What fresh hell is this?

by Jen on December 1, 2008

in Lowering the bar for mothers everywhere

The baby has been rolling back to front for a few weeks now. What he hasn’t accomplished yet is rolling front to back. Since he hates lying stomach down, you’d think he’d want to work extra hard to achieve that. Isn’t rolling front to back supposed to be easier, anyway?

Once he’s on his stomach, he lifts his head and looks around. Sometimes he grabs a toy to chew on. Before long, though, he struggles to flip himself back again. Legs and arms flailing for purchase, he looks like a turtle on its back. Or like he’s swimming an ineffective butterfly stroke. Once he’s decided that his efforts are futile, he mashes himself face down and screams in frustration. Oh, the indignity of it all.

Interesting fact: the average sleep cycle is 90-120 minutes, at which time a person rouses briefly toward wakefulness then settles into deep sleep again. In infants, these partial arousals sometimes become night wakings if something causes them to arouse completely and become aware of their environment.*

For the last two nights, the baby has woken roughly every two hours, thought, Why am I awake? What should I be doing? Oh, yeah… rolled to his stomach and then yelled for help. If it were merely yelling, I could probably ignore it. But, knowing that he’s pressing his face into the sheets (and thanks to the video monitor, being able to watch him doing it) spurs me into action.

It’s almost comical. Every time this happened, either the Hubster or I walked across the house to his room and roledl him on his back. But before we’d returned to our own room, the other parent, watching on the monitor reported “He’s flipped himself back again!” The only thing that worked was putting him down asleep; the only way to get him back to sleep, nursing. Again and again, we repeated the cycle. In the morning following these nights, I’m both tired and sore.

Two nights of sleep deprivation have left the Hubster and I short on rational thought. This morning toward dawn, as we lay in bed listening to the familiar sounds of struggle broadcast on the monitor, the Hubster commented, “If this were Peter Pan, the dog would take care of him for us.”

*Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valerie December 1, 2008 at 7:51 pm

It must be something in the air, Jayden has been waking at night again and I am getting no sleep. Ahh motherhood gotta love it huh?

2 Jen December 2, 2008 at 3:34 pm

We went through this phase too. I hate to say it, lest to dampen your tired spirits even further, but it didn’t stop for us until he learned the other way. Fortunately, there was only a weekish between the two rolling events. Hoping it will be the same for you.My sitter suggested trying to have him sleep on his stomach during a nap to get used to sleeping that way (ok since they are strong enough to not suffocate themselves)?

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