I have the cutest kid in the world. I know that might be a controversial statement. But I’m pretty sure it’s objectively true.
He has one minor flaw. He doesn’t require sleep.
It’s like a superpower. I don’t know when the radioactive spider bit him, but I sure wish it had waited until he was older.
I’ve worked as a parking lot striper for 20 years. I’m used to an erratic sleep schedule. I’ve seen the sun rise both at the beginning of my work day and the end. I’ve fallen asleep with pizza in my mouth after painting hundreds of lines in the sticky Minnesota summer heat. I thought I knew exhaustion.
But wow, was I mistaken.
My brother had a kid a couple of years before I did. His son was a terrible sleeper. I knew my kid would be different, and I was right for a while. When my baby was about 2 months old, he started sleeping for 7-hour stretches.
I thought I’d nailed this parenting thing.
I called my brother.
“How’s the baby doing?” he asked.
I’m a super supportive younger sister who wants to make sure my brother knows when I’m better at something than he is.
“Oh, he sleeps through the night now.” I tried to sound casual.
He called me a name. I smiled, knowing I had succeeded in my sisterly duty.
Apparently, I bragged too much, and the universe wanted to set things right. So after a week of getting 7 glorious, uninterrupted hours of sleep a night, the baby started waking every 2 hours.
Maybe it’s just a sleep regression caused by a growth spurt. It will pass, we thought.
It didn’t pass.
When he was still waking up regularly at 4-months, we talked to the pediatrician. She wasn’t concerned about it, but she had the glow of a well-rested person who didn’t have any young children at home.
“You could try some light sleep training,” she suggested. Then she walked us through some things to try.
“You just can’t pick him up,” she told us.
I know people who swear by sleep training, so I haven’t given up on it yet, but so far I’ve failed…