My son has been waking at 5:45 am or earlier the past week. Before that he was sleeping until at least 6 but often as late as 7:30. What gives?!
It’s been a little frustrating because I normally use the early morning hours to either work or catch up on sleep. What’s wrong with him? What am I doing wrong? Is he getting enough sleep… (starts counting the hours…) Is there something I can do to make him sleep longer?
The answer, I know, is the same as it’s been since the day T was born — there is nothing wrong & there is nothing I can do aside from continuing to create a healthy environment for sleep at the appropriate times.
But the urge is the same too — there has to be something I can do. And therein lies the problem & the seed of ‘sleep training.’
As a semi-seasoned (jaded?) mama, I know better. I know that these shifts in sleep patterns are temporary & a sign of developmental strides, growth spurts, stress, illness, etc. I know, in other words, that I just have to ride this wave.
In this case I’m pretty certain it’s developmental. There were 3 1/2 hour naps last week & now T’s asking new questions, speaking & playing just a little differently. It’s like he’s just so excited to wake up & get moving with his new skills. It’s pretty exciting for me too, though I wish all this experimenting & learning could happen just a wee bit later.
I wish I could have recognized these phases & stages earlier in T’s life. I never did the sleep training thing (it was & is the one thing about parenting that I’m resolute & absolute about in my belief) but I did waste a lot of energy on reading & worrying about sleep. In the end we never implemented anything I had read, aside from instituting a rather rigid bedtime ritual. We developed our own system for dealing with sleeplessness & just generally experimented until we figured out what would work (developmentally & practically) for T.
Today I can admit: I don’t think it made any difference… Child did what he wanted to do when he was ready &, I think, despite our efforts. And it changed, naturally, just as we thought we were discerning a pattern.
Now I know better. … And I try my best be excited to play train conductor at 6 in the morning… But really I’m still totally annoyed at having (at least temporarily) lost my sacred early morning quiet time & just waiting for a return to ‘normal’… Ding ding ding ding ding…