After I noticed that these "cat-naps" are doing little or nothing for my chunky child, I did what I always do. I turn to some online forum and snoop through other parents gripes and complaints. Mainly this is to feel normal. But it also lends itself as a useful tool in boosting my self esteem. I often read a post from someone, lets call her Mom A, about their struggles with a behavior. Mom A gets and answer from Mom B. Then Mom C chimes in. As they all chat it out and after many many posts and replies, come to a conclusion as to why Mom A is having problems, I find that I am doing the right things in order to prevent this issue with my own kid. Without enlisting crazy knowledge from Mom A-Z ( I have my own team of experts that I have personally watched raise their own broods of angels and demons. And I bother them via email instead). So I have been perusing child rearing websites about sleep Q&A. My kid has a nap pattern but lately it is a tiny nap here and a longer one there. I let him do his thing during the day based on activity or being out and about and stay on one track for night sleep. I guess that is something I am doing right (kudos to me!!). But (rather large but ) I have to constantly remind myself that just because he is the size of a 6 month old (almost 19 lbs!!!) and he is eating like a 6 month old, that does not in any way mean he is sleeping like a 6 month old. The giant 3 month babe is going to bed around 9 and has a whole range of night patterns depending on digestion or wetness ( He is anti cold. So any wetness quickly becomes a cold annoyance). I thought I was going to need a straight jacket when my husband took the reins for the first time at night a few nights ago ( I was nearing the cracking point with sleep deprivation again after really feeling like I had started to get a handle on dealing with it). Daddy duty worried me. I have systems and methods and blah blah blah. The little jerk woke once in the middle of the night and then slept through till 6am. How rude. Though he peed through every stitch of fabric in his vicinity and Daddy had to change all bedding and the boy ( attempting to do so in the dark like Mommy does was unsuccessful). By the time he finished this project Aidan was fully awake and ready to party. And it did take a while to get the kid back down to sleep. But ONE wake up??? For the love of Pete. I thought about this a lot the days following. "Am I doing something wrong?" I asked myself. "How on earth can an Aidan novice jump in and do better than me?" I puzzled. Beginners luck I decided. :) I kid, but really it was bothering me a bit. I really had to be logical instead of taking it to heart so deeply. There were nights that I had has this type of luck too. These were very few and far between, but they did exist ( they were becoming more and more like a unicorn though. Something you dream about and you might swear you've seen a glimpse of, yet you are told are make believe). Kelly had just won the Dad lottery that night and I should look on the bright side. Had it been a typical diaper and bottle rodeo, perhaps he'd think twice about wanting to help me again.
I have read that this will change and that my wee prince will sleep through the night. I will believe it when I see it. There are some gold stars to be awarded though even with the feeling of colossal failure surrounding the night time. First, Aidan sleeps in his crib all night ( I have stuck to my original guns about him sleeping with us and then continuing to do so till he is 40). Second, I feed and change him in the dark ( actually by the light of a dim nightlight that is super awesome and I wrote about it already way back around baby shower time). Third, I don't go to him until he really cries, not just for every little fuss. Fourth, sometimes I put him to bed tired but not asleep and I make him do the work. And fifth, he has a fairly consistent bedtime and an automatic wake up ( and by that I mean won't go back to sleep to save his soul) time. So at least I have those going for me. What happens between 9pm and 6 am varies greatly. But according to Mom A, B and C it's normal. I am just working toward a goal and letting him lead with needs. I guess that's all I can do for now. Just count the little successes and add them up to feel proud. Especially when there are big daunting frustrations that feel like roadblocks in development. Every kid is different ( my husband is feeling this pretty heavy after having a little girl that was a joy at night and not this evil by a mile). We could have it so much worse in so many other areas with Aidan. It's really not that bad. As long as I get a nap in here and there.