This post is dedicated to Google and the Internet in general, which help me know that I'm not alone.
Lily is nine months old. But, like, she's nine months old. She's growing and changing by leaps and bounds every day; sometimes it seems like every hour. And for some reason with all these amazing physical and cognitive changes comes a real strain in her relationship with sleep.
Something similar happened at four months. She went from being happy when held or lying on the floor, just smiling and interacting with whoever was holding her, going to sleep when she was tired... to having her whole world open up. Even though it was a while yet before she started actually moving around, she started really noticing things across the room. She was starting the long process of teething. It seemed like lots of little changes and new things (laughing! grasping toys! etc!) all came together and combined to create a perfect storm of sleep-preventing nerve firings. She went from sleeping through the night to waking up 3-4 times or more. Naps were unpredictable at best. We were exhausted.
Everything settled down within a few weeks and the routine was pretty well set for several months.
Now it's all back. If before Lily's world opened up to the size of an average 12x12 room, it is now much larger still--like maybe the size of our whole sharp furniture-filled basement. She went from either sitting still or rolling to crawling and cruising within a week or so. She went from having fun being startled to actually playing peekaboo. (Granted, she doesn't usually successfully cover her eyes, but you can tell by the glint that she's "hiding".) Her body and mind are having trouble keeping up with all these leaps. I can almost see her mind whirring with new discoveries as she fights every last nap and bedtime. It's not her fault--and my knowing this saves her life sometimes, I think--it's just that her nervous system won't let her relax.
Realizing what she's actually going through does help in many ways, but the net result is the same: we're exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Will she ever go back to taking two naps totaling three hours? (I really liked that. I miss that.) Will she ever settle down and be nursed to sleep within 15 minutes again instead of 1.5 hours?
I know she won't be like this when she's 12 or even when she's 3 or 18 months. But...will it get better? Will THIS baby's, this particular, individual, unique baby's routine improve?
If so, for the love of all that's good, please tell me: WHEN???
"But--I'm too cute to be chucked out the window!"