The horror… the horror…

August 20, 2008 at 4:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

We interrupt this Wordless Wednesday to whine about the battle over sleep we have in our house lately.

(Brought to you by Baby O! Now with less sleep!)

It’s been starting for the past few weeks, really. He wakes up, hungry, at 4am. Some days it’s 3am. Sometimes 5. But always early. And he’s always hungry.

And though sometimes it takes him a little while to go back to sleep, he manages to do it on his own. So really all I’ve needed to do is sleepwalk into his room, give him the boob, put him back into the crib, and go back to my own bed. Bada bing – like nothing had happened. Wakeful to sleep again in less than 30 minutes. 

Well.

Last Friday he went on a nursing strike during the day. Where not only did he fight me to take a nap, but he ALSO fought me when I tried to feed him. Almost EVERY nursing session, except the ones in the middle of the night when he was too sleepy to make too much of a fuss. 

Same thing Saturday and most of Sunday too.

He did have a runny nose on Sunday, so I figured maybe it was a cold which was bothering him. And I resolved to be more patient with him, since he clearly wasn’t feeling good.

Until he was up every freaking TWO HOURS on Monday night. (You know, the night before my 9am meeting with the CFO and VP of HR for the job I really, really wanted.*) Hungry, of course – since he hadn’t eaten enough during the day.

I gave in and fed him at 1:30. And then again at 4. And complained to J “shouldn’t we be past this every-two-hours newborn stuff?”

And wouldn’t you know there was no sign of sniffles yesterday? He took a nice three hour nap while I was in my interview, so I didn’t really even get a chance to recover with him.

So last night I was determined that we get enough feedings in that he at least slept most of the night. So I tried to cluster feed him last night before bed. Then I gave him a nice warm bath. And rocked him to sleep, too.

Dammit if the kid didn’t wake up at 3:30. Except this time he wasn’t hungry. At least, not at first. He was just widefuckingawake.

I thought maybe at first he was cold, so I got a warmer blanket (yes, he sleeps with a blanket. He prefers that to sleep sacks. Besides, he loves to sleep with his little teddy bear blanket over his face – has been doing that since he was two months old. He’s fine), wrapped him in it, and started rocking him.

AS I AM ROCKING HIM, I’m thinking: “this is really stupid, Serenity. He’s going to get used to you rocking him back to sleep. Really fucking stupid.”

So I put him back into his crib.

Fuss.

Shit.

I rocked him again, this time so that his eyes were droopy. And then when I put him down, I heard the “I’m hungry but really tired but so hungry so mom can you come and feed me?” cry.

So I fed him.

All in all, he was up almost an HOUR last night.

Which is fine for him – he can sleep in. But once we hit 4:30am? I’m awake. Like wide awake. Like if I go back to sleep I’m going to be even more tired than I was before I slept wide awake.

So here I am. And I have no idea what to do. I thought about introducing some cereal this past weekend, but I do NOT want to do that as a substitute for nursing; I want to make sure he’s back on the boob regularly before I add anything to his diet. From the list our pediatrician gave us which tells us he’s “ready” for solids, the only one he doesn’t meet is the “he’s really hungry all the time” criteria. He’s hungry because he’s skipping nursing sessions during the day.

Clearly the rocking thing in the middle of the night will have to stop at some point, too.

So how long do we deal with this before it actually becomes our reality that we’ll never have a full night’s sleep again? And is there something I can DO right now to get him to sleep better at night? I suppose I could keep him up in the evenings so that he sleeps through the night. But I don’t know – seems that less sleep isn’t the right answer either.

Right now my instinct is to ride it out and see if it changes. I mean, it WAS better last night – he only woke up once. (Well, except it was for an hour.)

I just have a sinking sense that if I don’t DO something, this is a battle that we won’t win.

So any assvice you’ve got? Feel free to hit me with it.

Because it IS Wordless Wednesday and Baby O still remains damn cute, even at 3:30 in the morning, I HAVE included a picture.

Lucky for him me he’s adorable, huh?

*The interview went really well, despite my sleep deprivation. I really liked the CFO, I still really like the Company, and I’m so excited about the possibility of working there. Allegedly we’ll hear back this week, potentially with an offer. We’ll see though.

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15 Comments »

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  1. Well…there’s always the “evil” modified CIO to try as long as you know he’s not hungry and doesn’t genuinely need anything….

    (*running away after making suggestion*)

  2. In retrospect I think our sleep issues started because Baby A was not eating enough during the day. Our issues were more severe than this, and went on for a longer period of time, but still I could not bring myself to do CIO (partially because the little miss doesn’t soothe herself to sleep yet.) Shortly before I completely feel apart I finally went with the cut-way-back-on-naps and keep her up late approach. We were doing well with a 10pm bedtime for a week or so, and then one day her nap schedule was such that if I let her take an early evening nap she would’ve been up til 11, so instead I made her skip that nap and put her to bed at 8:15. I was sure it would be a mistake, but imagine my surprise when she didn’t get up in the middle of the night! Now she’s going to bed around 8-9 (yay!), sleeping all night minus a feeding if needed (double yay!) and has even started consolidating her daytime naps (yessss!). The latter may just be coincidental, but I’m psyched! Oh, and after briefly being down to no nursing whatsoever she’s back to nighttime/early AM nursing. Which I also attribute, perhaps falsely, to getting the sleep under control. Heck, maybe we’ll try some daytime feeds!

    It is so hard to nurse them during the day once they get old enough to be interested in the world around them. I’ve heard of people nursing in various carriers to keep the baby focused. Not sure if something like that would help you guys.

    Love the onesie! And the baby (of course!)

  3. Here’s my two cents, take what you will from it:

    In my limited experience (only on child here!) I will tell you what worked for me. We introduced soilds. Then about a month later we did a modified CIO method, that I think I have told you about before (if I haven’t just ask). I always nursed K as usual. I would offer a bit of rice cereal later in the day (which you will read is wrong, but hey, it worked for me). I wasn’t replacing ANY nursing sessions, just supplementing what she was already getting with cereal.

    With the combo of more food and an understanding on how to get herself back to sleep… she started sleeping well again.

    When K was getting up every hour at night I asked her ped. what he thought. He thought it may be time to introduce solids. She was showing all the other signs.

    Nursing strikes are frustrating and worrisome. However, you’ll get over the hump.

  4. I’m sorry I don’t have any assvice to offer. Just wanted to let you know that I’m reading and I hope things settle down soon.

    Fingers crossed about the job. It sounds amazing.

  5. I am sure you have thought of this, but it is possible he might be teething. My daughter had a very hard time nursing when she was teething because her gums hurt her so much. You might want to give some teething tablets a try just before nursing (they are just chamomile tablets you get from whole foods.)

    He is quite young, but you never know.

  6. I feel for you… Lyla is 4 months old, she never sleeps more than 3 hours without waking up to eat… my baby just does not sleep and i am working full time. I haven’t slept in 4 months to ne honest

  7. We did a lot like Heather suggested for Ava and it worked like a charm. She was always a chamption sleeper though. HOWEVER, we are still struggling with Ethan at 8 months, and of course, also now with weight and height curves, so who knows what his probelm is.

    I hope you find your solution soon, though, Night.waking.sucks.

    And he is cute. It’s true.

  8. I hear you. My daughter is nearly 6 months old and we’ve been dealing with this for a MONTH. My saving grace lately is giving her solids at 7:00 for a 7:45 bed time. My doc told me to simply begin teaching her about eating solids, initially, that all her nutrition should be coming from breastmilk still (contrary to what heather was told – I dunno – maybe different schools of thought?), but after a month on solids, she’s really starting to demand them and react poorly if she misses a solids feeding. The later her last meal is, the better she sleeps at night and I swear, I actually didn’t believe that until the night my mom watched her while I went out and it happened to fall that way and then she slept well.

    I’m over the night wakings myself, especially since I’m now working part time, up at 5:45 on the days I go in and she keeps doing this “I want to be fed at 4:30” thing which KILLS my sleep because she falls asleep at 5:00 and then I have 45 to fall asleep and get up with my alarm. Ugh.

  9. This is how it started with Caden. He was a champion sleeper, in fact I could put him in his bed awake and he would go to sleep. And then he got old enough to pull himself up, about 7 months. He could get up but not down. It was a pain in the butt having to go into his room 10-20 times before bed to lay him back down only to have him pull himself right up again. So I began to give him a bottle in his rocking chair and let him become drowsy with the bottle and then fall asleep in my arms when he was done. I thought I would only do this until he could get himself down. But we never stopped. It seemed so harmless and it was nice but then my little sleep angel starting waking up 3-4 times a night.

    Just this week I started the modified CIO (which I absolutely swore I would never do). The first night was hard, he cried for almost 45 minutes, last night (the second night) he cried for only 20 minutes, and only got up once during the night. Today he had a 2 hour and 45 minute nap.

    I don’t know if this works for all children and I sure as heck know it doesn’t work for all parents, I cried the full 45 minutes with him the first night (except when I calmly went into his room of course) but he was happy and affectionate when he woke up both morning so it doesn’t seem to have any lasting affects and I have to admit I liked the sleep.

    My pediatrician said that most infants are getting all the calories they need during the day by 7 months (assuming you don’t start solids until 6 months), so after that their waking is for comfort only. But before that they may need a middle of the night feeding.

  10. I know I ahve said this before, but, Serenity- I honestly could have written this post. I really feel for you. I don’t have any answers because I am living this too.

    I am worried that the rocking to sleep will become a habit that we won’t be able to break (I am even rocking S to sleep for his daytime naps now). And we have had a few nights where it has taken S almost 2 hours to fall back asleep in middle of the night. At those times I sit there thinking: WTF. It makes me want to cry. And I am shot the next day.

    So ya… I understand! We in this household are riding out this week’s sleep issue!

    The only thing that I would recommend is that you don’t change Baby O’s bedtime to later. I have heard that it doesn’t mean a baby will sleep later (or in your case, not wake up in the night) if put to bed later.

    A big hug and lots of strength to you, Serentity!

    (And lots of liuck with the job!!)

  11. Delurking to chime in & throw some advice into the fray! My older son went through this starting at 5 months – any time he had the slightest bit of a sniffle, it would drain into his ear canals and cause major infections. The pain would wake him up at night and made our daytime feedings rough/non-existent (it hurts to suck when their little ears are infected). The runny noses that brought on the infections seemed very minor to me, but that’s all it took to bring the pain.

    Just a thought as you work through this – maybe just something to rule out. All the best.

  12. Also – Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium for Night Wakings and Teaching Your Baby to Self-Soothe for Naps.

    The thing was created by baby-sleep geniuses in a super-secret cave somewhere.

    Officially closing pie-hole. 😉

  13. First off, I’d call his pediatrician to rule out an ear infection – not wanting to nurse is a significant symptom. Assuming everything is okay in the ear department, check his gums to see if they’re swollen. He could be teething. A dose of Tylenol or Motrin (depending on his age) will help a lot with that.

    Otherwise, I have no assvice. My (7 month) old daughter is a major reverse cycler in the nursing department so I hardly qualified to even hand out assvice when it comes to sleep!

  14. Everyone else has offered a lot of good advice, so I don’t have too much new to add. (you did ask, though!) I’m wondering if Baby O is approaching a milestone? Sometimes that disrupts their sleep. Or the ear infection thing is a possibility, too. Then there’s always the possibility that this is just one of those *fun* phases that babies go through. My son did this lots of times. Just when I was about to lose my mind with whatever new trick he’d come up with, he’d go back to his normal sleeping habits with no apparent rhyme or reason.

    I waited to CIO until he was 9 months. Anything younger I thought (my opinion only) was too young for us.

    As for the rocking to sleep and whatever you need to do to get through the night, I wouldn’t stress too much. Yes, he could get used to it and you have to eventually wean him from it, or, like my son, he could wean himself of these habits. (Who knew? Just one day he decided he didn’t need the extra snuggles and rocking – surprising and sad.)

    I promise. This won’t become your reality. It will get better.

  15. Um, no advice here since I rock my girl to sleep every single time she sleeps – night or nap. I’ve never been able to get anything else to work without crying.

    I have noticed that it is harder and harder to get her to nurse during the day too. She wakes at night to eat, but that’s nothing new and I don’t mind. It’s usually pretty easy to get her back to sleep. BUT, now she is starting to nurse on both sides at night, whereas she will only do one during the day and she used to only do one at night.

    So I’m sitting here at 9 pm with my boobs feeling like they’re going to explode b/c she’s been eating so much more at night. Drat.

    I just got a nursing cover, and I am going to try to use that tomorrow to see if it helps her eat more during the day.

    Good luck!


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