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Philosophical Monday: How Not To Raise A Night Owl?

Over at BabySmiling in Back Seat, they’re talking about things you don’t want your baby to inherit from you. The list is so long for me, and I’ve already covered most of it here, but just in case you’re not a regular reader: my artistic passion, my ridiculously short attention span, my general anxiety, my mild stutter, my tendency to interrupt … I could go on, but we don’t have all day, and the point of this post is that it’s now become clear that she’s already inherited at least one thing from me.

One of the first stories I remember my mother telling me was how hard I would fight sleep as a baby. Apparently it didn’t matter how exhausted I was, I always heavily protested being put in the crib. And as early as five or six, I remember sneaking back out of bed after I was sure my parents were asleep, so that I could watch reruns of Solid Gold, I Love Lucy, and Love Boat. And by the age of eight, I had learned to use my camp flashlight to read under my covers.

My mom, to her credit, did try to put the kibosh on it, but even after a few midnight raids and sending me back to bed or taking away my flashlight, I would just lay low for a few nights, b/f sneaking back up to do it again. And she had a full-time job, so she couldn’t spend all night on policing duty. So she just began to accept occasionally finding me asleep in front of the television when she woke up and getting notes from my teachers, complaining about how I was always falling asleep in class.

And as my college and grad school classmates know from so often having to nudge me awake in class, I didn’t get a firm grip on my night owl tendencies until I literally became too old to stay up half the night and handle a full-time job.

I took this screenshot of Betty right after I finished my blogumn. It's like she heard me writing about her and wanted to exhibit my point!

I took this screenshot of Betty on the iCam right after I finished my blogumn. It's like she heard me writing about her and wanted to exhibit my point!

Anyway the point of this walk down memory lane is that Betty has started doing the same thing. We didn’t Ferberize her or anything, but it is understood that under all but the rarest of circumstances, she will wildly protest being put down in her crib for any reason all the way until you get out of the room, after which she will either promptly fall asleep or send out moans of annoyance before nodding off.

Learning to crawl though has been a game changer. She not only moves around in her crib or fifteen minutes to thirty minutes after I put her down, but at least once or twice a week, she falls asleep, sitting up, her head against the bars, her body slumped over as if to say, “I couldn’t fight it any more.” I won’t even go into how often we’re woken up between three and five in the morning by the sound of her talking to herself for about fifteen to twenty minutes before falling back to sleep. I’ll just say that I can hear ominous music playing in the background of our parenting biopic.

So does anyone have any advice about preventative night owl measures? I have a feeling that I’m like really going to need it.