A few weeks ago Kate and I came to the realization that no one was sleeping well in our house and that it was time to make a change. It was time Max moved out of the bassinet in our bedroom and into his crib in his room. Easy in theory…emotional in practice. When Max first came home I could barely sleep because I was looking over every few minutes to make sure he was still breathing. In time, that habit stops and you settle into a level of trust that things are fine. I digressed when he moved into his own room…Kate and I both began checking the baby monitor religiously throughout the night. Is he breathing? Does he miss us? I miss him.
His sleeping habits have improved drastically and he is happy sleeping in his crib. Kate and I decided it was time to reclaim the bedroom. I took the bassinet apart and transformed it into the playpen downstairs. All toys, blankets, etc. were moved into his room. We rearranged the bedroom into a layout that says “two adults live here.” It is a master bedroom again…with a small office in the corner since Max’s room used to be the office.
The first few nights were torture. Max woke up every hour. Sometimes we would sooth him, sometimes we would feed him, and other times we would let him cry it out a bit. Then he started sleeping in 3 hour chunks. when he woke up he’d fuss…but not cry…so we let him fuss…and he went back to sleep on his own. Then Saturday night…he slept for 6 hours straight, woke up for a snack, then slept another 3-4 hours! Amazing!!!
He’s sleeping better, we’re sleeping better, and all of us are happier. It has been a rough 4 months but nowhere near as hard as I feared it to be. I will say however that Kate carried the load so I cannot judge the level of intensity…I think she was ready to crack two weeks ago. Now, I have my wife back. I don’t roll over to find my son sleeping between us. Mornings are awesome. Max’s bedtime is around 8pm. My bedtime is 11pm. Life is good.
Everyone teases about the lack of sleep you will get when you have a baby and NOTHING can prepare you for it. It sucks. You cannot nurture a newborn enough so when he cries you have to go to them and you are at their mercy for a while. Then…suddenly…one day you realize they are tossing crocodile tears your way and they have hijacked your sleep rights by making pouty-lipped fussing sounds that are not real tears. Give them a routine, they will resist it, then ease into it, then follow it to a tee…better than you! Survive the first few months and then give them structure (not a set schedule) and they will reward you with sleep-filled nights, happy mornings, and amazing playtime.
I love my son. I love my wife. Fatherhood is simply amazing!