I don’t pretend to be an expert on the sleeping of children, but I will say based on my observations that I understand why they wake up frequently. The following are the top 5 problems with how kids approach sleep.
1) The first offender is what I call “skunk” position.
This position begins when they are able to roll over themselves. You recognize it by seeing their little bums in the air as though about to spray (a la skunk.) If I had to find fault with it, the fault would be that the position allows gas to escape. (What I am trying to say delicately is that babies can toot like truckers.) When gravity works that gas up, all bets are off. The noises that have come out of my kids’ little bottoms could literally scare the shit of them (and quite possibly do.)
2) Next we come to stomach sleeping in general.
Any way you slice it, this position leads to drool escaping and puddling around the face. Not only is this not a pretty sight to wake up to (sorry, husband, who knows first hand from me), but it’s also an undesirable feeling. Some children seem to be able to shrug this off pretty easily and fall back asleep. Others seem to be more put off by it and require help to adjust the face to the other side.
3) Then there’s coming up to Mommy’s bed and sleeping on Mommy’s stomach.
I can’t for the life of me figure out how it can be comfortable to sleep on my rock-hard abs. This child needs to go on Survivor because obviously she’s tough. It must sound like “tha-tha-thunk” when she turns her head (get it, washboard?). If nobody’s gonna correct me on the real state of my stomach, I’ll keep pretending all day long.
4) Once again it’s Mommy’s bed, this time apparently having dreams of becoming an MMA fighter.
This one involves the child kicking and hitting in their sleep. I am assuming that they are winning in the dream. Meanwhile, I am getting battered. The temptation is to retaliate, but so far I have not. Nor should you.
5) Finally, we have the inconsistency of their sleeping preferences.
They can sleep through me blaring One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” in the car with their heads contorted to balance against the seat belt; however, when I place them in bed and begin to walk out, my toes cracking will wake them up. That must be a survival instinct from caveman days. Listening to One Direction’s “What Make Girl Good” with fire nearby was safe. What you had to worry about were those darn T-rex dinosaurs sneaking up in the cave with their crackle toes.
How can these problems be solved?
I’m not a rocket scientist, but I have given this a lot of thought. Number 1 requires earmuffs. Number 2 requires a dentist’s suction tool to keep things dry. Numbers 3 and 4 require a mommy stunt double to take the hits (figuratively and literally.) Finally, number 5 requires letting children sleep in car with One Direction on loop.
Once again, I’m no rocket scientist, but…