Summoning the Sandman


Like all newborns, mine was no different… She ate, pooped, ate some more, and slept great as long as she was in my arms. Everyone kept telling me to sleep when she slept, but have you ever tried to do that while holding a cup of water? Yes, I just compared Lovebug to a cup of water. You know. You don’t want to spill it, but if you nod off too deeply, you’re going to spill it.

So, as weeks passed, my once prized sleep did too. Sure, I studied the inside of my eyelids for a bit, but I wasn’t about to spill the cup of water. It was beginning to look as if I’d have to rain check the sandman for the next 18 years.

Lulling her to sleep was excruciating. She could only be coaxed to sleep for 20 minutes at a time if left her in her bassinet. Oh, the beautiful. expensive. bassinet. I was convinced she’d never sleep in it. Why would she? She was cozy on my chest.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I love Lovebug, but permanent attachment wasn’t an option, and Lord knows she was an extension of my breast for a good part of the day. Sleeping could be best experienced as a solo sport.

Somehow, we managed to get her to sleep in her bassinet, and sleep well.

Now, four months later, she’s in her own crib in the nursery sleeping through the night; approximately eight to nine hour stretches. I don’t really know how we did it. Our bedtime ritual is, well, um… NON-EXISTENT.

So how do you get a baby to go down at the same time every night and awaken around the same time every morning without a ritual? Good question. I tried a bath in the evening, a story, singing, and rocking to no avail. Allowing her to (gasp) nurse herself to sleep was the only way. Until one night it was as if she determined her own schedule and sort of just put herself on it. We don’t ever do the same thing. One night she might have a bath, while another night my husband might put her down with a story and a song.

Whatever the nightly proceedings, the sandman calls on her by 930pm, mostly 10pm and it’s pure bliss for this momma until 630 or 7 the next morning. It works for me for the time being. It has to, I suppose. I’ve tried to put her to bed earlier (an 830 bed time would be ideal), but she just fusses for a couple hours. And believe me, I’ve tried the whole “cry-it-out” method. She’s apparently a night owl.

Tonight, as I put my night owl to bed–feeling like a zombie from all the running around in the heat–I began fantasizing about moving up her bedtime while increasing her sleep time: say 830 to bed, 630 or 7 to rise. But, I certainly don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. As long as the sandman comes, I’m content with the current state of affairs in The Anecdotal Baby household.

So, how do you summon the sandman for your little one?

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