Sleeeeeeeeep

We are going through a little bit of a rough patch lately.  Poppyseed began sleeping though the night at about 12 weeks old.  It wasn’t consistent at first, but gradually she went from sleeping through the night once every three or four days to being a REALLY good sleeper.  She was sleeping through the night 4 out of 5 nights on average… and on that one off night it was usually because she’d roll into the corner of her crib and bang her head on the rails.  On those nights once I put her back in the middle she’d go right back to sleep.  Let me tell you, I REALLY enjoyed all that sleep.

But lately there is “something” going on that is waking her up at 2:15am.  Can anyone tell me what in the heck I need to do???

Here was her schedule prior to this week….

  • Feed @ 9am-ish, 12:30pm-ish, 3:30pm-ish, 6pm-ish during the day.  This is pretty flexible and just sort of depends on what my work day looks like.
  • 7pm-ish: She starts to show signs of tiredness, so we bathe and put her down in her crib by 7:15 each night. This is usually a very easy process as she has nursed in the past hour and has a full tummy.  She has gotten accustomed to her nurse/bath/rock routine and knows it’s time for bed.  I usually rock her until she starts to fuss and arch her back (she isn’t a big fan of being rocked when she’s sleepy).  I will put her in her crib with her paci and she’ll sort of scooch around to get comfy and fall asleep shortly thereafter.  Every now and then she will fuss (I use the term fuss instead of cry because it really is just sort of a fussy type of cry and not the sad upset cry…. you other moms know there is a difference!).  But even on those nights where she does fuss, if I give her a few minutes and then pat her back or give her the paci again, she usually conks out really quickly.
  • 10pm-ish: I pick her up out of her crib, check her diaper, and give her a dream feed and then put her back down.  She usually eats only for about 5-10 minutes.  This is just to “top her off” so that she can go all night.  It also keeps my milk supply up – I am afraid to go much longer without nursing.
  • 5am: anytime after 5am is when I can expect that she will wake up.  Rarely does she sleep all the way to 6am or later.  So when she wakes up, Oatmeal will go get her and change her diaper and then bring her to me, where we snooze/nurse until it’s time to get up for work.

So this schedule was working out just fine for us.  UNTIL just recently.  Something is happening at 2am that is making her wake up.  I’ll hear her on her monitor and go check on her.  She will be WIDE awake, on her tummy. with her head way up in the air.  I check her diaper – nada.  I pick her up and rock her – she gets MAD and screams (like I said, when she is tired she actually isn’t much on being rocked).  I nurse her, she sucks vigorously for a few minutes and then conks out again.

So of course the first night that this happened I just thought she may not feel well (since it was so unlike her) and so I brought her to our bed, nursed her, and we fell asleep together.  The next night it happened again.  Not wanting to start a habit of her sleeping in bed with us all the time, I nursed her and then put her back in her crib.  The third night when she woke up, I was starting to get concerned that she was making 2:15am a new feeding time.   Call me insensitive, but Lola isn’t really up for that!  So I decided to just sit next to her crib and see if she would go back to sleep.  She was wide awake and very fussy.  I tried several times to give her her paci but she’d just spit it out and continue to fuss.  Then she started with the all out wailing.  I made a commitment to myself just let her cry it out for 10 minutes, because back when we were trying to get her used to her crib we had to do this a few times until she went to sleep. It was tough, but she quickly figured out how to fall asleep on her own and we have been in such a good routine ever since.

I made it about 3 minutes before I couldn’t hear the wailing anymore.  Yep, no willpower.  I picked her up and nursed her.  She went to sleep in minutes.  Back in the crib she went.

The fourth night I was determined to figure this out/break the cycle.  Oatmeal and I had discussed what to do and we were both hoping that the problem solved itself and that she’d just sleep through the night.  We had agreed that I should NOT nurse her.  We did sort of hope that she would just sleep through the night on her own. Nope… at 2:45am (hey, at least we got another half hour) she was awake.  I marched in there, checked her diaper, picked her up, gently shushed her, put her back in her crib and rubbed her back.  She wailed.  I tried for another 10-15 minutes to calm her down, but no dice.  She was ANGRY.  I put her back in her crib and tried several times to give her the paci but she would just spit it out and continue to yell at me.  I walked back into my bedroom and got back in bed with Oatmeal.  He reassured me that I wasn’t cruel for letting her fuss, and we laid in bed together and listened to the monitor.  I’d ask, “Should I at least go try and give her the paci again?”  He’d say, “Just wait for a few minutes honey, she will just spit it out.  She’ll get tired in a minute and then you can go give it to her.”  I appreciated not having to make all the decisions myself and continued to lie there and listen.  Eventually she did quiet down, and I went into her room, gave her the paci and she conked out.

Ah… sweet bliss.

Ten minutes later she was up again.  I attempted to go another 10-15 minute cycle, but what can I say, she ended up back in bed with us again.

The next day (Friday) was the most exhausting day that I can remember as a mom.   I actually stayed home that day, and the 4 nights in a row of being awake from roughly 2am-3:30am had taken their toll.  I felt like I’d been punched in the face.  Friday night was sort of different because we were out until 12am.  So she didn’t get put down until midnight and then woke up at 5am.  We snuggled in our bed until 8:30am.  Today we were a little closer to our normal schedule and so I’m really wondering what will happen tonight.  Tomorrow I’ll be back to our perfect schedule, so that will really be telling!

So I don’t know what’s going on.   She could be teething, but I don’t know why teething pains would only occur at 2am, as she is generally so happy during the other times of the day.  She could be hungry, but I started to wonder about that on the 2nd or 3rd night and increased the duration of her 10pm feeding by about 5-10 minutes by keeping her awake so that she’d nurse longer.  Plus, I feel like if she were really hungry she would stay up longer to nurse at 2am when given the opportunity rather than falling back to sleep so easily after 2-3 minutes.  She could be having some type of gas pain, but I think if that were the case then she wouldn’t fall back to sleep so quickly when she was nursed.

So, if anyone has any tips or ideas, please let me know.  Because I am here to tell you that I am not a very good mama when I’m that exhausted.

Before I ask for advice, I should clarify my views on crying it out.  I will say that while I’m not against crying it out, there are certain “cries” that I cannot help but respond to.  Poppyseed has a fussy cry, an angry cry, and a hysterical cry.  I will go to her during the hysterical wailing cry every time.  It’s just something in my mom soul that I cannot ignore. I am also not one to let her cry for more than 10-15 minutes.  When we did cry it out in the early days, I would let her cry for 15 minutes at most and then go pat her back and shush her gently to let her know I was there.  Then I’d go another 15 minutes and usually in that second period of time she’d fall asleep.   Now it seems like my friends who have the very best sleepers were able to just shut the door and turn off the monitor in order to let their babies just cry it out for as long as was necessairy.  They swore it only took a night or two and then their babies started sleeping 8-10-12 hour stretches.  They swear that the end result is that both mom and baby are very well rested and happy in the long run.  While that much sleep sounds really stupendous, I just don’t think I’m up for just shutting the door and turning off the monitor.  She’s still so little after all.   I don’t think I have it in me!  I am definitely a cross of Attachment Parenting meets Babywise when it comes to sleeping and sleep training.  I’m kind of in the middle.   🙁

So…. anyone???

 

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Comments

  1. Chrissy Bailey says:

    Cute pic! Are you putting her in her crib asleep or milk drunk? Brooklyn has always been in her crib since day 1, and I noticed if we put her in the crib asleep she would wake up screaming because she didn’t know where she was. However, if I put her in her crib while she is drowsy and give her a passy then she falls asleep on her own and stays asleep the rest of the night. Also, I think there is a 6 month growth spurt so hopefully that is just what it is and she will be back on schedule soon.

    I am the same way as you on the whole crying thing. I usually don’t go in there until she is doing her hungry cry. I noticed that Brooklyn sometimes wakes up and makes a few noises around 4 am, but if she isn’t crying then I don’t go in there and she usually takes herself back to sleep.

    I’m sure you have done everything I mentioned, but just thought I would share what we do for Brooklyn to get her to sleep through the night. I hope sweet Violet gets back to sleeping through the night!

    • Chrissy we do the same thing you do from what it sounds like – she is always wide awake when we put her in her crib at bedtime. She gets fed around 6pm, and then we do bathtime and put her pajamas on her and maybe some playtime if she isn’t too tired. But when we put her in her crib at 7pm she is wide awake (but sleepy – usually mildly fussy). I didn’t want to get in the habit of rocking/nursing her to sleep at bedtime because like you I wanted her to be able to put herself to sleep and know that her crib is her safe little bed! Maybe you are right about the 6 month spurt – we will see! Tonight is the first night we have been back on schedule, so we’ll see what happens in a few hours. :-/

  2. what’s her nap schedule like? usually the better they nap, the better night sleep is. the book healthy sleep habits happy child by Marc wiessbluth is really good. well, it’s poorly written, but has great info that has proven to work with both my kids. I think at violets age she should be taking 3 naps a day, roughly around 9, 1, and 5. then an early bedtime. if she’s already napping like this then you may want to move her bedtime 30 min earlier. even though it’s counterintuitive, earlier bedtimes lead to longer sleep intervals. Presley slept 10 hours a night when she went to bed at 10, but now that she goes to bed at 7, she sleeps 12 hours. (up for a feeding of course, she’s just 3 months!)

    • Her nap schedule varies due to my flex schedule at work – she always naps around 10am and 1pm, but I don’t think she regularly takes a third nap while at daycare. Instead that third nap is sort of broken up into 2 mini naps – 1 in the morning (on the way to daycare) and 1 in the afternoon (on the way home). But you’re right about the early bedtimes, maybe I’ll start putting her down a little earlier!

  3. Have you thought about introducing solids? I know you wanted to hold off a little longer, but she could be getting to the point were just milk isn’t keeping her full through the night. All 4 of my kids hit this phase around 6/7 months and once we started them on solids they went right back to sleeping through the night.

  4. Valerie Reutet says:

    Hey! I just wanted to share a great book with you about sleeping. I have used it with both of my kiddos and it worked like a charm. And I am NOT a cry it out mama so that approach was not for me. It is “Goodnight, Sleep Tight by Kim West. I gave it to your SIL, Jamie when Joanie was born. It is a huge blessing at my house and I used it right about the time my kids were 6-7 months old, but it addresses almost any issue regarding sleep up 5 years old. Just thought I’d share.

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