Thursday, 18 July 2013

Does He Ever Get Tired?

Of course I have asked myself this question a million times when it comes to Jack.  But lately I have been hearing it all over the place- a few people at Cisco asked me, his grandmother asked me, the camp counselors asked me, a kid at the OT office asked me....

The short answer is NO.  Jack never ever gets tired.  OK, once in awhile, but honestly, the only times he has fallen asleep during the day since he was 18 months old were when he was sick, or when he was on ADHD medication that caused him to wake up hourly every single night.  Does he sleep after anesthesia?  nope.  After a long day at the beach?  Not really.  Christmas night?  Heck no.  I think his kindergarten teacher has seen him sleep more during the day after this year than I ever have- sometimes he would conk out 2 or 3 times a day in school while he was on medication.  Those medications were obviously stopped. 

Jack NEVER slept as a baby- his first daycare provider, who had raised 8 children of her own, lost 5 lbs the first week she cared for him (he was 3 months old at the time).  He would nap, on someone, for 15 minutes at a time.  The bassinet- fail.  Pack and play- fail.  Co sleeper STRAPPED to the bed?  Fail.  I moved out of our master bedroom that first year and slept in a twin bed with Jack.  It was the ONLY way we could get any sleep.  And I went back to work full time when he was 8 weeks old- I had to sleep somehow.  He would be up ALL DAY at family events, or anytime we were out.  People would say things like "wow is he going to sleep when he gets home."  Ha I say.  Saying that out loud was the ultimate curse and he would not sleep at all.  Now I know that these were signs of what was to come- at the time I just felt like a failure as a mother.  I even had a mommy friend who when she had her second child (who was a horrible sleeper vs her first who did great) said to me that she just thought I wasn't doing a good job getting Jack to sleep.  Before she had her second child- then she got it.  If you've had a poor sleeper, you know exactly what I am talking about.  The smug parents who think they are just "doing it right".  I've got news for you- it's not YOU.  It's them.  The first time I put Nate in the bassinet and he just curled up and went to sleep?  I cried with relief.  So THIS was what everyone was talking about!  They DO sleep!  And Nate is still a great sleeper- no intervention needed.

When Jack was about 14 months I decided it was time to lay down the law.  We tried crying it out- he went for nearly 2 hours and then puked.  We tried again- same result.  There was NEVER that whole "self calming" thing with Jack.  In fact, I had no idea what that was until I had Nate and he did it (soooooo weird).  So...after several weeks of trying this, I dragged the twin mattress into his nursery and slept on it, while I weaned him into the crib.  The process took about 3 months.  He could cry it out if I could at least hold his hand through the crib.  He would eventually calm down.  So this is what I did.

When he got a new toy, he would be up all night the next night.  He could not shut off- he could not stop thinking about it.  Most of these toys were planes, so if he had them with him, he would lie there and just continuously spin the propellor- all night.   I would have him leave the toy downstairs, and he would have a meltdown.  I took to cutting a picture of the toy from the box and putting it into his bed with him.  This worked....sometimes.

To this day, Jack wakes up at least 3 nights a week, multiple times.  I have not slept in 6 YEARS.  I had to get a white noise machine for Nathan when he was a baby so that his big brother would not wake him up in the middle of the night! 

So to the professionals who are no doubt exhausted after trying to keep up with him all day the answer is once again, no, he never does get tired.  But me?  I am tired.  John is tired.  After six years, we are really, really tired. 

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog through the SPD Blogger Network and this post is EXACTLY like my son! I feel so relieved to read of someone else who has experienced the same thing. My son is 20 months and just slept through the night for the first time ever a few weeks ago. He's still up multiple times more than half of the nights but once in a while I get some sleep now!

    I get so sick of the "we wore him out good for you so he's going to sleep tonight!" comments when I know that just means he'll be over stimulated and not sleep at all. And if we have a new experience or new toy he just rocks all night in his crib thinking about it! And the "why isn't he sleeping through the night yet?" as if there is something wrong with one of us.

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm pregnant and praying that the next baby has a little bit easier time sleeping than my son!