Monday, April 11, 2011

Only when I sleep...

The Incredible Hulk started sleeping through the night the first full week that I returned to work for maternity leave.

Could I be any luckier?
In fact, I learned pretty quickly that he could have slept in even later than I was allowing him if I would let him.  For the most part, I don't even wake him up (read: peel him out of bed to change him, feed him, and get him dressed while he is still mostly asleep) until after I'm finished getting showered/dressed/ready, packing a lunch for me, packing lunch for the baby, watching a few minutes of whatever Real Housewives episode I had TiVo'd from the night before and brewing a pot of coffee.  He sleeps through all of it.

But then, we got sick and TIH started waking every. single. night. Other than the week my husband was out of town, I honestly don't remember the last time he consistently slept through night.  And even then, he probably only slept through the night in fear of being locked in the car again.

Around Christmas time, I was able to boast that I could count on one hand the number of nights he woke up throughout the night.  But now, I'm only able to count on one hand the number of nights he didn't wake up (and it wouldn't even take the whole hand.)

With the emergence of a tooth and the resolution of all of his illnesses, (including a raging double ear infection that mommy missed...parenting fail) I figured our sleep schedule would get back to normal.  Ha.  Right.

Three nights ago, he woke up every two hours.  Like clockwork.
The next night, it was the same, except that each time we put him down, he also woke up ten minutes after that.

I have been trying desperately to maintain a "no nighttime feeding" rule throughout all of these episodes, but when you're trying to rock a child who is latching onto your shoulder, your ear, your cheek, or anything that he thinks has any remote possibility of yielding food - it's hard to keep your resolve.  So, he's also been getting at least one nighttime feeding despite having no nutritional need for food in the middle of the night (as evidenced by the 5 blissful months of full nights of sleep.)  This is not good at all.

I've done lots of "research" (read: did one Google search) only to discover that there are A LOT of moms out there whose children have decided to stop sleeping between the ages of 7-10 months.  Apparently, this is normal.  In fact, I read one article that basically stated that children who are sleeping through the night at 9 months are the exception, not the rule.  Still, undeterred, I gleaned a few pieces of advice from lots of random articles, this book, blog posts, and :shudder: message boards and tried some of those suggetsions.
We messed with his sacred nighttime routine to see if he's developmentally in need of a later/earlier bedtime.  We had the babysitter track his napping habits to see if we needed an improvement there.  We stopped using Benadryl for his neverending runny nose and started using Claritin so the quality of his sleep is better, but so that we're not drugging him. Nothing really seemed to matter or improve the situation.

Finally - we just went back to old reliable.  Same bedtime routine since birth which consists of:

  • Warm bath with lavender soap
  • Lavender lotion before PJs.  I used to try doing a baby massage at this part, but he was too squirmy and didn't really seem to like it that much, so instead I usually sing or hum while I slather the stuff on to try to make him calm down a bit.
  • Thick layer of the good stuff and a fresh diaper (in case he actually does make it through the night, it'll protect him from the wet diaper)
  • Lullaby music turned on and reflux medication given
  • TIH eats until he falls asleep

Wouldn't you know it?  It worked.  At around 2:00 am, he fussed a little bit and my husband jumped out of bed to get him.  I could tell from the sounds from the monitor that he was settling himself down, so I said, "Let's just see if he can get himself back to sleep."

And.  He.  Did.

So, of course, as luck would have it - I was unable to get back to sleep for another hour and ended up being even MORE tired the next day...when we returned to regularly scheduled programming and began nightwaking again.

Bored yet?  Me too.

Last night, he woke up once to eat (which wasn't surprising since he kind of zonked out before really getting a good bedtime meal) and then slept.  And slept.  And slept.
This child slept through a short, but torrential thunderstorm which was loud enough that my husband and I couldn't sleep and violent enough that it claimed the life of our grill and nearly killed our patio furniture as well.

But he slept.
Didn't make a peep.

I don't GET IT.
This kid is MESSING WITH ME, you guys.
Either that or I'm delusional from lack of sleep.
So...I wish I could say I'm wanting advice on this one, but it kind of seems like there is nothing that can really be done to improve this situation except to ride it out and eventually he'll start sleeping again.

At least I think that's the lesson here.
Or, I'm too tired to come up with a better lesson.


  1. It's so normal (sorry!). Carson slept through the night wonderfully a lot earlier than Jackson BUT then he got sick and it took him awhile to get back on track (much to my dismay). But it sounds like you all are headed in the right direction. Yay!

    Oh...and I missed a double ear infection too...for like 2 weeks. Worst.Mom.Of.The.Year!!

  2. Ugh. Shouldn't there be like a really obvious indicator when their ears are infected? It isn't fair when they try to be troopers and we miss the signs!

    Thanks :) We had another night of sleeping through. If I could get a least a couple of these sprinkled throughout the week, we'll be fine.


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