We are rapidly approaching the point of E1 being an afternoon napper and E2 being a morning napper — and that is just never going to work! We’d end up never leaving the house again.
The problem is that I let E2 sleep too late in the mornings. It’s vicious cycle — she keeps me up too late at night (usually 1.30-2-2.30, sometimes up again at 5ish) so I end up trying to catch up by sleeping as late as E1 will let me. When I hear her wake, I get up and wash, then get her up and washed, and leave E2 to sleep the whole time. What can I say? Life is so much easier when E2 isn’t screaming blue murder in the background.
So by the time I get E2 up it’s quite late in the morning — more like the time a baby would wake from a morning nap than from her night’s sleep. She is almost becoming a morning-napper by default.
How to fix this? I decided few days of being made to get up earlier and then nap in the afternoon ought to set her in a new pattern. Under normal circumstances, that would be a painful proposition, as it would mean I’d have to drag myself through the first couple of days on 2-3-4 hours’ sleep. But this weekend was a Bank Holiday weekend, so I had M’s help for 3 days in a row. I hoped that would do the trick!
It started alright: E2 got me up for a feed on Saturday morning at 7am and we didn’t let her to go back to sleep. By afternoon-naptime, she was hanging and fell soundly asleep at the first suggestion. Success! Except… she didn’t go to sleep that night until 1am. I made the assumption that I’d let her nap go on too long.
On Sunday morning, she woke up at 9.30. I’d meant to get her up earlier, but I slept straight through as well, being tired as I was from the late night. Nevertheless, she was still fairly easy to put down for her nap in the afternoon, and we kept it a bit shorter. I hoped for an early night.
But it was a disaster. She fed and started to look sleepy early on in the evening, then suddenly stopped feeding and started talking to me all bright-eyed and joyful. So we tried again a bit later, and exactly the same thing happened. And then again later still. At 1am, she was still feeding more out of politeness than real hunger, and was very much wide-awake. What on earth to do with this child?
I think she must have her first tooth coming because feeding her the last few days has been very painful! She has started to bite down while she feeds and, when she comes off, she keeps her jaw clamped shut and just pulls off. She’d been doing that all night and I was fed up with it, so at 1.30am, I took her upstairs and unceremoniously plonked her in bed. I listened to her complain for about 5 minutes and then it all went quiet. I assumed she’d fallen asleep, so I tidied up the living room and headed upstairs.
I checked on E2 before going to bed. In her protestations at being put down, she’d got herself turned over, sideways in the cot, and with one arm trapped in the bars. I picked her up gently and righted her, but she woke and began to cry. I tried in vain to settle her, and then left her alone to cry while I cleaned my teeth, hoping the dark and quiet might carry her back to sleep. No such luck. She built herself up to a bitter cry, so I gave up and settled myself down to feed her. At least this time she was focused on the feed and so it was relatively pain free.
It was 3am before I finally got in bed — so much for getting an earlier night. If we could break this late-night pattern, my whole world would change. If I got to bed even at 11, I could start my days earlier, get more done, maybe even grab some exercise and start to lose this weight. I could be in control again.
But right now I am trapped in this cycle, forever scrabbling for sleep and lurching from one day to the next in a slow-witted haze. I had high hopes we could make some progress this weekend, but it appears we have not. I got her up this morning at 9, after only 6 hours’ sleep, and M kept her up while I went back to bed. She was cranky and tired for him, and then wouldn’t take a nap in the afternoon. None of it makes any sense! It’s so difficult!
M said, “She keeps you up all night, and now she’s biting. Maybe she’s a vampire!” and then walked off chuckling away to himself.
With her for a daughter and him for a husband, I shall surely go mad.