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no sleep till Chisinau

Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but we think a jet-lagged baby comes pretty darn close.

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When we brought him to Moldova from the United States, Munchkin was too little to notice the time difference. At that age, he was a champion sleeper anyway. He rarely spent more than an hour and a half awake at a time, and slept at least 15 hours out of every 24-hour cycle. He easily snoozed through the plane rides from Portland to Chisinau and was completely oblivious to the change in time zones. That was then. This time around not only did he notice the time change, but he was also most definitely not amused by it, and for the better part of two weeks after returning from the United States Munchkin let his displeasure be fully known.

To complicate matters, S took him stateside just as he was beginning to settle into a sleep routine, and all the progress we had made in sleep training went up in smoke. D has a colleague with two little ones who is fond of saying that grandparents are most definitely “defense counsel” — try to lay down the law with your child and you’ll be sure to find that your parents will come to his defense. After two weeks of letting Munchkin cry it out, we had gotten to the point where he would usually only fuss for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep. With the jet lag and grandparents on his side, S did not have the resolve to stick with the cry-it-out method, and we had to start the process again from square one.

The first two nights back were a complete nightmare — funny in a way, if seen through the eyes of another, but completely miserable all the same. Munchkin evoked the image of a stereotypical college student, slumbering most of the day and then wanting to party all night. At 1-2 o’clock in the morning, we would be up, too spent to do anything but lie in bed while he clambered all over us. Letting him cry it out was a nonstarter because his body clock told him it was daytime, the darkness outside be damned.

It was not until this week that we managed to finally reset his sleep schedule and could start working on the sleep training again with a clean conscience. He still does not like being left alone to sleep, even when he is clearly tired, but we’re now back to where we were: 5-10 minutes of complaining before he soothes himself to sleep. And while the separation anxiety may take a long time to overcome, at least we’ve put the jet lag firmly behind us.

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