Wednesday, February 22, 2012

...And The Schedule Was God, And The People Did Worship

After one too many sleep-deprived nights, I'm officially putting my foot down. It is now time to administer The Schedule to E's daily routine. I have a lovely wonderful little boy...who is still waking up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the night. And I'm sorry, but I just don't do 90-minute naps through the night. 8 hours sleep or GTFO. I'm the sort of person who needs her sleep. Just ask my mom or my sister: I was practically narcoleptic as a teenager. It was a miracle that I managed to get up for early morning Seminary during high school. Even when I was staying home during the second half of my pregnancy: the Husband was lucky if I was more than half-concious when he left for work. It isn't just that I'm not a morning person - though that's indisputable - it's that without about 8-10 hours of sleep I'm a cranky, lethargic zombie. I could be an extra in The Walking Dead: hair tousled, bleary-eyed, generally dishevelled, and stumbling around like I'd spent the night before drinking heavily and being beaten around the shins with a cricket bat.

With this in mind, it's time to regiment Ethan so that he starts sleeping better. Primarily, this will mean adding in another daytime nap, but it'll also include more structured bouts of play time, lots of time in the door bouncer, and time in the Moby while I run errands/clean the house/get dinner ready. I figure if he rests well, eats well, and plays well during the day, he'll sleep well at night...and we can stop all of this foolishness of waking up at midnight and 2am and 4am and 5am.

Now, I've been looking up things about getting your baby to sleep better on teh Interwebz, and I have to say that few things about raising tiny humans breed more controversy than the debate about how to get your kids to sleep. If you leave them to cry and soothe themselves back to sleep you're a heartless, unfeeling wench, who clearly uses the time while her helpless child is crying to kill puppies and cackle maniacally in a swivel chair whilst stroking a Persian cat. If, on the other hand, you constantly, rock, feed, and soothe your child to sleep, leaving them with you in your bed, then you're a permissive, spineless mollycoddler who will raise weak-willed children incapable of facing the harsh realities of life as we know it. Personally, I think both extremes are absolute crap. Personally, if I'm already holding E and trying to calm him down, I can't just set him down in his crib to let him cry all on his lonesome. It's not that I think it'll scar him emotionally for life, but unless I'm absolutely at the end of my tether and standing on the dizzying precipice of Crazy, I just feel like I'm wimping out on my responsibility as his mom to set him down and say, "you're on your own for now, babes." That's not me making a value judgement on moms who do need to set their kids down when they're screaming and crying so that they too don't start to scream and cry...I'm just saying that it's not for me.

That said, rather than subscribing wholesale to Dr. Sears or Dr. Ferber or any of the other hundreds of baby experts teh Interwebz will give me access to, I'm amalgamating my own approach. And that approach starts with giving Ethan The Schedule.

Do I know yet what this schedule will be? Nope. But I have a rough plan on a desktop Post-It note. Do I think it'll work perfectly the first time I try it? Not a chance. Today, I've already set him down for what was meant to be a second nap, but is really a third an hour later than I'd planned because we had to hit up the GP's office to stick needles in my baby's legs. But do I think that in the long run this schedule, whatever form it takes, will save - not only me and the bags under my eyes - but Ethan from hours of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth every day? If I didn't think that, I wouldn't be doing it. So here's to the success of The Schedule. (I feel like this needs some sort of special plea to the Baby Jesus...and yes, I'd specify the infant as opposed to the adult. It just seems to fit.)

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