My child is amazing and wonderful and all I could ever wish for, and she is also a challenged (challenging?) sleeper. I have built this blog on that premise.
We’ve been through the 4-month sleep regression that lasted until she was 1, and then the 18-month sleep regression that lasted until she was 2. But the onset of the sleep regressions was only noticeable by the increase in already frequent wake-ups, or by the extension of already lengthy and trying bedtimes, so we basically consider her entire life so far as one giant sleep regression from her first night of life, when she slept for a magical 5 hours and I woke in a panic that she hadn’t been fed in so long. That amazing first night of her life was one of the best sleeps we’ve had.
Of course she has slept through the night since then, on and off. Weaning helped a bit, and then simply growing up a bit and becoming a 2 year old helped a bit. But even though things are easier and better at night than they used to be, there’s always something that comes up and fucks with our sleep. From night terrors to colds and flues to our newest experience, nightmares.
Avery has been waking up crying about weird things, in a delirious, semi-awake state. The other night she woke up crying about her plate being dirty. Another night she woke crying about her toys missing. Thankfully the content of her nightmares so far doesn’t seem to be terribly upsetting or disturbing (from a rational, awake-person’s point of view), but we all know that bad dreams seem so much worse when we first wake from them, with the stress hormone coursing through our blood. So I understand that Avery’s legitimately upset about the dirty plate dream, or the dream about all of her toys going missing. And so, I go to her bed and reassure her, and cuddle her back to sleep. Recently, though, she went through a week of multiple “nightmares” a night. Just another reason why sleep continues to evade us.
Maybe when she’s 14 and in the sleepy teenager phase, we’ll get a good night of sleep.