This boy is being sleep-trained for the first time in his life. Boo was a terrible newborn sleeper–he spent most of his early months attached to me in his moby wrap. It was the only way I could get anything done. Then at around 3 months, I was able to get him asleep in his crib by himself. From 6 months on, the hubs and I would take turns with his bedtime routine and place him in his crib, where he would wave “bye-bye” to us… with a huge smile. From 6 to 19 months, we lived in sleep bliss. Boo would sleep from 7:30 pm to 7:30 am. He napped for 2-3 hours. Oh sigh.
Last December, at 20 months, something changed. Boo would wake up screaming several times in the middle of the night and need long cuddles until he fell back asleep. Then we spent the last half of December in Vancouver–where his sleep was “horridable” (our Frenglish for Nasty McNastersons). We returned to the SF bay area at the beginning of January hoping that his sleep would return to normal. Umm… We got into this horridable routine of giving him cuddles until he fell asleep. Sometimes it took 10 minutes, sometimes it took over an hour. The hubs and I would take turns falling asleep with him at 7:30 pm and transferring him to his crib when he was dead asleep. If he even detected the slightest movement, he would cry, “No, no, no!”.
Needless to say, I am exhausted. Since I have short “naps” in the evening, I have a hard time falling asleep at night, which results in zombie-mommy mornings, which repeats into a horridable cycle.
Long backstory to explain my latest sewing project. Boy cushions. For the small sofa bed in Boo’s room. Because it gets uncomfortable to hold a 30+ pound boy in your arms, sitting on a sofa for so long. Because I can’t focus on anything more complex. Eventually, the hubs would fall asleep on the ground with Boo next to him, but I preferred slouching into the sofa with Boo in my arms, leaning onto the arm of the sofa. I kept thinking it would be more comfortable with more cushions.
So I made these:
From a remnant piece of home decor weight fabric from Britex in San Francisco. Britex is an AMAZING fabric store–I spent nearly 2 hours there, petting the gorgeous selection of fabric and feasting my eyes on the prettiest lace trims, ribbons and buttons. It’s the kind of fabric store that would supply you with everything you need to make something truly special. I love the dump truck print–it’s clearly “boy” without being cheesy. The navy matches the sofa really well and the olive green adds a nice contrast.
I added navy piping because piping makes cushions so much better.
I am getting better at installing invisible zippers! You can see my first attempt here.
The new cushions don’t match the blue & white toile cushion covers that we purchased with the sofa bed, but I don’t think Boo minds much. Oh dear, I didn’t realize that I matched Froo & Boo with the furniture today.
Several days ago, while I was putting Boo down to sleep, I realized how crazy our night-time routine had become because I thought I was going crazy myself. This is what I told Boo, “Mommy’s going to put you in your crib. I’ll stay here with you, but if you cry, mommy is going to leave.” Boo cried. I left. He cried for 20 minutes. The next day, he cried for 5 minutes. The day after, we had a really late night celebrating Chinese New Year, so that doesn’t count, but I am aiming for a smile and a kiss by next week.
Incidentally, my sister went through something very similar with her son. Her “internet research” revealed that it’s a common “thing” for boys between 20-24 months to experience a sudden change in their sleep habit. My friend’s son, who is only 10 days younger than Boo, mirrored everything Boo was going through and it was comforting sending and receiving email updates on our sleep troubles. But I don’t think it’s limited to just boys. I remember Froo going through something similar when she was about 22-months old. She needed to sleep with her door open. We lived in a small condo at the time, so the hubs and I would turn off all the lights in our home and watch tv with earphones attached to a long extension cord. Good times.
The pillow forms for the new boy cushions used to be in a pair of silk cushion covers I bought in India. They are now worn thin, ripped and stained. In hindsight, silk cushions in a nursery is not very practical. This is a picture a photographer took of Froo when she was 8 days old:
I never thought I would be one to write, “they grow so fast”, but I guess I just did. Although I want Boo to quickly grow out of this terrible sleeping phase, I want him to slow down, just a bit, so I can enjoy the fact that he gives me the world’s best cuddles.