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The Sad, Cruel Irony of Sleep Regression

Sleeping baby

Misty water-colored memories of the way she slept (at night, anyway)

Not long ago, I was about to sit down and write, nay, brag about my daughter Peony, the most excellent sleeper.

And then a sad thing happened: she became a good sleeper no more.

I was waiting and waiting to really write about it since I know these things can change. But when she hit the 4-month mark at the end of December I decided it was safe.

I was wrong.

Little Peony started sleeping all the way through the night almost immediately after she was born. A couple of weeks into it, she went down from eating once or twice at night to not at all. I knew we were lucky, but I kept my mouth shut out of sympathy for all the other parents whose babies aren’t as sleepy when the sun don’t shine.

I am now in the latter group. It began almost two weeks ago when she started waking up 2-4 times a night in search of my breast.

If she didn’t need to be in our room I’d be tempted to shut off the monitor, let her cry it out and go back to sleep — mostly because I know she’s capable of sleeping all night. But she’ll be sharing a room with our 3-year-old daughter and until she gets out of this phase (please, let it be a phase!), we’re not willing to have both of their sleep disrupted by being in the same room with each other.

I know I could probably try and ignore her when she wakes up. But I’m right there, and her cries break my heart. She goes back to sleep not long after she starts feeding and stays asleep as long as she’s next to me. But I’m not a fan of co-sleeping, so I always move her back to the bassinet when I think she’s safely asleep. However, there really is no safety zone anymore. She’s getting up as many as four times a night. When just a few weeks ago she was getting up none at all. Those were the days. Sigh.

We’ve ruled out a growth spurt since I’ve never heard of a 2-week growth spurt. I think she’s simply gotten used to the comfort of nursing and the warmth of co-sleeping. Both of which keep me up at night. Literally.

If I didn’t know what I was missing it probably wouldn’t be so bad. But I do so it is. And it sucks.

Has your baby ever gone from angel to devil at night? What did you do about it?

Image: Meredith Carroll

 

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