. But both days this week (I am home full all day Tuesday and Thursday) he skipped morning nap, had an awesome afternoon nap, and refused any further sleeping until bedtime. And, no, skipping most of his sleep during the day doesn't make him a better night sleeper. We have had some decent nights lately - maybe a 4-5 hour stretch after he joins our bed - and some horrible ones - last night comes to mind.
As I write this, I can see Sam bouncing little Zayd in our baby video monitor. He has successfully bounced him to sleep and put him in his crib twice now. Three times a charm? I'm guessing we have to call in the the natural ambien - milk.
Think positive sleepy thoughts for us.