Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Dryer Sheet

About a week ago, we had a strange, partially sleepless night with Eden.

A typical night looks something like this: Eden goes to sleep in her crib around 8, then wakes around midnight to be fed again. She joins us in bed for the night at that point. (We did not set out to be cosleepers. After two and a half months of the up and down all night routine, patting, shushing, falling asleep while nursing sitting upright, we realized that we had a girl who did not fall asleep or stay asleep easily. We brought her to bed out of desperation and have all gotten more sleep since.)

So, on this particular night, when Eden woke at midnight, she would not settle down and go back to sleep while nursing. She just seemed restless. She squirmed, rolled over, sat up, kicked her legs, said "at" with great enthusiasm, crawled. We tried nursing, patting, helping her find a comfortable position in bed, but nothing worked. So we moved to her room.

We tried rocking, laying her in her crib, changing her diaper, patting her, shushing her, nursing in the rocking chair, but nothing worked. We thought maybe teething was making her just uncomfortable enough to keep her awake, so we gave her Tylenol, which we rarely do. Didn't work. Back to our bed.

After two and a half hours of our best efforts, Eden sat up beside me, leaning back against my legs. She was so tired she was bobbing her head and listing around, almost falling over in her sleep-deprived stupor. She leaned farther and farther back, kicked her legs, but just couldn't fall asleep. Finally, nestled in the crook of my arm with her head on my pillow, she fell asleep. At 3am. After three hours of being awake.

I hate mysteries like this. If Eden is waking at night, or upset during the day, or cranky or whiny, I like to know why. I like to know why so I can fix it, or at least understand it.

Eden woke at seven, and we went to her changing table for her usual morning diaper change. And then I found it - The Cause of The Sleepless Night: in the toe of her footed pjs was a dryer sheet, balled up, but still big enough to make an incredibly sensitive little girl like Eden annoyed enough to stay awake for three hours. A dryer sheet. Poor girl. She was trying to kick it out, crawl away from it, but it stayed with her.

This week as I folded her laundry, you better believe I checked for dryer sheets.

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