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Ryan’s Wrecked Routine

July 29, 2011

Sometimes you need an outside perspective to help you figure out what’s wrong in your life.  Yesterday, that perspective came from my mater.

Ryan was rockin out the sleep – sleeping 5, almost 6 hours at a time at night (which is apparently ‘sleeping through the night’ in baby speak).  He was going down for naps in 10, 15 minutes, MAX, and then he’d sleep for the requisite hour or more.  He was like a sleeping prodigy, and we were basking in his greatness.  You, too, can witness his greatness right here:

Until Tuesday night.  Since Tuesday night, he’s back to his old 10pm, 1am, 4am, 7am up and at ’em antics.  And naps have been awful – screaming and refusing to sleep, but clearly exhausted.  Which means that mommy was also screaming and clearly exhausted.  And Daddy was stuck listening to it endlessly.

Last night I called my mom to vent about the debacle that this week has been.  As I was recounting the sleepless days and nights and lamenting that I’ll be housebound until the kid is 18 (yes, I tend to dramatize from time to time) because if I miss his ‘nap-portunity’ (that teensy tiny window of time when Ryan lets me know he’s tired & will fall asleep within minutes & with very little effort), he just won’t sleep, she pointed out that every day this week, we’ve (well, I’ve) had him out and about for hours at a time.  Monday it was a doctor’s appointment, Tuesday it was lunch with a friend, Wednesday we took an extra long walk, and yesterday it was a doctor’s appointment for me.  Because I am so involved in the ‘one day at a time’ practice, I didn’t even realize that we had something going on every day this week (baaaad mommy or desperate-for-human-interaction mommy? You make the call).

Anyway, my mom is totally right.  Even though I know babies thrive on routine and become little masses of mess when their routine is…well, routinely disrupted, I eschewed common practice this week & expected him to follow suit.  I know that he needs to go down for a nap every 90 minutes, and the plans we had this week kept him out way longer than that.  You might be wondering why he doesn’t just fall asleep wherever we are or thinking that we’re creating a bad habit by keeping him at home for naptime – that we should get him used to napping everywhere.  And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about the same thing.  But fortunately (though unfortunately in this case) our little guy is SO interested in the world around him that when he is in a new situation, he is so fascinated that sleep entirely goes by the wayside.  So we have to keep him at home, in a quiet environment to get in a good nap.

I’ll admit – before I had a baby, I used to look at moms who lived by their kids’ routine and think, “Really? Aren’t you going a little overboard with this?”  In my defense, I think almost all people who aren’t parents have all the answers…until they have kids.  I know I did.  And boy am I being proved wrong nearly everyday.

So, although Ryan has surpassed that 3-month window where babies must be kept in plastic bubbles to protect them from germs, he’s not so big that he can go out and about for long periods of time yet – at least on a regular basis.  Once or twice a week is fine (and not two days in a row), but every day is just too much for my little Bug.  And while certain events can’t be avoided (like those pesky doctor’s appointments), we can limit the ones that can be – like lunch with the ladies.

And if I forget, he’ll be sure to remind me – several times – in the wee morning hours.

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