Quick, everyone! Think about a time when you might expect that a person might need extra sleep.
Okay, everyone got one firmly in their heads? Let’s weigh in!
Clearly, when recovering from illness or injury. When overly stressed. Any time the body needs a refresher, really. It’s nature’s little reset button, and it’s a great way for the human body to recover and build and grow. Now, with a child, that sleep is of tantamount importance, especially during the times when a lot of growth is happening, since it really does happen in bursts.
Now guess when the human body decides that it’s going to make it difficult for a child to sleep.
Did you guess when the child needs it most, because of the growing and everything that they’re doing? Congratulations! You might just be a parent, or have ever seen a child going through a growth spurt.
Look, I get it. There’s a lot going on in Nugget’s world. She’s packing on the pound (no, I didn’t omit an “s” there). She’s getting taller. Her brain is going approximately 9000000 miles per second, trying to absorb everything around her. So clearly she’s overwhelmed with everything that’s happening. Add getting teeth to the mix, and it’s a wonderful cocktail of experience, not all of which can be positive.
That said, the last couple of nights have been pretty rough for Nugget’s sleep cycle. Now I know I shouldn’t complain, because she’s been such a rock star in the sleeping category thus far (as long as you don’t need to sleep in your crib to be a rock star), but I feel for the kid. And yes, it might be her molars trying to poke themselves through, but she doesn’t seem like she isn’t getting sleep because of pain. She’s also not being woken up by hunger, because she turns down snacks we try to offer her (this is actually proof that she’s not hungry, not that she doesn’t like our snacks. There’s very little food she turns her nose up at). So it’s become clear that whatever is keeping Nugget from getting restful sleep is going on, either in her body as it grows, or her brain as it processes all sorts of new information.
That’s where it seems like nature really played a bit of a cruel trick on human development. In the first couple of years, sleep is of incredible importance, so there’s a lot of it that has to be doled out. Naturally, the times where the body would seem to need sleep the most are the times where it actively becomes less likely that easy, restful sleep will happen. That would be like telling a songbird that it can only get fed when it sings, but then making sure that its throat hurt when it was hungry.
Now, clearly Nugget is still getting enough rest overall, even if she’s being forced to take a large chunk of the middle of the day for naps, but the restlessness she’s been experiencing at night definitely shows that she’s going through some sort of growth, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional. Either that, or she’s just getting geared up for her next check-up, and thinking that maybe, if she doesn’t sleep great at night, she can nap through the doctor’s visit.
Actually, if that trick works, I might start using it before I have to go to the dentist.