Ever since Claire hit 15 weeks of age (she is now 17 weeks old), she has been becoming increasingly difficult to deal with each passing day. I had read about the dreaded 4-month sleep regression and realized that our child was a classic case: instead of waking up only once or twice in the night, she was suddenly screaming awake 4-6 times a night!
What most non-parents don’t realize is that (good) sleep begets more sleep. In other words, an overtired baby will have more difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep. So with a baby who is getting less sleep through the night, we were bound to have trouble with naps also.
We must’ve hit our low point yesterday. The omfg the baby will NOT sleep at ALL and will only fuss and cry no matter what we do kind. The kind that made me burst into tears at the end of the day and apologize to J on the baby’s behalf for ruining his birthday.
I have been reading up on baby sleep books and websites, and have come to the conclusion that we are in the unlucky 15-20% of families who have extra-fussy babies with difficult temperaments. She’s been through colic between 5-9 weeks of age, and now her sleep regression is making for a very tense atmosphere in our household.
The prescription for extra-fussy babies is a sleep schedule. Previously, I had not believed in a sleep schedule but I now realize that Claire’s temperament calls for it, for our health and sanity’s sake.
I will also start putting her to bed earlier — at 6:15~6:30pm as opposed to our usual 7:00~7:30pm. The main reason for her original bedtime was so that J could spend some time with her when he comes home from work (he usually gets home at around 7pm). Now with the new schedule, he may not see her at night at all, but it may give him an incentive to go to bed earlier himself and wake up early to spend time with his daughter.
Even my mother remarks that Claire is a difficult, “intense” baby, and tsk tsks over the constant dark circles under my eyes. (The one good thing about having a difficult baby is that my post-partum weight loss has come swift and easy. Even after a 50-lb pregnancy weight gain, I am now just a couple of pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight without even trying!) Being a mother is a difficult job in itself, but it is especially hard with a fussy baby. It makes me really question whether I will ever want another baby — as much as I love Claire, I don’t think I can go through this again.