My Not-So-Secret Obsession, Infatuation, Fixation, and Paranoia with Sleep


During pregnancy, one of the most common phrases you hear is “sleep now because you never know when you’ll get to again,” or some such nonsense. Throughout my pregnancy I heard this from no fewer than a thousand people (strangers, parents, the lunch lady at work, and the occasional friend whom I have since stopped talking to…).

Now, 20 months into the whole raising a human thing, I look back on this statement and realize– nobody told me that I would give birth to a nocturnal alien.



If you have one iota of Type A personality in you,  (“A temperament characterized by excessive ambition, aggression, competitiveness, drive, impatience, need for control, focus on quantity over quality, and an unrealistic sense of urgency. It is commonly associated with risk of coronary disease and other stress-related ailments”, you are about to become obsessed, infatuated, fixated, and paranoid over your baby’s sleep. I am as Type A as they come.  

So, yes, your baby will sleep, sleep too much, and then not sleep at all (unless being rocked like she’s in a magnitude 7 earthquake). Then she will sleep fitfully, sleep walk, sleep talk, and wake in her sleep (think baby monitor raccoon eyes).  There’s also falling asleep too early, waking from expected sleep too soon, sleeping in the car during a non-scheduled sleep time and then not sleeping during the scheduled nap time… therefore not getting good sleep, so she may need to sleep again but is too tired to sleep (what?). This means she won’t fall asleep that night until much later than expected, causing her to sleep well into breakfast time, throwing off her next day’s nap schedule yet again.

And this, my sleep obsessed friends, is your run-of-the-mill, healthy, happy week. Now throw in extenuating circumstances – shots, and/or travel, teething, sleep regressions, cold, flu, hand-foot-and-mouth disease (yup), or a dog sneaking into the room and attempting to jump into the crib (double yup). All of this results in a zombie for a parent simply because you have become disgustingly obsessed with this laundry list of sleep conundrums.

Meanwhile, the sleepless baby is happily playing, eating, pooping, painting on the walls, and sticking fingers in dark crevices without a care in the world…

Can I get an AMEN?