I am a lifelong insomniac.  I have always had trouble sleeping.  (Not counting the three years of high school I had swim practice at 5 am and then was overcommitted after school as well and then collapsed out of pure exhaustion by nine.)  When I was little, thanks to an overactive imagination, I would make up stories in my head.  Somehow, that helped lull me to sleep.  These days, however, I have more and more trouble getting my brain to calm down long enough to drift off.  Thanks anxiety and depression.  Smooches.

But I’m not here to talk about me.

I think insomnia must be genetic.  It is impossible to get Lorelei to sleep sometimes.  I’ve done everything “right.”  I don’t let her sleep too long during the day, she has a set bedtime routine, we swaddle her and she has her demon bear to comfort her.  Sometimes bedtime is an hour long saga of fussing and screaming while nothing is actually wrong.  And if we are lucky enough to get her to sleep at a reasonable time and with little trouble, she still wakes up.  A lot.

What does she want?  Her binky.

Or the demon bear has turned off and (gasp) it’s THE END OF THE WORLD!

Luckily (knock on wood), all she needs is for those things to be fixed and she goes right back to sleep.  I’m not complaining – do you hear me universe?  don’t start fucking with me now – it’s just that I really want her to sleep through the night.  For the purely selfish reason that I don’t want to be so exhausted during the day that nothing ever gets done.  So, I’m sending this question out into the void that is the internet: what should I do?  That whole cry it out thing doesn’t really appeal to me.  And my book (ha ha) suggests giving her a few minutes to try to calm herself before going to her, but since what she really wants is her binky and she can’t get it while she’s swaddled, leaving her alone just makes her more angry.

Or perhaps I should get used to this insomniac thing.  After all, I’ve been one my whole life.


About Kirsten

Wife, mother, writer and all around knerd. Maker of cookies, scarves and really big messes.

Posted on April 5, 2010, in Musings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Ah, I remember these days all too well. And it’s precisely why I only let S have his binky till hhe was around 3-4 months old. Charlotte had it till she was almost 3 and I swear it’s the reason she STILL gets up for comfort 2-3 times a night and shes almost FOUR.

    I know you want your baby to be comforted and I loved that Charlotte had the pacifier to soothe her when she was sad, but I’m much happier Sawyer has learned (with the help of some blakets and a stuffed frog) to comfort himself without it.

    My best piece of advice is to get rid of the binky now while she’s young enough to get over it quickly if you think she’s forming a Very Strong Attachment to it. Then again, I know how much it comforted Charlotte when I couldn’t and I doubt I would have taken it away back then if someone had given me the same advice. Your her momma, you do what you feel is best.

    Re: cry it out: I never let my babies truly cry for me. I’d give them a few minutes of crying to try and clam themselves and then I’d go in if they didn’t. I wouldn’t pick them up really but would pat them, rub their heads, talk softly to them, and then leave. Repeat as necessary.

    That being said, C slept through the night at 6 weeks old but we had the Bippy Drama of Aught Nine. Saywer was up once a night for a feeding until he was 8 months old but now he is the world’s best sleeper – down at 7:30, up at 7, and very rarely does he need me during the night. But if he DOES cry, I go to him, give him a hug, lay him back down and walk out (unless he’s sick of course) and usually that’s all he needs.

    Holy long comment, batman! Bottom line: This too shall pass.

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