grow

Dreading Bedtime

Baby W works on mastering his pouty face–he has become an expert.
Today’s post inspired by Casey’s touching words yesterday.
Every night,
and I mean every night for the last two years,
at around 10 pm I start to dread my impeding bedtime.
Because I know that going to bed means another evening of unrest.
Of getting kicked in the face 20 or so times.
Of stopping a sleep-walking baby from roaming throughout the house.
Of tucking and re-tucking him in over a dozen times.
Of getting awoken at that very moment that my body starts to finally enter the REM cycle.
I close my laptop around 12 or 1 am,
grab a glass of water,
kiss the sleeping hubby on the cheek
and crawl into a bright red race car bed
next to a snoring babe.
I place a diaper at arms length
for a certain middle of the night change,
adjust the pillows just right,
and make sure the taggies on his blanket
are within reach of his little fingers.
And then I say a silent prayer,
that maybe tonight will be different.
Maybe tonight will be the night that things get better.
I say Amen,
roll over so his chubby cheeks are less than an inch from mine
and inhale deeply.
I love the way he smells.
like a baby.
like possibility.
like hope.
like my son.
I smile and give him a series of light kisses all over his face.
Then I pull his body in closer
wrap my arms around him,
and thank God for these moments.
So what if I failed at the Cry It Out Method,
or didn’t take the Baby Whisperer’s advice.
Because moments like these are fleeting.
Moments where he lets me play with his hair,
and enjoys getting a thousand kisses,
and wants me cuddling next to him at all times.
In these moments, I remember why it’s okay to be tired.
Why it’s okay to sometimes break the “rules of parenting”.
Why the small moments matter the most…
…and then I do my best to embrace them.
…although a full nights sleep would be nice.

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62 Comments

  • Reply
    Free Pretty Things For You
    June 13, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Ariel still doesnt sleep through the night either 🙁
    Have you tried Huggies night time diapers? I used to have to do a middle of the night diaper change too but these things dont leak! awesome find.

    xoxo
    Keren

  • Reply
    Free Pretty Things For You
    June 13, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Ariel still doesnt sleep through the night either 🙁
    Have you tried Huggies night time diapers? I used to have to do a middle of the night diaper change too but these things dont leak! awesome find.

    xoxo
    Keren

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    June 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Oh Ashley, I failed at those things too. My two year old still sleeps in our bed. He has terrible sleeping habbits, I think mostly due to his Hydro, but anyway. Don't worry. Our kids won't be a bad sleepers forever. I mean, it's not like they'll be asking us to sleep with them when they're 12. Right? Right? Someone tell me they won't! Hehe. Hope you get a good night sleep soon!

  • Reply
    emerson-j
    June 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

    i had a perfect sleeper till my boy was 18mths then i fought and fought trying to get back into routine…all that hard work when he was younger did not turn him into an ideal sleeper anyway! dont know why i stressed myself out for all those months 😉

  • Reply
    CaseyWiegand
    June 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

    aiden doesnt sleep through the night either!!!! BUT the good news is my little A sleeps pretty good! love you beautiful friend!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Maeve Rachel
    June 13, 2011 at 11:19 am

    This is so sweet =) It really is important to cherish and appreciate those sweet moments =)

  • Reply
    gin
    June 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

    My little guy doesn't sleep through the night either; but during those wake ups are the only time he really ever nestles his face into my neck and lets his body relax against mine. During the day, he does full speed ahead from the moment he wakes up. So, while I would love a full night's rest, those middle of the night wake up calls are okay too.

  • Reply
    james @ agirlcalledjames
    June 13, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Zoe has almost been a good sleeper since she was born…except for the first couple of weeks when I slept in a rocking chair with her wrapped around my belly because she wouldnt sleep any other way.

    I long for moments like yours. I haven't gotten cuddles since she started crawling i believe and she'll be 2 on the 21st.

  • Reply
    Jen
    June 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I remember a feeling of hope each night as I tucked my first born into bed. I remember that this could be the night when he actually sleeps and won't be up 9,10,11 times, and I'll be rested and a new mom in the morning. I remember feeling like such a fool each morning, when I was just as tired as I was the night before, after being up half the night with an uncooperative baby. Eventually he did sleep through the night (although it took some super tough parenting and screaming to get there) and we had two more babies to follow him up. Sleep came easier with those two, I learned from life with Baby B and changed a few things around, and I'm so glad I did. My 5 year old, nearly 3 year old, and 10 month old baby let me sleep most nights, and I'm so thankful for that! All the best with Baby W, things will turn around yet! Hang in there!

  • Reply
    mrszimm
    June 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    My son doesn't STTN either and he sleeps in my bed. I have the same outlook as you. That these moments are fast and fleeting, so enjoy them while God gives them to me.

  • Reply
    pakosta
    June 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I totally understand, believe me!
    my girls are 11.5 and almost 10 and they are up alot at night still and with all the storms we have been having, they are on my bedroom floor now. I had them both in my bed right next to us until they were 4.5 years old, I TOTALLY GET IT!
    tara

  • Reply
    Jessica
    June 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Truitt does sleep through the night either. he used to and then he turned 6 months old and wont now. and unfortunately he wont cuddle if i bring him into our bed. :[ he;ll be wide awake as soon as we walk out of his room.
    i hope you get some sleep soon!

  • Reply
    Laura T.
    June 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I used to sleep with my son too when he was little because he would not sleep alone. Even today (he is seven) I go up and lay with him in bed for a few minutes. Like you said, there is going to come a time when your little boy will think it's gross to be around his mommy. I'm lucky that my seven year old still likes to snuggle.

  • Reply
    Shay Bocks
    June 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Please do not feel like a failure! You are actually doing the best thing for your baby by not making him cry it out – by being there and nurturing the attachment between the two of you! Check out drsears.com – there's a ton of information there that will help you to feel better about what you're doing. You're a great mom – doing the best you can for your baby. Why not bring baby W to bed with you so you're both more comfortable?? We sleep with ours and it helps us all get better sleep.

  • Reply
    Amber
    June 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    You should read "healthy sleep habits, happy child" by Marc weisbluth. It'll change your life!! It changed mine- and my kids!!
    I love your blog. You are beautiful and inspiring!

  • Reply
    Jen
    June 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    AMEN! I know it won't be long before my little guys no longer want to cuddle with their mama – so I will take it morning, noon, or night until they have outgrown it. Enjoy your nighttime snuggles. 😉

  • Reply
    D
    June 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Oh, "LMM" these moments are fleeting!! They WILL NOT last forever…. they just feel like they do!!! Take in every little pouty face, every smell, every little moment because…………someday, you, like myself, will have a twenty year old "baby boy" who isn't so fond of his momma snuggling in his bed or smelling his hair! It is over in a blink of an eye. You will look back on these nights with longing, someday… not now… but someday.
    On a side note… my "baby" slept beside my bed (on the floor) till he was 11!!! (you're probably cussing right now at that thought) but he is now a normal 😉 college student… doesn't have any weird momma attachments and will probably be a great contribution to society ;););)

  • Reply
    Ariel @ Dreams To Do
    June 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    You are not alone girl! A few months ago I was determined to do the cry it out thing with my almost 2 yr old, Leila, to get her to sleep in her own bed all night, but that lasted about 5 minutes. It is sooooo not worth making her sad! And like you said, we just need to appreciated the snuggles and really being needed by our babies while they are babies. Soon enough they'll be teenagers wanting nothing to do with us (oh man, why did I have to go there?). You are a great momma just doing what you need to do for your son. Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Jen Staffeldt
    June 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I second Amber's comment above. If you want to, read "healthy sleep habits, happy child" by Marc weisbluth…but only if you want this to change. Sounds like you love this alone time with Baby W (outside of the lack of sleep).

  • Reply
    Toni
    June 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Love little snuggles, I only get them when Sailyr is very VERY tired. Other wise she is way to busy to let me snuggle her. 🙂 Love baby w's little pouty face!

    love your blog!

    -toni
    alwayshavejoy.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    June 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    My almost 3 yr old still won't go to sleep by herself and nightly wakes to find me if I sneak back to mommy & daddy's bed. I sleep with her all night way too often.

    I finally decided to just lie to the people who wouldn't shut up about it and just embrace the way it is. (p.s. I HATE to lie…but the in-laws make me too nuts to tell them it's still going on : )

    I love more than anything that time snuggled to my beautiful girl. I get so frustrated too often with the situation (because sleep deprivation is a true form of torture) but the cuddle moments make me happy that we have this messed up sleep thing : ) I inhale her too…the sent of my child is the sweetest smell to this mama. The sent of pure love. I wouldn't get up those moments…even for the perfect parent award : )

  • Reply
    nicole.
    June 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    me too lady. me too. all of it {race car, diaper within reach… the whole sha-bang}

  • Reply
    AbsoluteMommy
    June 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    What is sleeping through the night? That doesn't happen at our house. Caitlin sleeps with Daddy and Mac sleeps with me. I failed the cry it out method too. So what? I cherish those silent blissful moments too. One day they will sleep through the night, and we will be sad that those cuddling days are over. I'm enjoying this time. I can sleep later. Thanks for your honesty!
    Megan

  • Reply
    Jean
    June 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I don't know how you do it…I would not be able to survive! I was so nervous to let my daughter cry it out, but finally when she was a year we just tried it. She cried for about 20 minutes the first night, 10 the next, and then slept through the night after that. I know it's hard, but might be worth a try? Granted, she is still in a crib..I guess it may be different since your son can crawl out of his bed. Anyway, I just know I am a happier wife and mom when I get sleep! Good luck!

  • Reply
    MellyB
    June 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I am so with you sister. I can't even imagine a baby that goes to bed without a fight, stays asleep and wakes up happy the next morning.

    I decided when he was still just a couple months old that it was a gift because I work and it gave me a few more hours to cuddle with him in the middle of the night. Still, an easy night once or twice a month would be nice. 😉

  • Reply
    Andrea
    June 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    i love breaking the parenting rules when it comes to having more sweet moments with my girl!

    such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Reil family
    June 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    We got a projector and a noise maker at Target, when my baby was 9 months old. He feel asleep watching it the first time, we used it, and he has been sleeping through the night ever since!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    June 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Oh dear!. I know *exactly* how you feel. My 19 month old Lilah was the same. Every single night I dreaded bedtime and got really anxious about it. I would get so worked up sometimes I would cry. It was my least favorite time of the day. Hopefully in time it will resolve itself and things will go back to normal. Seems you have such a great attitude about it being such a great snugggle time with Baby W. They are only little for so long 🙁

  • Reply
    Jiza Zito
    June 14, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Beautiful! I'm glad you posted this. I also didn't do the CIO (& sometimes sleep in his toddler bed) & I too pray every night that "maybe this night" will be different. I had a moment very similar to yours just the other night as I calmly hummed a lullaby as my son fell asleep. I couldn't finish the song b/c I got choked up at the thought that these moments will be gone before I know it. In the grand scheme of life, when our sons will be 16, they'll definitely be sleeping through the night so much that we'll be dragging them out the next morning. LOL. God bless!!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    June 14, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Thanks to you, I blogged about a similar situation on my blog today 🙂

    http://sassysippycupsandstickysarcasm.blogspot.com/2011/06/mommys-relate-to-sleepless-nights.html

    My daughter doesn't sleep through the night either, and ends up in our bed every single night… but I can't give up precious moments of cuddling, because I know one day… she may not want to cuddle with me anymore. So I cuddle because I want to show her I love in every chance I get 🙂 Good luck with the sleeping!!!!!

  • Reply
    Jayna
    June 14, 2011 at 3:06 am

    I know exactly how you feell! Sleeping in a toddler bed isin't easy, this I know! I sleep in one myself a few nights a week.

  • Reply
    Zsa Zsa
    June 14, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Aww I love this part: In these moments, I remember why it's okay to be tired.Why it's okay to sometimes break the "rules of parenting".
    Why the small moments matter the most……and then I do my best to embrace them.

    …that's why a mom's job is the best job in the world! 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebekah
    June 15, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Your post and all these comments have encouraged me so much! My 11 month old son still sleeps with us and I feel alot of pressure to let him cry it out. He is one of those kids that wouldn't cry for ten minutes and fall asleep, he would cry for hours. I feel like I am the only one where I live that would rather enjoy the little moments with my son than to parent by the book. So thank you for sharing i don't feel so alone now:)

  • Reply
    Meagan Kemp
    June 17, 2011 at 3:24 am

    If I've learned anything as a mom it's that there's no room for judging. We're all doing our best for us, and for our children. Not only that, there's plenty of hate and tearing down in our world – as mother's we should support, love and encourage one another even if we're using different techniques. Lots of love. And I ADORE your blog!

  • Reply
    Carolynleigh
    June 18, 2011 at 1:13 am

    So sweet 🙂 It's true that nothing else matters during those sweet moments.

  • Reply
    Scrappy Gifts
    June 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Totally totally can relate! Now that we have 2, my husband has been sleeping with our son when he wakes up while I'm with the baby. I sometimes miss laying with my son, but sometimes he'll ask me to lay with him to put him to bed and those little moments are cherished once again. I'm sure glad we got him a twin bed though before the baby came, much more room when those nights occur =D
    I love your blog by the way! I just found it through another friend's blog. I'd love if you checked out my Mommy Mondays – http://craftymommydiva.blogspot.com/search/label/Mommy%20Mondays

  • Reply
    Real Housewife of Loomis
    June 20, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    my 11 month old little girl wakes practically every hour. I feel like I can't possibly go on another day. I am so exhausted I can't do anything. I have an etsy shop that is on vacation and I can't imagine reopening it because I am so tired. She sleeps in her room that is about 2 feet from ours. I soooo want to let her just cry it out and end this but despite wearing ear plugs and the pillow over my head, I can still hear her. I get about hours of sleep a night, and that is not continuous. Any advice? I thought I wanted a bus load of kids but I don't think I can do more than 1 at this point. I am depressed beyond belief and feel so helpless and overwhelmed. I want to spend my days crying. A year of 2 hours of sleep a night doesnt work.

  • Reply
    Ivana
    June 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this blog and all of the comments. It helps so much to know that Im not alone in this. I feel like a failure when everyone gasps that my 14 month old doesn't sleep through the night and still sleeps with us. Idk what else to do. Did I create this? Should I go against my mommy instincts to hold her when she cries? Is it bad that I would rather go through this nightly battle, then to let her cry it out in the crib? ugh… anyway. THANK YOU so much for this post.

  • Reply
    Ana BBK
    June 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    My son is only 3 mos, he sleeps pretty well, but I also snuggle with him on the couch or in his nursery. Everyone says I'm creating a dependency, but so what? If the worst thing that can happen is that he's dependent on me and wants snuggles, then I'll take it 🙂 I love every moment I spend with him!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    June 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    On the other side, to sleep alone could help to teach them independence or that they are not the ones in charge, right? I can understand your point too, but I wonder if it really is best for the child, or just nice for the parent. Meaning the parent feels guilt if they leave them to cry so it is easier to stay, plus they get to cuddle then. Something to think about I guess. I am not saying you are wrong or bad though, I just have always wondered about the psychology of it all. I had to try the CIO because I am one of those who need sleep or can't function at all and it took two nights – I went in after 2 min, then 3, then 5, etc. I guess if you really need the sleep you just have to do it. And I still get cuddles during the day! =)

  • Reply
    Chris, Krista and Conor Bolton
    July 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Just discovered your blog today and love it! This post made me tear up a little because it's exactly how I feel. I have a 15 month old son who won't sleep alone so he sleeps in our bed. He still wakes up 2-3 times a night, but since he is in my bed it's easy to calm him without totally waking up myself. I feel alot of pressure from others to make him sleep alone, but he will only be little once and I intend on taking full advantage of snuggling as long as he will let me. He is a totally independant, happy and super energetic boy otherwise so I'm not worried. Sleep will come eventually!

  • Reply
    Mel
    August 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Great blog! My 9 month old sleeps with me still and I could not make cry it out work either. I have finally let go of the idea that having a baby who sleeps through the night = good parenting. I figure I will never look back and say I really should have cuddled my baby less.

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