Has anyone ever noticed how some babies fight with all their might to stay awake? It almost seems like they just can’t accept the idea of falling into a restful sleep. Unlike us adults (or at least myself) who can simply put my head to the pillow and I am ready to slip into dream-land.
My son, Joseph Alexander is that child who fights his sleep day and night. It is as if he does not want to miss a minute of what is out there…whatever that may be! I assume that as a 21 month old toddler, there is simply so much excitement in his environment, that going to sleep seems like a waste of exploration time and fun time. Instead of sleeping, he could be playing with his trains. He could be dancing to music. He could be humming a song, or looking at one of his books. There are simply too many things to do towaste time on sleep. At least this is the case in my house.
You must understand, Joseph Alexander was born wide awake. He is not an unhappy, or grumpy child by any means. He is always smiling, playing games, laughing, singing. I was told by his father that he came out with his eyes wide open, as if saying, “Look at this new world! So much to see and do”. And since that moment he has fought his sleep. In fact the first couple months were absolutely painful! He would scream, and scream and scream. The only way to get him to sleep and calm down was to walk around, holding him and play soft music. Even then, it still took a good hour to get him to fall asleep. Needless to say, I ended up with a terrible case of carpal tunnel syndrome. My wrists would crap and cramp at every moment of the day.
I tried reading every book on baby sleep and searched on all the sites. I tried the classical music. I tried the dim lighting. I tried everything. The truth was nothing worked other than holding him and bouncing around until he fell asleep.
With time, getting him to sleep did get easier. I found this wonderful Elmo Doll thats plays music and basically tell the baby, “Elmo is so Sleep”, in other words, “You should be sleepy too”. It is quite funny because many times I find Elmo puts me to sleep before he gets Joseph Alexander to sleep. Our present routine is working quite well. We read a couple books, we dim the lights and we listen to Elmo tell us he is soooo sleepy, until we fall asleep; many times in unison.
Sleep is funny thing…when you are young it seems to get in the way of your fun, and when you are older it is a wonderful escape from our daily schedules and worries. I do understand my son’s argument against sleep. There are so many new and exciting things to do! However I also understand he needs his sleep, and that is why I simply continue to find the best way to help him get his rest both day and night; and whenever possible I try to get in some ZZZZ’s of my own.