Sleep Regression Day 1
Early this morning I’m woken up by Adam who is asking me if he should change Leo’s diaper. In my head I’m thinking it has to be 6:30/7a. No, it’s a little after 3a and Leo is wide awake and refusing to go back to bed. I was a little confused, thinking maybe his teeth were bothering him, in which case Adam could totally get him back to sleep by walking/rocking him, so he tried but Leo wasn’t having it at all. So being that I was wide awake, too, for some reason (thank you, Jesus!) I stayed up with him. He walked right into our front room and pointed at the vinyl player and tried pulling out a few records. This boy loves music almost as much as he loves Adam and I, it’s INSANE. I’ve never seen a kid obsess over music so much but clearly 3a when Adam, my sister, and my mom are all sleeping isn’t the time to be jamming out to The Great Gatsby soundtrack.
I tried to break it down and level with him and I’m pretty sure he understood me; however, crying and being super clingy was all he could think to do. I get it. Our babies have some wild emotions they’re experiencing and it tends a lot for him to process so I redirected him to his toys and he had the bright idea to brush his teeth. At this point I didn’t care what we did just so long as we didn’t wake anyone. Toothbrush, water bottle, and a couple of blankets in hand, we headed to the den to cozy up and watch a movie.
If you know Leo, you know he fancies one show. It’s called Pocoyo. Adam and I now have every single episode memorized. I wasn’t about to put on Pocoyo and actually said a little prayer that I wouldn’t have to sit and listen to Stephen Fry (who I love dearly) narrate and direct aliens to Pocoyo’s world. I asked Leo if he wanted to watch Coco instead. Sounds like Pocoyo… so he shook his head yes and I turned it on. He knew instantly it wasn’t the show he thought but went with it and cuddled up with me, toothbrush in hand.
At this point I’m trying to get to the bottom of why he’s awake and then I remember my dear friend, Maddie (who’s written a couple of great articles for this site that can be found here & here) warn me about the 18 month regression a long time ago. Maddie, if you remember me specifically almost choking when you told me… imagine how I felt when I remembered!
Leo went through all of his regressions early so it made sense he’d go through this one earlier than 18 months. After reading and going down a rabbit hole of moms commenting on threads about why their child have been waking up at 3/3:30a and refusing to go back to sleep, I knew I was a part of their pack.
A while back I was getting really down for not being able to establish a routine for myself and a little bit more of one with Leo. I think it was because everyone around me seemed to be making it work and I was experiencing major FOMO. But, I’m learning so much about myself and the way I operate that sure a little bit of a routine is nice (eating around the same times, showering before bed or in the morning, having coffee in the a.m., etc.) but I don’t think it’s for me. I know this because I’ve always been and always will be a go-with-the-flow type of person. If I try to plan my day, chances are it will not look anything like I had planned and that’s okay. I just try to stay positive, not get down on myself, and make the most of the day.
When I went to bed last night the thought of Leo waking up and crying because he wanted to play and hang out never crossed my mind but when it happened I just went with it and turned it into a fun hang. Sure, in my head I was thinking what in the actual heck is happening and who are you/what did you do with my great sleeper? My anxiety for those first 20 minutes went through the roof because clearly I didn’t have total control over the situation nor did I know the outcome but I did manage to process everything rather quickly and made a decision to make the best of it, despite the time. So we did.
We watched a movie, played with blocks, and I tried not to panic when he got on the coffee table and ran from it to the couch so he could bounce on the cushions. And when he was rearing down, we turned everything off. He walked into our bedroom, started whimpering, and Adam woke up and relieved me by rocking him back to sleep. Then around 7/7:30a we started our day and I decided to write this out as I reminder, mostly to myself, that during these next few weeks or months, or however long this regression lasts that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s such a short time and shifting my perspective to a more positive one and choosing joy can make a ton of difference in how the rest of the day will go. It’s so easy to get down on myself, think I’m doing something wrong, or even get angry at the entire situation. But I shouldn’t get down on myself, I’m doing nothing wrong, and I have every right to get angry… but also as a parent I sacrifice. And when I choose joy it makes sacrificing, even my sleep, a little easier.