Running from the Law: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

First of all, THANK YOU all so much for all your comments last week about Mac's sleeping.  It was so nice to hear from both so many first time commenters and veteran moms.  I'm so blessed to have the smartest mamas out there as readers!  Y'all rock.  

Secondly, I really hope that post didn't come off as whiny or complaining.  As you all know, it took us a LONG time to have a baby and I don't want to take one second of it for granted.  I know there are millions of women out there that would give anything to be in my sleepless situation because it means they have a baby to love.  I never want to make it sound like I'm ungrateful for my baby or complaining.  I know sleepless nights come with the territory of being a mom and I spent years praying for those nights.  I definitely don't want to give the impression that I've forgotten about that or am unappreciative.  

Since last week's post, a lot of you have asked how things are going, so I thought I'd give you a little update.  Here's the deets on what we've done/changed in the last week.  

We've added a morning nap to Mac's schedule.  He does not want the nap at all if he's home and playing, but we've found that if we put him in the car and drive around for a while, he falls asleep.  So that's what we've done.  He's had a 15-45 minute morning nap every day for the past week and while I'm not sure it's helped with night-time waking, I definitely think it's improved his mood in the afternoons.  He's not nearly as tired and clingy in the evenings any more (or maybe that's because he's finally not sick). Either way, we're going to try to keep this up.  It may not happen every day, but it's a good start and good to know that he needs more daytime sleep.  I had no idea he was so young to drop a nap - thanks for the comments on that. 

We've been giving him a lovely to hold during his night-time routine.  He has absolutely no interest in it and doesn't even want to hold it.  Basically I hold it in front of him and kiss it, love on it and talk to it and he looks at me like I'm batshit crazy.  I put it in his crib with him, but he's never once even acknowledged it's existence in there.  Not sure if this one's going to catch on anytime soon, but we'll keep it up. It definitely can't hurt anything.

I've been putting him down to sleep at night awake.  This is HARD.  I still rock him and sing to him and give him his nightly bottle while snuggling and cuddling, but I've been cutting our routine a little bit short and putting him down before he's passed out.  He's definitely tired and oh-so-close to falling asleep when I put him in his crib, but as soon as he touches the mattress, he's wide awake and pissed off!  The first night he cried for about 20 minutes and then laid down and went to sleep.  The second night he just kind of whimpered and whined for about 12 minutes and then went down.  The third night was around 20 minutes again.  The fourth night was an hour of full blown screaming bloody murder and I had to go in and calm him down.  Ugh.  Regression.  The fifth night was 45 minutes of major screaming.  And last night we were back to only 12 minutes of whimpering.  I don't have a clue if he's getting any better at self-soothing.  

When he wakes in the middle of the night, we've been trying not to give him a bottle.  Every now and then we do, but only when he's inconsolable and needs it to calm himself down.  I think he's having bad dreams because he's had a few wake-ups where he's just freaking out and still crying in his sleep while in our arms.  A lot of you commented that he could be having dreams of falling from just starting to walk, which makes a lot of sense, so we try comfort him as much as we can in this case.  The bottle's our last resort, but sometimes necessary.  He usually only takes an ounce or two, so I know he's not really hungry and doesn't need it.  Otherwise, we've tried to eliminate the nighttime feedings.  

We've also been trying to put him back in his crib awake if he wakes in the middle of the night.  Also very hard to do.  Mainly because it's the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING NIGHT and we just want to go back to bed.  The first time I did this, he cried for about 30 seconds and then fell asleep!  WOW.  I thought I'd won the mommy lottery!  But then I did it again on Monday night and he cried for 45 minutes before finally laying back down and falling asleep on his own.  There is nothing worse than lying in bed wide awake at 3:00 a.m. on a Monday night listening to your child scream his head off knowing that you have to go to work in a couple hours.  Ugh.  

So, has his sleep improved?  Maybe.  The first two nights on the new system he slept through the WHOLE night without ANY wake-ups.  I'm talking 11-12 straight hours of sleep.  OMG, it was the greatest thing EVER.  I was convinced that I'd solved the world's baby sleeping problems and was daydreaming of writing a best-selling book on sleep and making bajillions of dollars.  Then he starting waking up in the middle of the night again and has ever since.  So we had 2 awesome nights, 2 crappy nights with one wake-up, and 2 miserable nights with 2 (or more) wake-ups and lots of crying.  

So, basically we're back to where we started.  We're going to keep the new routine up a while longer, just to see if it starts to sink in.  Maybe our kid's just thick-headed and stubborn (like me) and needs a little longer to adjust. Who knows.  If not, I'm very happy (and excited) to go back to our routine of rocking him to sleep every night with a bottle and a lullaby.  I'll keep you all updated.  And in the meantime, I'm going to try to really appreciate those middle of the night cuddle sessions because I know they won't last forever.  And if it turns out he really does need me to go to college with him and rock him to sleep every night, I'll happily go!  I loved college, after all.  :)


  1. I just cracked up at my desk at your closing. You have a point, maybe it's not such a bad thing after all. College was pretty awesome.

    Sorry you got a big tease with the first two nights... it's like a little taste of freedom and then BAM! no sleep for you! Good luck!

    Luke's new thing is blowout diapers at 3 a.m. Thanks buddy, as if waking up and feeding you wasn't good enough, now I get to clean poop off ALL your parts.

    The one perk, he's started saying momma when he wimpers and cries. Melts my sleepy heart.

  2. So glad he has had some good nights! I would say try the new routine for a month or so, he is going to test your resolve a) because he can & b) because he knows how to hit u right in the heart! Hudson's new thing is getting up at 2:30 saying he wants to cuddle w/us...thanks Mack for letting him sleep with u while I was out of town! Believe me it takes time! Those boys know how to work their mommas

  3. Luca was also quite stubborn with it. He wasn't one of those "oh it only took 3 days" kids. Stick with it. Once you have started, (I think) it is important to stay consistent because otherwise he'll get confused (some nights mom comes in if I cry for 45 minutes and others she doesn't). I'd also go cold turkey on the night time bottles. I think it is clear that he doesn't "need" it (only taking 2 oz, also having had slept 12 hours, etc). You don't have to cut the bottle, but I think it would help so that if he wakes up, he doesn't think that maybe if he cries you'll come in and cuddle and give him some soothing milk.

    Keep it up with the lovey - it took a while for Luca to fall in love with his but now he loves it. He sees that blankie coming and puts his fingers in his mouth and starts self soothing. Really cute.

    Good luck!!

    PS I think that as a mom, you are totally entitled to feel frustrated/tired when your kid doesn't sleep. It doesn't mean you don't appreciate/love your child or don't value the awesome gift of having been able to have a baby. It just means you are tired and looking for advice from other moms!! :-)

  4. You're not complaining. Everyone loves sleep. I miss it too. I know I shouldn't complain that C wakes up usually once during the night and only once, but it's usually b/t 4 and 5. I GET UP AT 5:45!!!! I mean, can't he wake up at 2am so I feel like I still get to go back to bed? I feed him and he goes back to sleep. Doc says we don't have to feed him anymore. But his diaper is full and wet and I think that's what wakes him up. Then he cries and if I change him, well, may as well feed him b.c. I know HE'LL GO RIGHT BACK TO SLEEP. I know that crying it out in the middle of the night is in my near future too. though. Stick with it. Good luck.

    I also hear you on it being hard to put him down awake when you just want to cuddle. I try to tell myself that the nanny does it during the day, so I'm not really affecting him that much when I feed and cuddle him before putting him in the crib half asleep, right? I mean, I miss him all day. I want to hold him then and watch that peaceful, tired, food-coma look on his face since I only get to have him awake for a couple of hours after I get home from work.

    Oh, this thing called parenting...XOXO.

  5. Good luck - it sounds like you are really giving everything a fair try! From what I understand each child is different, and YOU know your baby best. Kudos on being a tough Mom and trying to let him self-soothe - even though it is nearly impossible to listen to your baby cry and do nothing. I would agree if it still isn't working in another 3-5 days, it might not be the solution. Like I said above, you are the Mom, and you know your child best. All the advice in the world is great, but it's only advice. Do what feels right. And hopefully you'll still get plenty of snuggles and sleep out of it!

    Good luck!

  6. poor Sara :( i feel you on the sleep's SO draining sometimes, but i hope this new routine will nip these pesky nighttime awakenings soon!! prayers coming your way sweet friend

  7. I get home about 5:30 and my little girl (8 months) goes to bed around 7. I too had to stop letting her fall asleep in my arms, I am still kinda hurt up about it. But I knew it was best for all of us for better sleep. Hang in there.

  8. Keep it up, he will get used to it. Consistency is key. You're doing great!! Laughed out loud at your college comment. True that!

  9. I know what you mean about not complaining. We had to do IVF so I never want anyone to think I'm complaining about AR but come on, we all need some sleep! AR had absolutely NO interest in her lovelies for a long time and now when she lays down at night, she smiles and holds them tight when I hand them to her. Hang in there, Momma!

  10. Ah, yes---the highs and lows of sleep. Hang in there! It sounds like you are making progress and SOMEDAY you will look back on this and wonder how in the heck you made it through.

  11. Our 21-month-old still sometimes whines when we put him down to bed...and we have been putting him down awake (and enduring the crying) since he has been 4 months old. He just doesn't like to stop playing...or confined spaces, I think. You will have good nights and bad nights. It will get easier as the months go by and you remain consistent. Sounds like your Mac is already doing pretty well! Keep it up with the "lovey" thing...he will acknowledge it eventually. We have a Giraffe that makes noises as well as Scout the dog (fisher price toy that talks and plays lullabies) that he really likes and help him go to sleep with little stress...but it took him a while to warm up to them.

  12. So, um, I'm going to have a little walking human in my house? He's so cute. I'm glad you got some sleep!! I can't wait to see y'all!


  13. Lack of sleep is only temporary, right....right? haha. The ending of this post reminds me of the book Love You Forever!

  14. It always takes people a little bit to get used to a new scenario, so I can understand that he's still working on his new schedule. Good luck!!!!

  15. Alright, I tried not to laugh about this, but you crack me up! Especially visualizing you loving on a blankie while Mac looks at you like "what the hell are you doing, woman?!" Hahahaha! Anyway, I'm glad you got 2 good nights, and I hope it all falls into place for y'all! I think consistency is your best bet, so you definitely have that going for you :)

  16. I love you for this! You pretty much described my O to a T. I can tell you I can completely relate to how you are feeling, now, advice from me is no good, but I can tell ya I have adopted the same philosophy as you "cherish these sleepless nights because they'll be over before we know." (however, at 3 am it's sometimes easier said than done!! Ha)

  17. oh girl, I guess all that I can say about this is what I've decided my momma-montra will be might be bad, but tomorrow will come. and tomorrow honestly might not be any easier or any better, but you can guarantee that it will be different. For some strange reason I always found comfort in knowing that I wouldn't have a string of days that were horrible for the exact same reasons.

    Hopefully he'll catch on soon...otherwise, just keep lots and lots of wine nearby!

  18. I know this sounds totally strange, but if the lovie is a soft stuffed animal or small blanket, carry it around inside your shirt for awhile. That way it will smell like you. Also incorporate it into your rocking cuddling routine. I put Cami's in between me and her while rocking her and she has now grown very attached to it.