The 10-Minute Rule, Subterfuge, and Other Mysteries of Baby Sleep

It’s 9:02 p.m. and Finn knows EXACTLY where I am. He KNOWS. Even though he’s “asleep” he knows that he’s not in my arms, nor in John’s arrms, which is where he’d most definitely prefer to be. He knows that I am nearby but not nearby enough to make him sleep like the dead.
I have noticed a lot of interesting and also frustrating elements of Finn’s sleep patterns. There’s the 10-Minute Rule, which is the rule that guarantees 10 minutes (almost to the exact second) after you transfer Finn from your arms to the crib or bassinett, he will WAKE UP like a bolt of lightening and start complaining–regardless of how soundly he was sleeping while you were holding him. Honestly, he will be absolutely stone cold motionless in your arms the entire time he’s there, and 10 minutes after you move him, once his little brain catches on, the jig is most definitely up. I’ll let you know what’s happening at 9:12 p.m., exactly 10 minutes after I put him back in his bassinett after he woke up (which was 10 minutes after John put him down for the night).
The 10-Minute Rule is the reason there is so much attempted sleep subterfuge with babies. It seems like we spend a lot of time tricking them into falling asleep, staying asleep, and not letting them catch on that they’ve been transferred to an actual bed. The rocking, shushing, swaddling, swaying, pacifying, ever-so-gentle depositing of said baby into the crib so as not to wake him, it’s all just so much trickery to keep them asleep. And the majority of the time none of it works at all. He wakes up, you start all over again, and hope that the next time it sticks so you can go to sleep. I would be really interested to tally up the number of hours moms and dads spend rocking their kids into submission!
I’m sure these traits are all remnants of primitive man…it was probably pretty critical for little humanoids to be hyper-aware of where they were and whether there was any danger or weirdness afoot, particularly while sleeping. Now how that translates into a 10 minute delay I have no idea. The saber-toothed tiger hovering near the mouth of your cave would certainly have devoured you in less than 10 minutes, right?
Well, it’s 9:13 p.m. and althougth Finn’s making tons of awake-ish noises, I don’t think he’s actually awake. So i’ve outsmarted him for at least 11 minutes this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *