Except for the sleep stuff. *updated

October 20, 2009 at 8:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

I love my son.

More than anything.

But I HATE his sleeping habits.

I often wonder if my nap ignorance when he was an infant is the cause of his sleep issues.

Because I’ve said it before. He really uses ANY excuse not to sleep.

And his sleep deprivation begets LESS sleep.

I wish I knew how to reverse it. Because for the past two weeks, he has been up EVERY NIGHT. For at least a half hour, more often an hour.

I wait him out, more often than not – give him 30-45 minutes to see if he’ll put himself back to sleep before I get up and try and fix it for him.

The one thing that has always stuck with me about sleep training was this – in order to solve sleep issues, you have to find the root cause of the sleep issues.

For example. If your kid is hungry, you can’t just expect him to sleep through the night without changing the way you feed him.

So J and I have been trying to find the root cause of the trouble.

And damned if we can’t figure it out.

There’s the cold, yes. He’s had a runny nose now for the past two weeks. And now a cough from the congestion.

Then there’s the lack of eating. With the exception of Sunday night, where he ate a hot dog AND a huge bowl of pasta about 15 minutes after a snack of salsa and chips and then humus and crackers (kid LOVES dip. Seriously, who knew?), he’s eaten about a third of what he usually eats. Every day.

In fact, yesterday he came home with almost all of his food we packed for him at daycare. And then didn’t eat dinner either.

So J and I thought maybe that his mouth was hurting from all the teeth he’s getting. His top molars, though they’ve poked through the gums, are still mostly gum. And whenever we look, we can tell that the gums around each molar are red and swollen.

But tyl.enol doesn’t do much, not that we’ve noticed, anyway. And we can’t give him motrin unless he actually EATS, because it makes him throw up.

So the poor kid has a LOT going on right now.

And truthfully, I’m more worried about HIM than I am pissed off about the sleep deprivation for myself.

There’s something just a little WRONG with him, something I can’t quite figure out. And he’s not vocal enough yet to tell me.

The only thing we figure we can do is ride it out.

Offer him a LOT of different foods in the hopes that he will find something he’s happy to eat.

Put him to bed earlier so he can catch up a little on his missing sleep.

And hope that this is a phase and will pass. Because, you know, they usually do.

I just never expected that more than a year and a half after bringing him home, we’d be as sleep deprived as we all are.


*Thanks all for the suggestions and comments thus far. I also thought about his ears, but O has working tubes in both of his ears, and if/when he has an infection (he’s had two since the tubes last February), he gets a lot of drainage. So far his ears look fine.

Knock on wood, of course. I won’t be surprised if by the end of the week he DOES get an ear infection as well…



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  1. I hope he finds relief soon. Could his ears be bothering him? Maybe the cold/congestion has caused an ear issue.

  2. Ear infection?

    Toddler L used to get them constantly, and sometimes the only sign was that his eating habits changed. (He got tubes last spring and now they’re pretty rare). Have you talked to the pediatrician?

  3. Cole (9 months old) goes through phases when he’s just not that interested in eating. Since he seems healthy and happy otherwise, I try not to worry about it.

    But the suggestions above that he be checked out for an ear infection sound worth considering.

  4. Here’s hoping it passes soon…for ALL of you.

    No Sleep = No fun.


  5. Wish I had some advice, but sounds like you guys are doing your best to rule things out. It could just be a growth spurt (in the intellectual sense, not the eating sense). Maybe the change in the weather is screwing with his biological clock?

    But, as you say, the best thing is–its a phase and it will pass. I just hope its soon for you guys!

  6. i hope this passes soon. one thing you can always count on in parenthood — change! 😉 xo

  7. I swear that if we lived closer we would be BFF. You are constantly posting about the stuff I’m thinking of. I spend so much time reading your posts, nodding my head. The mojo post was eerily similar to my life — although we are still struggling with getting it back. Check that, *I* am struggling with getting it back, Kevin has never had the problem. 🙂

    I love the way you feel such joy and wonder at the little things O does each day. I feel that way too, and honestly I didn’t expect to since he’s my 2nd. But the good news is that you are still able to stop and cherish those experiences in subsequent kids (which I was worried about).

    So much of what you post about O is nearly identical to Liam, which makes sense because they are just a few months apart. This one is right on the money too. Liam sleeps like shit. I guess he always will, but who knows. And we are kick ass with the napping — have ALWAYS been on a schedule, very considerate of that — so don’t fault yourself for nap ignorance.

    I kept on typing and typing and typing in this comment and it got so stupid long that I decided to just turn it into a blog post. 🙂 Anyway, thanks again for speaking my mind for me. I completely understand what you are talking about!!

  8. sounds miserable. You have my every sympathy.

  9. Is he crying when he’s awake? Or is he just simply awake, talking/babbling/singing/playing, etc….? I ask because Sean wakes up almost every night in the middle of the night, plays a bit, then goes back to sleep. That’s why we got rid of the monitor, because it woke US up when he woke up to play. He’ll cry (and he’s loud enough now) if/when he needs something, but otherwise, we just let him have at it (I’ll sometimes wake up for a second when I hear him, but then I’ll go back to sleep). Is it possible he’s just awake for no other reason than he’s awake? It’s possible that by going in there, a habit is being created and he’ll learn that if he stays awake long enough, he gets some extra attention. NOT saying that’s a bad thing if that’s what works for you. But I’m just bringing it up as a possibility.

  10. Harry has also had a cold (very runny nose at first, then tons of coughing) and also cut his food consumption dramatically. His night sleep hadn’t changed (aside from much coughing, which scared me but didn’t seem to bother him), but his napping went to shit. Then this morning, his nose was less runny, and he ate more at breakfast. And daycare said his napping was back to normal. And so were lunch and dinner. And the coughing has let up. I think with him it’s just something about this particular cold and the horrifically inconsistent weather we’ve been having. I hope it proves the same with O.

  11. Oh how I know how you feel. Lyla has very rarely slept an entire night. We have phases that she will not sleep until 11 pm, phases that she wakes up 4 am, phases that she wakes up 10 times during the night…. Hopefully they will figure this sleep thing sooner than later

  12. Ugh. I know what you mean, people keep saying that at this or that milestone they’ll start sleeping through the night, but I think they just say that to encourage us. What I finally realized is that many adults don’t either.

    We have given up and just started sleeping with our son in our bed. I realize that’s not for everyone, but I am much less tired now.

  13. I hope it gets better. Cold, ear infection, and teething all seem reasonable candidates. I hate trying to figure out what is wrong when so many things seem possible!

  14. You know I can sympathize!!!

  15. My theory is that some kids just need more parenting than others. L is a hard kid. Was a hard baby. Never slept. Now claims that he does not ever sleep. C is much easier. I wouldn’t say it’s down to anything I’ve done or not done, it’s just how they are.

    I would continue to respond to O, he’s calling out because he has a need (emotional need are real too).

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