Thursday, August 05, 2010

Serious Parenting Tip--How to Sleep on Your Face

As part of my end-of-summer efforts to get my hands on the wheel of this bus that is spinning out of control (Hint for the literalists among you: the bus is my family), I was sleeping on the floor of Ellen's room last night to break her of the habit of climbing into bed with Maggie several times a night. I wouldn't care that she does this but co-sleeping makes them both crotchety, as it does all of us (I WENT there, Dr. Sears.)

It's going pretty well. I didn't have to spend the whole night on her floor. People without kids are probably going, wait--that's a thing? Spending the night on your kid's floor happens? (They're so cute before they get haggard.) I was thinking about a post I wrote last year for the now defunct Light Refreshments Served. I keep meaning to transfer all my posts from there over to this blog but, you know--I'm asleep on the floor of my kid's room. So I think I'll bring them over one by one with the hope that this will imbue them with a kind of vintage flair. Here's the post I wrote last October about sleeping on your face:

You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I just discovered this new way to sleep since having my fourth and final baby. I wish I would have known about it sooner. At the risk of stating something obvious that everyone figured out before me, please allow me to share this day-time sleeping position with you.

With cold and flu season starting up you will probably get sick. It’s ok because there are many cold medicines which are pleasant to take–but only pleasant if you can really lay down and enjoy the grogginess they cause. With kids you know that you of course can not get into your bed. I hear about people who have helpers or friends or family who take their kids or come over when the mom gets sick but that has never happened to me. Of course you can steal a few hours during nap time or TV time or playing with beautiful wooden toy time (myth) but what about when your toddler demands your presence? Mine does almost 100% of the time. Note that I said presence. It doesn’t always have to be full-on attention. 

But they get suspicious if you lay on a pillow–somehow they are very tuned in to your comfort level. And comfort=time to bug you. I can’t sleep on my back–if you can you are lucky. My husband can and he has all kinds of games he plays with the kids while he sleeps on his back such as “build a tower out of pillows on dad” and “dead pioneer.” This might work for you.

For us side and stomach sleepers, it’s not that uncomfortable to lay on the floor and fold your arms under your head and try to rest that way. But take it from me, it won’t last long because your arms fall asleep–you see, I am really serious here. This is serious advice. Here’s what works for me: I lay flat on my face. No one notices or asks me for anything. They think I’m still playing. They can tell I’m totally uncomfortable so they see no need to disrupt me. Then I turn my head to the side. This won’t be comfortable at first. But just let your neck relax and in a few minutes you will settle right in to the carpet (it won’t work on a hard floor). Now here’s the trick: put your arms and hands under the front of your legs. This does two things. It makes you feel like you have covers (which you can’t have because your toddler will pull any blankets off of you to use for herself or a doll). It also takes a little pressure off of your lower back which allows you to actually sleep in this position and remain really quite comfortable for a while.

This is the only way I’ve ever been able to doze off while “playing” with my kids. I hope it helps. I’m so jealous of you back sleepers but tell me, do they jump on you as soon as your eyes close?

24 comments:

  1. my husband is one of those said 'back sleepers' ...then again he's also one of those 'a bomb could go off in the house and the world could come to an end and he sleeps the best night ever' sleepers.
    me....ohhh i've done the exact same thing you have tried...except the kids find a way to peel my eyes back to make sure i'm still paying attention. ugh! maybe when i'm 80 i'll get rest

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  2. dead pioneer!!!!!! oh man, I cackled at that one.

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  3. Oh my gosh hysterical and I so get the need for a how to on this. Thx

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  4. I LOVE this, and especially because I discovered it a while back and JUST DID IT TODAY. I'm a little sore, and my face feels a little mushed up. But you're so right... it is sometimes the only way.

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  5. I use this sleep position all the time, including when I'm actually sleeping in bed. It keeps everyone away . . . including the husband. I don't really know why.

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  6. love.

    esp. "that's a thing?"--there's so much They don't tell you. like the part I am dealing with , with the hair and teeth literally falling out of my head. that's a fine howdy-do for multiplying and replenishing. sheesh.

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  7. Dead Pioneer is my favorite.

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  8. I sleep like this all the time, somehow it never occurred to me to try it so I can nap while she plays! This is genius!

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  9. I'll have to try this. My son always catches me even if my eyes close for only a few seconds!

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  10. That's so sweet she climbs in with Maggie! I remember that post -- hilarious as always.

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  11. So, follow-up question: My toddler, Margaret, jumps on me whenever I lay down, sit down, or look "comfortable." Repeatedly. When she does this and I'm in the position you've perfectly described, do I "play dead" or start fake snoring?
    Sincerely,
    Napless since 1998

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  12. If you can pull it off, "Dead Pioneer" is the greatest game ever.

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  13. I have often thought of this original post. I'm pretty sure I will be attempting it today.

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  14. Myth? My kids play with beautiful wooden toys like three hours a day, minimum. While I sleep on my face

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  15. Anonymous4:51 PM

    Want to see the original comic from KICK-ASS in digital form? Buy KICK-ASS as a digital download by 8/15 from the PlayStation Store and you’ll receive an exclusive look at the comic book!”

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  16. Kacy,
    I totally agree with your whole post, but this is far more important than that.

    Have you seen this yet?
    http://jezebel.com/5606489/
    It's a clip from the Lost epilogue. And it is lovely.

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  17. Anonymous1:40 AM

    Do you personally know Cjane and Nie Nie? I think you do. Your blog is so much more accesssible and friendly. You are a real person, not some internet-celebrity in fancy clothes who eats at fancy restaurants being photographed by a fancy photographer. I like you Kacy!

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  18. Oh my gosh! Somehow I feel so much better that this is a toddler "thing" and my son is not the only kid who does it. I am a back/side/stomach sleeper. He will jump on me in any position, especially if I am relaxing/trying to nap/reading. I must try sleeping on my face on the floor of the playroom. When he tires of using me as a horse, maybe I can actually sleep a little. Brilliant!

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  19. Oh Kacy, how I love you. My kids are only content if I'm constantly running around looking busy. My husband will say, "Come sit down and watch this movie with me", yeah right.

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  20. Your toddler uses actual covers for her dolls?!!? We have no toilet paper, paper towels, or wash cloths left in our house cuz my tot thinks they all belong to her dolls. So don't ever come over to my house hoping to wipe your butt, clean up spills, or wash your face.

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  21. My dad took this a step further:

    1. Sleep on your face (or rest in arms if yours don't fall asleep)
    2. Have the appropriately sized children* step on your back to give you a "back massage"
    3. Sleep and spa treatment? Heaven.

    I approve of this method. Joe keeps telling the kids not to step on my back; he hasn't gotten the message that I *like* it.

    *Works best with children aged 4-8 as they know not to step on your face, not to jump, and do not weigh too much.

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  22. Kacy, I think we need you to have someone photograph you in this position. I mean, to really get the idea, I'm gonna need some visuals with these instructions.

    I LOLed reading this. I'm gonna try it.

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  23. I don't even know how I found your blog today, but I feel compelled to comment because I am laughing so hard. Thank you for a really good laugh!

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  24. I'm pregnant with my first baby, it's 4 in the morning and can't sleep, and I stumbled upon your blog and I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. I love your writing style and your awesome advice. Thanks.

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