I Need to Sleep. Why Won't You, Why Won't You Let Me Sleep?

For some reason the idea of facing each evening and the inevitable sleeplessness of it all scares the hell out of me. It causes me great anxiety, like it’s going to kill me or something. Which is stupid because I spent many a nights without sleep in design school and that didn’t kill me. The all nighters gave me a few bloody noses and a few weeks of undernourishment, but they never killed me. This is different. I am terrified of facing each and every evening, the unpredictability, the inability to apply logic, the total lack of control I have for something so necessary. Isn’t that stupid?

Anyway, I had a brainstorm last night. (Tobyjoe has actually been suggesting this idea for days but it never really sunk in. Or maybe I just wanted to claim it as my own.) We’ve decided that I would take the 9 PM until 3 AM slot and he’d sleep on the couch. And then he’d wake up and take the 3 AM until 9 AM slot and I’d sleep on the couch. Granted, I’m applying logic again. But it sounds good in theory, right? We’ll never get to snuggle, but at least we’ll be fairly well-rested, right?

This plan, while seemingly absurd, brings me a lot more peace as I face dusk. And I haven’t yet cried today. That’s a milestone, Internet. Could this work? I’m curious to hear what others may have come up with when dealing with the whole sleep factor. Or if I’m the only one dumb enough to try and plan my life around a newborn.

I am reminded of a great little interaction between a bartender and a customer from one of my favorite movies. It goes:

Bartender: “How do you make God Laugh?”

Customer: “I don’t know, how?”

Bartender: “Make a plan.”

Replace “God” with the word “Newborn” and, well, you get the point.

P.S. A pat on the rump to anyone who can tell me where the title of this post comes from.


  1. ::Slaps Sarah’s Ass::


  2. Beautiful mumma! I dont think I’ve ever seen that smile on you in pics before. Lovely. :)

    Hope the new sleeping arrangements work for you. A few drops of passiflora in a little glass of water is great for the calming, too. Highly recommended.

    So much love to you and your guys. xo


  3. “goodbye to
    the rock ‘n’ roll era”


  4. “And you can never quarantine the past.”


  5. Lori, Cooper's mom! August 26, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    We did “shifts” with the sleeping too. Matthew took the late night (until 2 or 3 AM) and then I took over starting at I think 4 AM. I think it did help. The most important thing is to be flexible and plan on changing your plan from time to time – that’s the one thing you CAN count on! He’ll start sleeping through the night, then reach a developmental milestone that fucks it all up and you’ll have to go through another sleeping stage. Eventually (around 5 months old, when he is developmentally ready) you might have to resort to doing CIO (cry it out) and while I thought it was barbaric and totally counter-intuitive, it really does work like magic. But lately Cooper’s sleeping has been inconsistent… teething? growth spurt? who knows. But it reminds me of those anxious newborn nights that I remember so well!! Hey- do you guys have a Miracle Blanket? If not- get one. Like today. The first night we swaddled Cooper in it he slept for 11 straight hours. Emory is young enough for the blanket, but too young to go that long without eating—but still I bet you can get a good sleep stretch out of him in it. Try it. I never heard of it not working for anyone…


  6. Brian will jump all over this and correct me because I don’t remember any of it. I think I was up every 3-4 hours with Grace and was a freak about controlling when that time hit: 8pm, 11pm, 3 and then 6. I wasnt pumping for night just for a work day supply so it was totally up to me to get up with “the girls” a.k.a the boobs. If she was up in between which I rarely think ever happened, Brian would take her.

    I have friends who now prefer to sleep in separate beds and their kids are 1 & 3. Many people in that 1st year are like ships passing in the night. Then everything is awesome and they sleep through the night until you move them to a big boy/girl bed and then all hell breaks loose again. We had friends who had a 4 foot fence installed on the door to their son’s room and he scaled it. I say put a lock on the door and be done with it. There goes my contention for mother of the year.


  7. letting grace wear panties on her head makes you mother of the decade.


  8. Oh yeah! I forgot,we did the shift thing too. Our team functioned WAY better when only one of us was sleep-deprived. My husband ended up sleeping on the couch for 3 months. I actually had to talk him into moving back in once she was in her crib. And, once she was in her crib, she slept longer stretches.

    I absolutely recommend the miracle blanket. We bought two because we could not bear the thought of her having a diaper blowout in one and having to wait while it was being laundered. Granted I cried the first couple of times I wrapped her in it because I felt like I was torturing her with restriction. But she loved, loved, loved it!


  9. I have heard about this blanket but know nothing about what it does. I have to say, however, I feel badly putting Emory in a regular ol’ swaddle. I can’t imagine how I”m going to deal with this thing! It sounds very restrictive. This kid LOVES his arms. LOVES them.

    Awesome to hear about the shifts. Toby is on the couch (well, futon) as I write this. I’m in bed next to a passed out little baby boy (just having fed him his midnight feeding). I get a few hours during my shift and TJ has at least 6 hours by the time I wake him (last night he got 7.5!). It’s nicer this way.

    Thanks, everyone for your comments.


  10. Swaddling definitely worked for us. Gage also liked to flail his arms about like a chimpanzee, but he’d do it all night long and disrupt his sleep. I’m not sure it’s that they like their arms so much as they really can’t control them at such an early age. Swaddling will make Emory feel more secure and eventually, once he has more control over his body movements, you can leave his arms out.

    That’s a great picture of you two….


  11. I swaddle him when she isn’t looking. She thinks I’m trying to be THE MAN and KEEP HIM DOWN. I say, that will come later. For now, I just want the little chicken to get some shut-eye and stay warm.


  12. yeah grace flailed. Her arms tormented her. Remember those were some close sleeping quarters that Emory was in for almost a year. He is used to 98.6 degrees and is used to being wrapped like a Vienna sausage. 7.5 hours, I dont think I get that now 2 years later.

    How are you feeling during the night with this new taking shifts in place?


  13. I stand corrected. Swaddle, Tobyjoe! I just feel so badly for the little worm. Because if that were me all tied up, I’d go nuts! WHy not just sell little straight jackets? That’s what they look like they’re wearing!


  14. nervous and small August 26, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    “WHy not just sell little straight jackets? “

    Well………….prolly because if you eventually earn one as an adult, you won’t say something CRAZY like “HEY!! I REMEMBER THIS AZZA KID!!”…….

    Doctor [whispers to nurse]: “Double up on the thorazine or THAT one, as per that last remark”……………..


  15. ::sigh:: i thought it was some sort of obscure reference to the mister roger’s neighborhood show or something. “please won’t you be…please won’t you be…my neighbor.”


  16. p.s. i guess i just wanted (read: needed) a pat on the rump. ::sigh:: again to singlehood


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