You know what? I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in well over a year. At 19 months, Theo still does not sleep through the night.
I could probably count the number of times on one hand that I have gotten a stretch of sleep that is longer than 4 hours. (Theo does sleep longer stretches than that, often from about 8:30 to about 2:30. If I could bring myself to go to bed at 8:30, I could probably get a 6-hour stretch…) Mostly, I go to bed too late, wanting to have time unfettered to get on my laptop and tend to other things. As a result, I rarely get to bed before 1 or 2.
Theo is still sleeping in our room, in a portable crib. At least for the first part of the night. After he wakes up in the night, I take him to bed with me. I don’t typically sleep all that well after that. 6:15, when the alarm clock goes off, comes all too soon.
What this means is that I am not getting enough sleep, and not nearly enough deep sleep. As a result, I have felt like I have developed a cognitive impairment. I have trouble focusing. My memory is leaky. My head is foggy. This does not lend itself well to making progress towards a PhD.
Something’s got to change.
I really didn’t expect Theo to still be sleeping in our room at this age. I think Phoebe started sleeping in her own room around 6 months old. When we were getting ready for Theo’s arrival, we got Phoebe a toddler bed so that the crib would be available. The plan was to move Theo in there, into Phoebe’s room, once he started sleeping well at night. (No sense in waking Phoebe in the night, right?)
So…that hasn’t happened.
It amazes me how different Phoebe and Theo are with respect to their sleeping patterns. Phoebe started sleeping through the night really early. Too early, even. We had to wake her to feed her in the night her first few months. It was a relief when she was gaining weight steadily enough that the pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to let her keep sleeping.
And then there’s the whole sleep training business. With Phoebe, she used to fight us at bedtime. It got to the point, maybe around 7 months, where we would be spending over an hour rocking her and singing to her to put her to sleep, and she’d spend most of that time crying, not wanting to go to bed. It made it easy for us to decide to try some “cry it out” sleep training. She was already crying anyway, and we were exhausted.
With Theo, we could put him down in his crib, and one of us would just need to sit near him a few minutes and he’d be asleep. There didn’t seem to be much urgency to change things, and things were so calm and quiet, with nobody crying. Now that he’s older, it’s a bit more variable, and sometimes he needs someone to sit with him longer to fall asleep.
But he still wakes up.
We even gave sleep training a brief go. 3 exhausting nights, with one angry baby screaming for over an hour. And no real progress. I think we’ve missed the optimal window for that.
I think that maybe if he’s out of our room, he’ll sleep better. Maybe having Phoebe in there will help him fall asleep without one of us needing to sit with him. On the other hand, he may just disrupt Phoebe’s sleep.
We’ve come really close to moving him out of our room several times. But somehow I always find reasons to put off the transition. (I hate transitions! I’m tired enough as it is, thankyouverymuch.) There were some practical concerns, too, though. Like needing to move the crib away from the lamp. Now the furniture is finally rearranged. And once we figure out a secure way to cover the outlet that is within easy reach of the crib (he pulls out the little plug things), I think I will be out of excuses. Theo will be moving in with Phoebe.
I just wish I knew how all of this was going to work out.