This week we had a heat wave here in Montreal and throughout Quebec, where the temperatures were above 40 degrees. It was humid, stuffy and horrible! It was the kind of heat that when you walk outside it hits you like a brick wall and you can’t breathe.
Of course it was only this week that we realized that our wall-mounted air conditioner does not work to it’s full potential. The home owners before us weren’t very cleanly so we should have thought to have it cleaned before now. Thank gosh we have a cooler (even though humid) basement and my mom to drive us to cooler places! We still suffered pretty hard this week, especially trying to sleep.
My poor miss Nora Grace isn’t very good in the heat to begin with so it has been taking quite the toll on her. We have spend the week naked and in the shower, pool and sink trying to keep cool. On top of the heat, my pregnant butt also managed to catch a cold. Like a full-blown nose running, throat hurts, ears itch cold.
With all these factors in play, I’ve been struggling to parent when it comes to bed time these past couple nights. The first two nights when Nora didn’t want to sleep, I understood she was too hot so would pick her up and let her cool down and play. After that however, it still took her a long time to finally settle down and pass out. She would cry and cry until she fell asleep in my arms or cried herself to sleep in her crib. Let’s remember that I have a child that goes to bed with a bottle and is out in 20 minutes tops, and also never, ever cries. Like ever.
So hearing her cry broke my heart and I couldn’t stay out of her room for very long. Last night, however, even with the same factors in play, it seemed different. We stayed home, so she had normal naps which meant a normal bedtime. (She doesn’t fight her naps) But no matter what we tried to do she wouldn’t settle down. She didn’t want to be picked up, and she was angry. She was kicking the side of her crib. I was getting frustrated with her and eventually popped her down on the floor. The silly baby only wanted to play! I got upset with myself in this instant realizing that I had already created a habit within two days because I picked her up out of bed and let her play. I knew we couldn’t let this happen so instead we put her back in her crib with some toys and she eventually fell asleep.
Flash forward to today which is still very hot out but Nora’s room is fairly cool. We had a normal nap this afternoon, so I was prepared for tonight for no picking up and no playing. I had come to the conclusion that it was more that she wanted to play than it was the heat. The first hour after we put her in bed at her normal time went well. She moaned and groaned like usual, but I was hopeful that it would be a good night! Nora’s Daddy had to leave to go play a soccer game and everyone else in the house was also out.
I’m not sure how it started but it did. The tears, and oh my those hard cries! I picked her up a few times trying to calm her down but she just wanted out of my arms so back in the crib she went. I tried everything to settle her. Singing, rubbing, water, cold face cloth, new toys, you name it. I felt defeated. Her crying was making her even more hot and i didn’t know what else to do. I decided I had to let her cry it out like her Daddy had suggested last night that kind of worked. I thought she was just angry again.
I’m not sure how long went by (even 30 seconds with a screaming baby feels like forever) but I couldn’t do it anymore. I let her cry too long. When I went into her room she was gagging and gasping for air. I picked her up and she was in such distress that I started crying. I felt so bad. How did I let her get to that point? She had so much trouble catching her breath, I’ve never seen her cry like that. It wasn’t a frustrated cry anymore either. It was heartbreaking. As I bounced, swayed and shushed her through all our tears and sweat, she finally fell asleep on my shoulder. I sat in our rocking chair and just held her for a long time, apologizing and telling her I loved her.
Since no one was there to witness what happened, I know Nora’s Daddy will chalk up what we went through as another one of her temper tantrums, and that once again I was too easy on her. I know every time she’s upset I can’t feel bad and give in, but this time wasn’t okay.
It’s supposed to be cooler by tomorrow so I’m hoping that will help our sleeping situation and that she will go back to being able to sleep like she used to. If not, I’m not sure what else I am going to do. We’ve had such an easy ride with this parenting thing so far, I’m not ready for it to become difficult! I hate upsetting her but I know a good sleeping schedule is beneficial for everyone. I may have been more sensitive tonight with my being sick and all, but I still know I won’t let her cry until that point again.
Has anyone been through something like this before? What did you do?