Thursday, July 18, 2013

The first rule of Baby Night Club: You do not talk about Baby Night Club.

The first rule of Baby Night Club: You do not talk about Baby Night Club.

The second rule of Baby Night Club: You do not talk about Baby Night Club.

Third rule of Baby Night Club: Someone cries, loses a paci, or gets unswaddled, the night is over.

Fourth rule: Both parents help at night-if possible.

Fifth rule: Take one night at a time, Mamas.

Sixth rule: No shirts for the breastfeeding Mamas.

Seventh rule: Night wakings will go on as long as they have to.

And the eighth and final rule: If this is your first Baby Night Club, you will lie about it.

[Insert Brad Pitt at his finest. Yum, yum give me some. Even my husband openly claims to have a crush on Brad Pitt from Fight Club.]
Unfortunately, I broke the cardinal rule of Baby Night Club: don’t talk about it (unless it sucks). Sorry mom for the crass language, but there is no other way to describe night wakings. Actually, you could add an "eff" word to it and that might even be more appropriate. Until Gus, I was totally convinced that I was put on this earth to make 99.9 (repeating)% of mothers feel better about their own babies’ sleep habits because mine have been so pitiful. I’m that friend where people come to complain about their little one’s sleep habits with, “I know I shouldn’t complain to you, but…” And then they go on to explain that their 3 month old started getting up once a night, when my first two children were up every 2 hours a night at 3 months. And 6 months. And sometimes at 9 months. Oh, and maybe even last night.

Then I had Gus. And whether it has to do with being full term, or being a third child, or maybe even that area of the DNA strand that is responsible for night wakings got untangled this time, he has been a pretty easy baby. And his sleeping has been predictable and even better: TOLERABLE.
He sleeps on his back.
He tolerates being swaddled.
He puts himself to sleep.

And then he started giving me something I had never experienced before: 6-7 hour stretches of sleep a few weeks after birth. And on two occasions, more than 8 hours.
Folks, this was EPIC.

But I knew better than to blast it all over social media because what I am used to are the rules to Baby Night Club: the second you gloat, the second your baby stops sleeping well. (And at one point, I almost wanted to scream: Holla back gurlz! I have a baby who sleeps through the night--and makes me a latte in the morning!)
First, he hasn't really "slept through the night" (depends on your definition). And second, I prefer a misto over a latte.

But in a moment of weakness, I was talking to my friend who just had her 2nd daughter, and briefly mentioned that Gus was giving me a good 6-7 hrs in his first stretch.
And then all hell broke loose and the past week Gus has been getting up every 2-3 hours. Up at 10pm, 1am, 3am, 5am, and 7am.

What is this, some homage to prime numbers? I know, I know...10 is not prime.

While I prefer to default to the easiest mechanism of getting him back down (boobies!), I am now asking Eric to help out. Instead of a bottle, I am forcing him to push the paci at the first 10pm waking. The kid is getting bottles all day when I am gone, and honestly-I don’t want to do the extra washing. I know he doesn’t *need* to eat at 10pm, and this is the first week of Gus’s life I have asked Eric to do anything for this child after 7pm. Luckily, last night he took to that plastic nipple-shaped crack like a champ, and went right back to sleep until 1am. And then after that, I found myself like most nights this past week: drooling with a baby on my chest popping on and off the tap until 7am.
I am back to all of my old mind tricks telling myself every reason in the baby book: it’s a developmental “leap” time, he’s teething, he misses me at work and wants more time with me, he knows my supply is tanking since I’ve picked up pumping, he is transitioning out of the swaddle, he is seeing how far I can go with sleep deprivation…

But really, the reason doesn't matter; what I can say after doing this newborn thang 3 times now is that I can make myself nuts by trying to reveal the "why" or just acknowledge that this phase is temporary...stay consistent with our routine...and seriously look into getting Eric to lactate. (And anyone who just imagined Meatloaf from Fight Club is clearly my best friend.)


  1. This post cracks me up - baby night club! So creative you are! Hope Gus is back to his usual sleepy self soon! Multiple night wakings stink!

  2. Yeah, that's one of the frustrations of motherhood. There are circumstances that you just can't explain. I hope Gus settles back into a better routine, soon, too. Meanwhile, he's so cute awake and asleep!