March 6, 2009

The Sleep Diaries

There's no two ways about it: We're not getting much sleep around here. Not a one of us, and it's beginning to tell.

As parents of a newborn, Kevin and I hadn't counted on getting much sleep at first, but we thought at least that our newborn would be getting enough sleep. But at five weeks, Colin sleeps maybe 10 hours a day, when the standard for a five-week-old baby is 15+. And he needs those 15 hours of sleep each day so that he can grow those "little grey cells" and, as his Daddy says, "grow up to do Calculus." Needless to say, despite our sleep-deprived haze, we're getting a little nervous.

We've tried everything. We rock, we sing, we swaddle. We play soothing music; we play music with a thumping good beat. We've tried white noise, we've tried no noise. We co-sleep, we leave him to his own bed. But no matter what, he wakes up every hour during the night, and during the day, it's every fifteen minutes. How do other parents get their babies to sleep -- and to sleep for hours on end? (Recently, one mother of a three-month old in our New Moms' group sheepishly confessed that her three-month hold sleeps from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. every night. The others looked daggers at her, I just wanted to cry.)

So far, the only way we can get Colin to sleep during the day for more than fifteen minutes at a stretch is to lay down on the couch with him. I know the experts say you're not supposed to sleep on the couch with your baby -- it's a suffocating hazard, I guess; or at the very least your baby might roll off the couch -- but I'll wager they never had a baby who wouldn't sleep any other way. When we sleep together on the couch, we can sleep for two, up to three, hours, and when Colin does wake up in the middle of the nap, he'll just look up at you with his big sleepy eyes, smile, and go back to sleep. Too sweet.

I'm open to other suggestions, though. If anyone's got 'em.

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