The Nugget Chronicles: Sleep Habits of a Hulk Baby

Here on the good ol’ blog, I consistently refer to my daughter as Nugget. This is because, well, before we really knew she was a she, and then before we wanted to share her name with the world, that was how we referred to her. So, once I moved into this digital realm, it just made sense to continue with that.

That being said, she’s also a large child. Not fat or anything, just growing rapidly. It helps that she started out life just shy of ten pounds, and she’s been growing at a pretty consistent rate since then. This is why, on Twitter, I refer to her as the hulkbaby. This only gets fueled by seeing other children around her age (about a month or so older than her) that are smaller and weigh less. So there’s a little background on the different nicknames I have for her, which explains part of today’s title.

As for the rest of today’s title, well, talking about her sleep patterns seems to be a good way to go. Largely, this is because she just got out of a weekend where she decided that she was going to try to blast her sleep pattern to bits (at least, with regards to daytime naps, which she seemed to think were for lame babies). See, we’ve honestly been pretty blessed with how she’s been as a sleeper. She started sleeping through the night at a pretty young age, and that’s just continued as the months have ticked away. The worst sleep she’s gotten was when we tried to jumpstart crib sleeping, and she was very much not ready for that. Since then, we’ve just been co-sleeping, which allows her to feel safe and sleep solidly. Even better, since she’s sleeping solidly, it means WE sleep solidly. Sure, she’s too big for pretty much every standard co-sleeper, which means that she’s just in bed with us (go ahead and judge, but, darn it, she’s sleeping), but hey, you take what you can get with regards to little ones.

Because we’d gotten used to sharing a bed with the dog before Nugget even showed up, we figured that transitioning to sharing the bed with a baby wouldn’t be too different. And, in many ways, we were correct. The presence of HawtWife is more likely to bring more frequent wake-ups from them both. And, over the course of the night, if given their way, both Nugget and the dog are more than content to slowly try and push me off of the bed so that they’ve got more room to stretch out (full disclosure, the dog is not trying to push me out of the bed at the same time as Nugget. In fact, the dog has taken up permanent residence at our feet). See, one of the things that we’ve noticed is that Nugget has picked up one of her mom’s sleep traits; the desire to stretch out as far as possible. If we had a giant king-sized bed, I would still be getting pushed to the edge, when both HawtWife and Nugget could stretch out as much as they choose to. While I’m always happy that Nugget wants to cuddle up with Daddy over the course of the night, except for when she needs a top-off from mom, there are definitely times that I miss having enough of the mattress for my shoulders to lay flat.

Another thing about Nugget’s sleep, and something that I truly believe is, at present, the best of both worlds, but will eventually turn into an issue to be solved, is that she’s a late-onset sleeper. This is a trait that she picked up from me. Even when I was a kid, I didn’t sleep early (unless I really exhausted myself), and I’ve never been overly fond of mornings. Well, Nugget’s sleep cycle actually means that she’s generally falling asleep late (for a baby), but not overly late for HawtWife (who is an unabashed morning person with a reasonable bed time). And because of how late Nugget falls asleep, and how good she really is at sleeping solidly for around 12 hours, I (an unabashed night person, with a bed time somewhere between ridiculous and “are you kidding me?”) get a reasonable amount of sleep before the best alarm in the world starts looking around, asking for some food and a diaper change. Sure, when she was in daycare, Nugget’s schedule was different, but, since it’s just been the two of us for the last month, we’ve gotten a perfect understanding as to why she’d end up napping within a half-hour of her arrival at day care, and sleep for over an hour. We were messing with her preferred rhythms.

As I said, this will eventually be an issue. Soon enough, there will be school and other morning activities that require her to wake up earlier than she is currently choosing to. However, in the meantime, we’re kind of letting her pick her own schedule. We know that everyone has different internal clocks, and, since she really doesn’t have a lot of appointments to keep (aside from getting in her tummy time and trying-to-eat-toys time), allowing her to have the schedule she’s most comfortable with seems to really be the way to go. It definitely increases the likelihood of having a happy baby, and makes it less likely that we’ll tear our hair out trying to get her to fall asleep before she’s ready.

Now, if only we can get her to take regular naps. Because she needs them. Not because Daddy wants to take a rest. Nope, not at all.

Yup. Just because she needs them.

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