Sleep regression: Will I ever sleep again?
Sleep regression. Mamas all over the world would be having nightmares about it–if they were getting any sleep themselves. According to all of the websites that I have been reading in the dark while trying to bounce a heavy toddler back to sleep, it’s totally normal. The professionals say that sleep regression is caused by the usual culprits that interrupt a child’s rest: new teeth, illness, growth spurts, etc.
So for the last week, I have been searching for the source of his sleeplessness. I have swept fingers across gums to look for those pesky erupting teeth. Nothing there. I did a full body exam to check for bruises and bumps. Nothing out of the ordinary for a 14 month old boy with a daredevil spirit. One website said it could possibly be separation anxiety. Nope. We co-sleep so this kid literally sleeps 2 inches from my face. Sleep regression for a co-sleeping parent looks like this at one a.m.: giggling, a few slaps to the face, more giggling, and fingers up the nose (yes, my nose). Repeat all of this for an hour and then the screaming for milk begins.
Lately, he has not been falling asleep after nursing. I have been staying up with him and sitting on the floor watching videos on the weird part of YouTube. You know what I’m talking about. The videos where you see a cat riding on the back of a tortoise. Or the videos where you watch people pop giant cysts and zits. He usually sits on the floor playing with toys until the screaming begins again. Eventually, we both fall asleep again.
Too soon, he will wake up with a goofy grin at 6 a.m., totally ready to play. I will drag myself to the kitchen to make myself a cup (or three) of pour-over coffee and mentally prepare myself for the upcoming refusal of the mid-morning nap. I am convinced that I will never get a full night’s rest again. Motherhood is exhausting and intense. But today, I will remind myself that the reward is greater than the sacrifice. As with every childhood milestone…this too shall pass.