Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crazy Sleep Problems!

Here is the thing:

Augie has always been a fairly good sleeper. Once he got the hang of sleeping all night at a couple months old, he had no issues. He has and still does wake up several times to eat and snuggle, but this is no big deal since we co-sleep. I feel him fidgeting and he maybe lets out a grunt, so I just nurse him and we both fall asleep in the middle of it. Lately it has become a bit more intense-- especially the past few nights. He will wake up yelling (not crying like he is sad, or babbling like he is happy and awake-- yelling like a bored kid). He yells because he is TICKED OFF that he is awake and I won't get out of bed or engage him. About half the time he will go back to sleep with some resentful nursing, and the other half he just flails, pulls hair, and keeps on with his garble-grunts and yelling. Forrest and I (especially I) have LITERALLY gotten maybe half a nights sleep the past few days. No, I am not misusing "literally". This is really happening all night long. A three hour stretch of solid sleep is a miracle, and this should not be so, as I have a seven month old! Last night I went nuts and put him in his pack'n'play where he just kept yelling and eventually I rocked him in our chair and he finally went back to sleep. 

My question is in several parts:

Did this happen to anyone else abruptly when they previously had a "good sleeper" and what caused it/what did you do? There are so many fields of thought on sleeping, all the way from "Cry it Out" to "Kowtow to Your Baby's Every Tantrum!"   I want to do what works but not scar my kid or myself with too many sad nights.
Secondly, I hear my mom friends and relatives talk about how their older babies/toddlers will just go to bed. Like, they say "okay, it is bed time" and the kid gets into bed or lies down and that is it! How did you get to that point? When did this begin? I feel like Augie is SOOO far from being able to be told to go to bed, as he cannot speak or understand much (any?) English...

I like to get different people's varying opinions so I can decide what seems like it would work best for us. Please, share if you think you can help. If you know me very well, you know I take sleep seriously and I am 'bout to go nuts. I can't IMAGINE getting pregnant again and dealing with this, so I NEED to nip it in the bud. Occasional bad night? Normal. Terrible sleeper all the time? Nu-uh. 


Emily Duffy said...

I kept having to get lilly up in the middle of the night and feed her, which i didn't think was a big deal. Until I decided she didn't need to eat during the night any more, there were a few nights i would get up and give her a paci, but once i decided she could sleep through the night, she stopped getting up! I dunno if that will work but he is big enough to make it through the night. Now lilly is one of those kids, i put her in the crib, say night night and that's it!

E-Wok said...

I know you like the co-sleeping thing (it wasn't for me, though I did far more of it than I wanted), but maybe trying to move him to his crib in start him in the pack n play in your room, then move it to his room, then to his bed could work. Maybe he and you both need a break. Also, if he wakes up and sees you there, it's a natural reaction for him to want to get your attention and play or whatever. If he can't see you, it may be easier for him to go back to bed.

Rivers wouldn't sleep fully through the night until about 8 months (mainly my fault), so I was nursing her and sleeping on the couch with her and sometimes bringing her to the bed with me. I would ALWAYS go get her when she cried. ALWAYS. I wish I hadn't every time, and I will know for next kid not to. Kids wake up at night. She still does sometimes. Sometimes she talks and goes back to sleep, and sometimes she cries herself back to sleep. It's just natural. But if they don't learn how to self-soothe, they will be worse at it later when they have a big kid bed and wake up, there'll be more of a likelihood of getting up to wander around than trying to go back to sleep.

Anyway, by this age he should be able to go 10-12 hours (a night) without nursing, so he should be able to sleep all night. Just try different stuff to see what works, and believe me, I KNOW letting him cry in bed will break your heart into tiny little pieces, but just wait until you have a wonderful, complete night's rest again, and your heart will magically heal. Just give him 10 minutes before you go get him (unless he's screaming in pain or his cries escalate instead of calming down). Chances are he'll be back asleep before you get to 10. The first couple of nights for me were crazy. Rivers woke up and cried about 4 times, but never more than 10 minutes and she always went back to sleep. Now, we say bedtime and she's ready to get in and go to sleep.

Another tiny tidbit, and this was just for my kid so take it at face value, I had a nightlight in Riv's room for much of her infancy. Once it was gone and I got her some black out curtains, she was MUCH better at sleeping. She still has to have the room pitch black. So whatever.

Good luck, and I love you! Just start trying some things and see what works. It also may be teething never know.