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Sleep Stories

2015 February 7
by Becky

When it comes to babies, everybody has a sleep story to share.

And it changes by the day…or hour. During the day, we’re all pressured to get our babies on a “schedule” while simultaneously being lectured about following the baby’s cues. In our house schedule is still very arbitrary, we tweak and fudge daily. Luckily Finn is the most agreeable dude, he’s up for just about anything.

As for night time sleep, everyone wants to tell their tale. I’ve discovered there’s two ways to begin a sleep story.

“Well…” with a sly smile begins an awesome sleep story. This parent is almost embarrassed to share their baby’s incredible sleeping abilities because they fear a punch to the nose by a not-so-lucky parent.

“Ugh” with an eye-roll is the start from a parent of the baby who woke up ever two hours the night before. This parent is no less excited to share the story, it’s just got a really crappy ending.


We’ve been veeeeeery lucky with nigh time sleep this go-round—I remember Finn’s 10 hour sleep at like 4 weeks making us think OMG our baby is the best sleeper in the world!!! (That never happened again) But there’s always a few days (or weeks) where sleep is hellish. Those nights I get up 3 or 4 or 5 times to sleep walk in to feed Finn, my frustration in the moment both delirious and insurmountable.

“Just let him cry!!” screams in my head—it’s totally what I’ve told other people to do—for about five seconds at each wake, though inevitably I can’t stand the next five seconds of hearing my baby wail with what sounds exactly like severe hunger pangs. He MUST be starving.

Then the morning arrives and I look over that crib rail to see a wiggly morning wake-up smile and stretch…wait, why was I upset again?
This guy is the CUTEST!!


I can’t stay mad about my dark-circled eyes for even a second and know I’d sign right back up for the whole shabang of sleepless nights if asked.

That day, in the aftermath, is typically when I run into a friend with a similar aged baby who begins with, “Well… (sly grin) my baby slept 12 hours last night!” I never hate, sleep stories are always welcome to my ears. I’ll celebrate with my friend, ask how the heck they made that happen, and profusely praise the bubbly baby hanging on a carrier in her front. My turn. “Ugh. (eye roll) Mine was up 4 times. It was torture.” I’ll swear for the rest of the day something must be wrong with my baby, what the heck?

Then that night or three nights later or next week Finn will sleep straight through, 7:15pm to 4am, like a log, eat, then go back down till 7am. Maybe it’s the naps he got that day, maybe he ate just the right amount, maybe Dad put him to bed that night and he has the magic touch? Whatever, he slept.

I’ll of course have woken up 17 times in anticipation of him waking up (and to check the video monitor for signs of life) but I’m happy nonetheless.

THIS IS IT. Our baby is sleeping through the night!!!!

I’ll text my friend again we’ll swap this week’s sleep stories. “Well… (sly grin, yes even through text) Finn slept till 4am!!” to which she will respond, “Ugh, (eye-roll, again through text) mine won’t nap and was up three times the last two nights.” No doubt little fireworks of pride will explode in my sleepy head, I may tell her our latest process in hopes of shedding some “wisdom” and I’ll ride that high for a day or two.

Until it all turns back around.

We were in one of many turnarounds last week. Finn was needing way too many midnight snacks. Growth spurt? Maybe. I thought it was due to his master swaddle busting talent, getting out of his Miracle Blanket—to which I’d added industrial strength velcro. In desperation we tried something new, a locked down Miracle Blanket/Woombie combo…there’s no breaking through this arsenal of swaddle. I was a tiny bit worried we’d gone overboard on the swaddling (hey, it’s not duct tape!) but he was a happy little clam so all airways seem to be operating correctly.


I left for book club Wednesday night (much needed girl time, we just read The Farm) with Finn tucked in the impenetrable swaddle combo and snoozing soundly in his crib, Ethan’s teeth brushed, PJ clad, and ready for bed, only to return home to sounds of a pissed-off baby. Not screams, just loud, angry yells. I found Stu outside the nursery door, waiting the critical few minutes between going back in with extra loud “shushing” and crib wiggling.

I started strong but after 10 minutes of this in and out I couldn’t take it, I was ready to just feed him and hit the rack.

But Stu stayed strong. “It’s 10:30! This is crazy!” Agreed. Continue fearless leader.

And what do you know, the kid finally fell asleep and stayed that way till 4am. Five minute snack and back to bed till 7:30am.

I’ll take it.

He did seem pretty torn up about the whole yell-it-out fiasco.


He’s quick to forgive.

So this is our current sleep story. If someone asks me today I’ll probably say sleep is going great!! Then launch into our dual-swaddle and text-book skills of putting Finn to sleep while still awake. Of course I anticipate an 8-9 hour sleep tonight and hope it’s minus one 10:30 shush session.

We’ll see how the story goes tomorrow.

What’s your sleep story? Is an Ugh… or a Well…? Tell me, I’ll celebrate or commiserate with you.



2 Responses
  1. February 8, 2015

    The sleep stories are the best. Finn is adorable and you’re right, there’s no getting too frustrated with his happy face!!! Keep the pics coming-can’t get enough.

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