Expecting the Unexpected: Sleep Arrangements

So, long before baby Vivi was born, Brad and I had “the talk”. Parents, y’all know the talk I’m referencing… the talk where you convince each other that having a baby won’t disrupt your life that much. [If this wool-over-eyes exercise didn’t exist, people wouldn’t have babies.]

One of the big concerns we both had was sleep. I’m an eights hours of sleep a night kind of gal. Brad can get by on less, but we have both been known to sleep until noon on more than one occasion (give or take a thousand).

We collectively decided that the family, including baby V, would sleep best if Vivi slept in her own room from day one. We invested in two monitors: an audio monitor to pick up even the smallest of sighs and a video monitor for late night “she’s too quiet, let’s check on her” panic sessions.

For the first month everything went as planned. Vivi didn’t sleep much (no surprise there) but when she did sleep, she slept in her crib in her room. As time passed, however, it became increasingly hard to put her down. She would go from a deep sleep to wide awake the minute her back touched the mattress. Or the rare times that she did stay asleep, you would crawl into bed, only to see the dreaded blue bars on the audio monitor jump as she noisily awoke. It was as if she was biding her time until the moment you relaxed and began to doze… then BAM! She was wide awake again, the little trickster.

Seriously, though – all things considered, it wasn’t that bad. Brad was on paternity leave, so I had plenty of help at night. We agreed to rotate two hour shifts (so at least one of us was getting some much-needed rest). Even if Vivi slept in your arms the whole shift (meaning you didn’t sleep at all), it wasn’t too bad as you knew the two hours would end eventually, and your relief would clock in.

The trouble came when Brad went back to work and I found myself on baby duty alone at nights. After three nights of a 30 minute nap here and there, I was beginning to look and feel worse for the wear. I tried to nap with Vivian during the day, but when you have to choose between eating or sleeping, you will opt to forego sleep for sustenance at least once or twice.

Night four arrived. I remember sitting in Vivi’s bedroom looking longingly at the guest bedroom’s soft bed right down the hall. I made a decision. I’d tuck Vivi safely into her bouncy chair right next to the bed, and I’d rest for just five minutes. Then something magical happened. Once in her bouncy seat, Vivi drifted off to sleep… and slept four hours straight! I woke up again and again, shocked to find that she was still sleeping. I felt like a new woman the next day!

Friday night rolled around, and we started the shifts again. Back in the crib for Vivi, and everyone was getting less sleep. Once the weekend ended, I made the executive decision – if Vivi slept well in the bouncy chair, I was willing to give it a shot.

For whatever reason, it worked! Maybe it’s because the bouncy is elevated, and it helps her mild reflux and snuffy nose. Maybe the cradle position makes her feel cozy. Maybe she just likes sleeping in the same room as Mommy.

Regardless of the reason, Vivi has been sleeping in her bouncy nightly for the last 5 weeks. And she sleeps great – but that’s a bragging session for another post. Not only that – I sleep great too. I’m a notoriously light sleeper, but I seem to sleep right through her “fluff” noises and only awake when she is truly fussing. Brad, on the other hand, seems to wake up more often during the night, and he normally can sleep through anything!

Funny how things work out, isn’t it?I know I should try the crib again soon, but I’m not pushing it. All in good time, right?


2 thoughts on “Expecting the Unexpected: Sleep Arrangements

  1. The whole time I was reading this, I kept looking for the “like” button. This is so true, and hilarious! We were facing this same issue, reflux & all. Then, someone graciously introduced us to the Miracle Blanket. Its not your average swaddler. After Rook slept through the night for the first time (8 hours), I vowed to share this magnificent product with every new mommy I met. Anyway, I LOVE your blog! 🙂

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