Top Ten Signs That You Are Suffering From Sleep Deprivation

Claire began sleeping through the night when she was 6 weeks old. So, by the time Lucy came along, Chris and I had been sleeping like regular people for 4 years, 1 month, and 3 days. The sleepless nights and harrowing devastation of sleep deprivation were a distant memory. We had been through counseling. We had served our time in support groups. We had moved on.

And then, in one fateful night, everything changed. And magically, when our sweet, sleepless baby came into our lives, our four year-old forgot how to sleep too. Like a skeleton in the closet, that monster of sleep deprivation reared his ugly head. Only this time, he had doubled in size.

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Doesn’t she look peaceful?  I’m pretty sure she’s about to drift off.

Now that we’ve come through that dark valley and are once again residing in the land of the living, I’d like to reach out and offer a life line to others who are suffering.

I’ve compiled a list of the top ten signs that you are suffering from sleep deprivation – most likely due to those little people living in your house that you refer to as your children. If one or more of these symptoms applies to you, please reach out and seek support. Help is available!

Top 10 Signs That You Are Suffering From Sleep Deprivation

10. You fight to put the baby to bed instead of the four year-old so you can maybe catch a cat nap in the rocker.

9. You are sleeping on sheets that may contain spots of <insert: poop, spit up, urine, etc.>

8. You buy Visine and under-eye concealer by the case.

7. For your birthday, you asked your parents for a nap.

6. When you hear a noise down the hall in the middle of the night, you hope it’s an intruder and not your child coming to ask for a glass of water.

5. You wonder daily about the mathematics of sleep and why your two hour stretches that total up to six hours don’t feel the same as six hours used to feel.

4. You pray the most fervent prayers of your life – begging God, bargaining with God, hoping for just a few peaceful moments of rest.

3. You wonder if this is Ever. Going. To. End.

2. You light candles for POWs who are held in prison camps which utilize sleep deprivation as a method of torture.

1. You have an IV hooked up directly to your coffee pot.

Dear friend, please know, it will end.   The stars will align, the monitor will stay quiet, and the pull-up will stay dry. And on that glorious night, when you sleep that glorious sleep, the memories of your torture will start to fade. Finally, the healing can begin.

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Overprotecting: Container Babies

This is the second post in my overparenting series.  You can find the first post here.

Our society loves containers.  Baskets, shelves, tubs, bins, buckets.  Our country spends millions of dollars each year buying containers to keep our stuff in.

Nowadays, we even have containers to keep our babies in.  In an attempt to keep our babies safe, we strap them into containers.  Really, the options are endless…

Of course, there are the classics.

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There are new containers making their debut all the time.  As I was finding pictures of these contraptions I thought to myself, It seems like someone is just sitting in an office trying to come up with ideas for new containers to keep babies in.  Then I realized that this is exactly what is happening.  And they are getting rich on the American public’s incessant need for “safety” and the newest container’s promises.

This is called a travel nest.  I did some research and yes, it is made for a human baby.ImageImageImage

This is called a papoose coat.  Really, I would like to see someone wearing this.  It would make my day!Image

This is a super seat.  It is pretty super.Image

A beanbag with a strap?ImageImage

My parents’ name for this alternates between The Dumbo and The Bimbo.ImageImageImageImageImage

I understand the need for some of these containers.  Yes, we put Claire in a carseat.  Yes, she slept in a crib when she was tiny, and yes, we owned a swing and bouncy seat.  These containers serve a purpose to an extent.  Some of them are necessary for safety reasons.  Others are necessary at times for Mommy’s sanity.  But I think these containers are used way more than they should be.  A baby can’t explore his world in a container.  He can’t learn how his arms and legs work or understand how the carpet feels or figure out how to twist and squirm when he’s always strapped into a bucket of some type.  Babies need to be free – out of containers – to learn and gain curiosity, and to begin to put the world into place.IMG_5070This is how Claire and I spent my maternity leave.  On this blanket – in the living room – on the floor.  It wasn’t particularly exciting.  Really, at times it was quite dull.  But here’s what was happening in her little body:

Claire’s neural networks were stimulated to make new connections and grow in complexity.  These are the networks that drive motor coordination and physical balance.  This time out of a container also helped strengthen Claire’s neck muscles as well as helping her limb coordination.  These developments pave the way for crawling, and then walking, running, and many other developmental milestones.  (Source: Active For Life)

Here’s another great article about the benefits of container-free time.

Isn’t it amazing that throughout history, hundreds of thousands (more than that maybe??) of babies survived their first years without ANY of these containers?  They slept snuggled up in their parents’ bed, laid on a blanket on the floor, and probably spent some time rolling around in the dirt.  And they made it.  Without baby proofing.  Without a Bumbo.  Without a 5 Star Safety Rating.  Keeping our babies safe is important, but it’s not the only thing.  Babies need time to stretch, squirm, and explore.  Set the babies free!