Don't say I didn't warn you. This *is* a crazy sleep rant.
It’s 3:50am and I’m awake. So was Cassandra. You might think this is uncharacteristic for an 8-month-old baby. And it probably is. Truth is, it’s not her fault.
We sleep trained her months ago and it worked. The sad truth is though, she doesn’t nap well (if at all) at daycare. And all of the sleep science shows that sleep begets sleep in babies and children. That is, if they are napping well they’ll sleep better at night. This has proved true for Cassandra over and over. Each weekend I do my best to get her back on track. I stay home and put her down for her nap within two hours of her morning wake-up (as this book and this book and even this book all say to do). And each weekend (and night really) I’ve tried to establish a routine. I’ve stayed home and missed attending countless events to get her on track. I’ve put off trips. The end goal was always worth it to me – that she (and US) would get a full night’s sleep.
But every Monday she goes back to school and every Monday she comes home with a sheet of paper that reports how she didn’t nap. See, it’s louder and lighter there and she’s very sound sensitive and there’s not a lot we (or they) can do about that. We provided a portable sound machine and that helped (a bit). We’ve talked over and over with her caregiver (who tries to accommodate, but there is only so much she can do).
After yet another weekend of great sleep and yet another few weekdays of poor napping which in turn results in nighttime wake-ups, I decided to give up. I am tired of listening to her cry at night when she is waking up because of the poor napping at school. I am tried of trying to re-train her. It’s not fair to her and to us. I said I’m not letting her cry anymore. Since then, each day we’ve regressed a little bit more. She’s back to sleeping in the baby swing, nursing to sleep, waking up twice a night, etc. Her sleep is totally unpredictable (which also means -- in my opinion -- that we can’t leave her with a babysitter.) I’m sure by the weekend, we’ll be co-sleeping. (I’m kind of kidding there, but I seriously don’t see things moving any other way and I’m no longer sure that would be a bad thing for us.)
I just don’t see a lot of options here. Brad and I have talked about it ad nauseum and I mean ad nauseum. I can’t quit my job. We can’t hire a nanny and keep her home. We can't keep re-training her every weekend.
Sigh. Luckily, despite the lack of sleep during the weekdays, she is still a pretty happy baby. I, as you can tell, am not a happy mommy.