(barely) Surviving Sleep Regression

This morning, I woke up from a delicious dream in which I was finally married to one of my television husbands, and promptly freaked out. I was certain it was Friday and I'd somehow forgotten several important deadlines. I also forgot my name. Thankfully, my iPhone comforted me by informing me that, in fact, it was Wednesday.

(I still haven't figured out my name.)

I assure you that no matter how it sounds, I don't normally flit through life forgetting my name, the current president, or where I left my pants.

No, I'm living in the Land of the Sleep-Deprived. My 2-year-old daughter has decided that sleep is, in fact, bullshit. In turn, I have decided that my 2-year-old daughter is an alien.


I spent a whole year in the Land of the Sleep-Deprived with my second son, who never slept more than an hour and a half at a time. By the end of that year, I was so cracked and brittle that I nearly lost my mind (what little I had left).

I tried everything with Alex. I installed room darkening shades. I made sure we had white noise in the background. We (both of us) unsuccessfully cried it out. We developed a bedtime routine that I followed to the letter.

And still. Nothing. The kid was up like clockwork. Naps were sporadic at best. And worst of all, I was the only one who he deemed appropriate enough to put him back to sleep.

In a fit of desperation, I asked the Internet, who recommended several books on sleep training. I purchased those books happily, hoping that merely owning them would scare him into the Land of Nod. When intimidation didn't work, I tried to read them, but the words kept falling off the pages. I considered shaving my head and running away to join a convent.

Around his first birthday, he began to sleep through the night. It was like the heavens opened up and smiled upon me. He's been a decent-ish sleeper since.

Unlike her brother, my daughter, Amelia, has been an excellent sleeper.

Until now.

Every night, we go up to "Rock You," as she delightfully calls it. And every night, after I "Rock You" for 20 minutes, I gently place her in the pillowy confines of her crib so the sweet angels of sleep can carry her off to the Land of Nod. Then she arches her back and screams so loudly that it sounds like someone is being mutilated.

Quickly, I pick her back up before my neighbors call the cops, and back to "Rock You" we go. For hours. Each ending, no matter how snugly asleep she's been in our arms, is predictably the same: she arches her back like a hyena and begins to howl so blood-curdlingly that I've actually become frightened of her. I might need a baby exorcist, not a good night's sleep.

She's gone from sleeping a good 10 hours a night to 6, tops. Which leaves me lumbering numbly around the house in a daze, banging into walls, pouring hot coffee on my hand accidentally, still half-asleep.

I know she'll survive this sleep regression. I will, too.


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