A few posts back I wrote about the winter of 2016 wreaking havoc on my family. It’s been a rough one for the baby. Last year he was pretty healthy, but this year he’s endured a severe diaper rash, lingering cold, a virus, and an ear infection.
A few doctor’s appointments and rounds of antibiotics later we’re all mostly recovered—mostly recovered. One thing remains unsettled, Cristian’s sleep pattern. Sleepless nights are something Dad Bloggers write about—along with drippy diapers and do Dads parent their children or babysit them.
I went back and checked, fifteen of my posts mentioned sleep deprivation or Cristian’s sleep patterns in one way or another—maybe I should chime in on the parenting vs babysitting debate.
Establishing a toddler’s sleep pattern isn’t an exact science, it requires lots of trial and error. We started putting him to bed at 10 pm with a bottle and Sesame Street or Pepa Pig running on a tablet. We were making progress until he got sick.
Lately he’s been knocking out between eight and nine, which sounds like a good thing—but really isn’t—it only upset the balance. Cristian used to wake up once a night, upon receiving his bottle, he rolled over and went back to sleep—not anymore.
I’m now staggering down the hall two or three times a night, like a sleepwalker carrying a dog named Lulu (let’s see who gets that reference). After taking the first bottle, he’s up an hour or two later. When a second bottle or walking him around doesn’t work, it’s time for my fellow tag-team parent.
Mommy working her magic was once the gold-standard in soothing our cranky baby. It irritated me a little, but if it got him back to sleep so be it. Lately Mommy’s magic stopped working, so we’ve resorted to desperate measures.
For the past week we’ve tried exhausting our wired son binge-watching every baby program imaginable, with mixed results. Some nights we only needed 45 minutes. However other nights we’ve taken turns napping while Cristian turned laps around the living room.
It’s amazing how children change things—once upon a time a sleepless night meant Esther and I went to work slightly exhausted but smiling. Now it’s just exhausted.