Category Archives: sleep

Bath Time

Tanya recently told me she has been having trouble with her son going to sleep at night too early, giving her and her husband very little time with him in the evenings, especially since her husband would get home from work only minutes before the little guy would go to bed.

They didn’t really know what to do about it. If you know small children and babies, at that young of an age it is very difficult to alter their sleep cycles outright. The obvious thing to do is to stimulate them to keep them awake, but even this must be done in a certain way because the little things are practically narcoleptic. You could be bouncing the baby on your knee, or in the middle of tickling their feet and they will literally clonk out on you and fall asleep. I have changed my children while in the middle of sleep and they didn’t even bat an eyelash while I pretty much maneuvered them like dolls.

I realize a lot of new parents have this difficulty with their children falling asleep too early and either depriving their parents of bonding time in the evenings, or depriving their parents of sleep because they will then wake up too early in the morning. A trick I had with both my children worked rather well, and since I have mentioned it to Tanya, it worked for her too.

While playful stimulation does not necessarily work, physical stimulation that is slightly jarring can excite the baby enough to keep him awake for a bit longer. When my children were younger and tried going to bed earlier than I wanted them to, I moved their bath time to the time when they decided to sleep.

Small children do not like baths, and will often scream bloody murder in the tub, reacting like cats in the same situation. Obviously they still need to get bathed. Arguably they don’t need a bath every night, but until they readjust their sleep schedules, it doesn’t hurt them, and helps solve the problem.

Even though bath time only lasts a few minutes, they will be wide awake for at least a half an hour to an hour afterwards. If your child is trying to go to sleep several hours before you would like them to, work in increments, readjusting their bath time as necessary (usually half an hour to an hour later each week), until they start falling asleep at regular times.

Yes, all children are different, but this should work for most, and it is definitely worth trying.

So Sleepy

19 months. That is how long since I have slept for more than one night. 19 months is a long time. Sometimes I try not to think about it. But I am so tired. So, so tired. I have had my moments and have managed a night or two in between, but never anything regular that lasts. I used to think it was because I was pregnant, and pregnant women apparently don’t sleep. Except this wasn’t my first pregnancy, and I slept fine the first time around. Then the baby came, and Ducky was a handful. The first three weeks I had to stay up with him twenty four/ seven. I lay on the couch with him all night upright so he wouldn’t scream and wake up his sister. Once he was in his bassinet he was still waking up ever half an hour. Then he started sleeping in longer stretches (except when he is sick, then he screams bloody murder all night). But even when he is down, I am up.
Tonight I was going to work on something, but I told myself I would be in bed instead since I had no time to finish. I am obviously not in bed. I have to be up in a few hours, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I am up. I am like a little kid waiting to go to Disneyland tomorrow. Except I am going to my theory class instead. And I am probably not supposed to get this excited about Kant. Except, have you seen his writings? I think I am getting a little excited just writing about him.

If I am going to stay up all night I should probably be working on my presentation on Feminism. Except I have nothing to say that they want to hear. Of all the topics I could have been given, someone decided that since I am a woman I would want to write about Feminism. Apparently men are suppressing women in literature. Somewhere. There is this looming maleness in the great abyss oppressing women. My presentation thus far?

WHERE? Who is oppressing you? I want names and dates!

Clearly I am off to a good start….

So, yeah, I am not going to Disneyland. I am going to the happy place in my head, which is way better. Maybe a little scary, and I would totally invite all of you to join me, except you will probably run away screaming. Ok, no more of this. I promise I will go back to writing about baby stuff soon. In fact, here is a wonderful article I wrote just a few days ago about baby food making.

Maybe if I go lay in bed and stare at the ceiling long enough I will fall asleep. Wish me luck.

40 Weeks of Pregnancy – Week 25

It is Monday, and time for another week in my week by week pregnancy guide. If you want to catch up with previous weeks, scroll to the bottom.
Week 25
This was not my favorite time to be pregnant. Sure the nausea has long subsided, but now came some of the more lingering back pain. As your stomach expands, it starts really affecting your lower back as it has to support all the extra, unevenly distributed, weight. I found walking helps. As I mentioned in a few weeks ago, some people enjoyed doing yoga while pregnant. Before starting anything talk to your doctor and make sure it is safe for you.
Menstrual cramps also start happening around now. No, you are not going to be getting your period. You are just going to feel like you are. The good news is they don’t last for days at a time, just a few pangs here and there.
Sleeping became a little more difficult around this time too. Not only was I more restless, but I had a lot of difficulty finding a comfortable position. I used to be a belly sleeper, which obviously was no longer going to work. My back was now no longer comfortable either (or safe). When I would lay on my side, my knees would be at an awkward angle. I found propping pillows in all directions helped. I would lay on my left side with a pillow behind my back so I can lean into it without rolling directly onto my back, and another pillow between my knees. Some women also put a pillow in front of them for the same reason as the back pillow. Experiment with different positions and see what suits you.
One of the most vivid things I remember around this time of month was a recurring dream, or better yet nightmare. Apparently (and I really wish I had known this at the time), dreams become much more vivid and realistic around now. I had this terrible one where I either gave birth to a stillborn, or miscarried, or lost the baby shortly after giving birth. This dream stayed with me until delivery, coming back every few nights. The night before giving birth was the last time I ever had this dream (until I was pregnant again). Most sources say this is perfectly normal. Hopefully you will be one of the ones who doesn’t really get this. But if you do, and it really freaks you out, talk to your doctor. See what, if anything, he can do to reassure you.
To accompany the sleepless nights due to restlessness, discomfort, and bad dreams, I also started getting heartburn. With Munchie it was absolutely horrible, and lasted until I gave birth. With Ducky I had it just as bad, but for a much shorter time, and at this point it hadn’t started yet. There is no guarantee that you will get it, but if you do, it is not something that will linger after you give birth. Also (and I found this out about a week before giving birth to Ducky), you are allowed to take some heartburn meds while pregnant. I don’t know if I would take the super strong stuff regardless of what my doctor may say, but I would have pop a Tums once in a while had I known.Talk to your doctor.
Also, I know I keep saying “talk to your doctor” every few sentences, but I am terribly adverse to getting sued, and/or being accused of baby murder. So even though I am writing completely from research and experience, we are all different, especially when it comes to pregnancy, so what worked for me and tons of other people may in fact not work for you. Therefore, before you take my advice, speak with your doctor.
If you want to catch up with previous weeks….

Week 15 

Week 23