Friday, November 21, 2008

Why do I always choose wrong?

I swear, I am so bad at reading Jacob sometimes. Or at the very least, I have bad luck. For whatever reason, when Craig brings Jacob home, they always manage to have a nap together. Jacob falls asleep in the car on the way home, and somehow Craig gets him in the house, out of his seat, and on his chest without too much trouble. They nap until I get home, and Jacob is in a good mood most of the night because he's well rested. I never can get him to fall asleep. I carry him around, rock him, try to lay down with him, put him in the swing. He cries if I put him down and squirms if I hold him. I know he's tired, but he fights it like crazy. I'm convinced that part of the problem is that with me he can smell the breastmilk...he gets tired and would rather eat than sleep. I can feed him and he gets sleepy, but the moment I try to move (generally to try to lay him down), he wakes up and starts fighting all over again.

Tonight we got home from daycare and I tried rocking him a bit, walking around with him, anything to get him to take a nap before he got too cranky. I could tell he was tired, but no dice. Eventually he melted down and I had to feed him. He was sleepy afterward but sure enough, wide awake shortly thereafter. I desperately wanted to eat dinner but nothing was working to get him to sleep. Finally, after letting him cry while I ate a Hot Pocket with one hand, I rocked him a LONG time (which was so hard with my sore arms from last night's workout), and he conked out. I figured he'd sleep about a half hour or so (his norm), wake up before 9, eat and go to bed. I let him sleep on me because I hadn't done that with him in a while and I didn't want to wake him up. Well, over two hours later, he was still asleep and I was well on my way. So much for waking up and eating. I finally got up, took him into his room and changed him for bed. Of course, he never fully woke up and instead was writhing around half asleep, making it almost impossible to change him. I managed to get him in bed still half asleep and without much fuss, but now I'm wondering if he's going to wake up hungry at 3am or something crazy like that.

The point of all of this is that even with a wonderful and generally predictable baby I still have a hard time guessing what to do. The other night I had a similar situation...I can't remember the circumstances exactly, but I just know that I felt trapped by decisions. Like I misjudged timing in something and it left me in an awkward position for something else. I just feel like I never read him completely right, and it drives me nuts! This sleeping thing is at the top of the list.

My mom was talking to me last weekend about putting him in his crib to nap. I haven't done it a lot, to be honest. When I was home on maternity leave I used to try to get him to sleep in his pack 'n' play or he'd fall asleep in the boppy (supervised by me, of course). I had read somewhere that keeping the crib for night time sent the signal that it was time to sleep longer, and that seemed like a good plan. And honestly, that seemed to work well. If I were still home with him during the day I would have had to switch to the crib at some point, but obviously that only happens on weekends. On weekends there isn't a lot of opportunity to get a good schedule. Either we're out and about and he sleeps in his carseat (many times he'll be sleeping when we get home and we'll leave him there until he wakes up--he's comfortable, right?), or he'll fall asleep on one of us and we're just so happy to be with him that we'll just sit there and let him sleep. Times like tonight when he's fussy, I'm hesitant to use the crib for two reasons...first, it's dark out already and I don't want him thinking it's bedtime and falling asleep for good at 7:00, practically right after we get home. Not only does that leave him no time with us, but it would probably set him up to wake up at 5am. Second, if he's cranky and I try to put him in there, I don't want him to start having a negative association with the crib because of naptime and start giving us trouble there at bedtime. It's such a tough call sometimes.

So, yeah, weird night. I'm just hoping he sleeps ok despite a less than routine bedtime process and an early last feeding. We should have fun tomorrow, though, as long as I can read him well enough to get through the day unscathed!

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