PLEASE Go to Sleep…

Remember when we excitedly announced that Avery slept through the night?  Well, that memory is FAR behind us.  We’ve been struggling the past month with Avery’s night-time sleep.  He hasn’t slept through the night for over a month and it’s REALLY draining us.  We’re both working full-time and getting a choppy and short night sleep is really putting a tole on us.  Last night Avery was up multiple times and we had to feed him a bottle twice to get him to calm down and go to sleep.  I found myself overly frustrated and irritated when he woke up each time, and looking back this morning I feel super-guilty because it isn’t Avery’s fault and he can’t help it.  He’s just a baby.

Why isn’t he sleeping through the night anymore?  Well, we had our thoughts.  First, it was a growth spurt, so it was just a ‘stage’.  From 4 to 5 months old, Avery didn’t seem to grow much.  Then after he hit 5 months, it’s been like someone is feeding him Miracle Grow.  He eats like a champ – 3 meals of pureed foods & cereal a day, and he gobbles down formula like he’s been stuck in a desert – 6 to 8 bottles (7 ounces) a day!  So maybe he’s waking at night because he’s just extra hungry?  He’s been gaining weight consistently (almost 17lbs now!) but really how long can this go on for?! I believed this was a ‘stage’ but after a month of it, not so much anymore.  Maybe it’s something else?

Is he over-tired?  I don’t think so, because he naps well – typically a long morning nap (2 hours) and 1-2 afternoon naps (1 hour).

But when it comes to going down for the night, each evening it seems his is more alert and feisty at bedtime.  So maybe it’s our bedtime routine? It seemed to work well for months but maybe it needs to change now that he’s older?  Our typical routine is something like this…

  • 7PM – bath, bedtime lotion, pajamas
  • 7:30PM – Nighttime bottle (7 ounces).  We shut off the Nursery lights and leave the hall light on with the door ajar so Avery settles down.
  • 7:45PM – Burp him.  Give him a pacifier. Rock him while singing lullabies for 5-10 minutes.
  • 8PM – Put him down.

This routine has become longer some nights because Avery squirms more and just doesn’t want to settle down.  And now that he’s become so strong, he typically gives me a head butt or smack in the face a couple times.  So, we tried changing up his bedtime routine by settling him down earlier (we used to give him a bottle later).  No change.  We bought a CD player for his room with a lullaby CD.  No change.  We tried some methods from the baby books I’ve read… again, no change.

So, we’re at a loss.  I’ve heard horror stories from family and friends about how their kids didn’t sleep until they were 3 years old.  And maybe it’s just Karma because I was quite a handful for my mother when I was a baby.  Whatever the reason, we need to figure SOMETHING out before we lose our minds!

I’ve read up on the Ferber Method and I’m seriously considering giving it a go.  I know it’ll be hard on Vinay though.  He has a very hard time listening to Avery cry.

Any tips, tricks, or suggestions?!

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26 thoughts on “PLEASE Go to Sleep…

  1. hey meghan, i give u some tips i am now on my 3rd child she is 10months and doesnt sleep thought the night yet but i know what you r going through. Couple of things toy can try, first have yoy tried cearal in his last bottle before bed mix it in with his milk it makes them more full, that help with my first child, the second option is one of the hardest is when he wakes up to let him cry himself back to sleep, its not going to be easy i know im going through it right now, but yoyr probably wondering for how long, i dont let my daughter cry for more than 30min unless its cant catch your breath cry.I would try the bottle first hes probably not “full” enough. I would do about a tablespoon of cearal. to try out. good luck let me know how it goes…

  2. All I can say is that you were lucky to have him sleep through the night for as long as he did. Hannah didnt sleep through the night until she was 13months. I noticed around 12months that she was still soaking her diaper mid night and I think that had something to do with her sleep disruption— overnight huggies/pampers diapers helped with that. I also put a red light bulb in her lamp so if I needed light for middle of the night wake ups we werent blinded by white light— there are articles online about the use of red light.

    bulbs. Another thing

    • It cut me off…. Anyway, Hannah was getting too much sleep so I started limiting morning naps to an hr, then lunch and play then a good 1-3hr afternoon nap. I wish you luck with getting Avery to sleep!!

      • Kate, Thanks for the tips! I’ve also got other feedback from a friend that Avery is taking too many naps during the day. I think limiting his daytime naps is a good idea. I’ll have to discuss with daycare though – it’s so hard to have them follow everything I want done with Avery. Do they make overnight diapers in Avery’s small size? He’s in size 2 right now… will be up to size 3 in a couple weeks…

  3. I swear by the Babywise book. You can adjust it slightly to suit you. Training kids to sleep on their own is a PRICELESS tool that you’ll be so happy to have! Nothing beats being able to put your child down to sleep and then just walking away without hearing a sound.

    • I’ll have to pick-up a Babywise book and check it out – thanks for the tip! I agree with you… training kids to sleep on their own is super-important. Maybe ‘Babywise’ will have some ideas we haven’t tried yet…

  4. Ugh. Sorry to hear there’s a lot of sleeplessness going on lately. We have a pretty good sleeper by all accounts and sometimes I’m still a little clueless. Sometimes it’s a wet diaper. Sometime’s he’s hungry. Mostly, I don’t know what the little fellow’s beef is. I’m probably going to get a LOT of flack for fessing up to this but if our son occasionally has trouble self soothing, I will very quietly, without talking, or turning on lights bring him to our bed, lie him down on his back between us and turn on some ocean noise or classical music. I also offer him a burp cloth – which he will no doubt develop an unhealthy attraction to, but he finds them comforting for some reason. haha! He typically quiets down, falls back to sleep quickly and I can evict him promptly. Now I would never suggest that you co-sleep with an infant, or if you are too tired to keep watch over him properly. But if the circumstances are right, it might be an option for you to try sometime. I also run a fan in the nursery all the time (pointed away from the crib). It seems to muffle out the dogs and other noises that could awaken him to begin with. Keep me posted and good luck!

    • Deni – thanks for sharing! Every baby is different so I take everyone’s suggestions with a grain of salt. We’re going to try some new methods in the coming weeks and hopefully we’ll find one that will just work and we can finally (All THREE) sleep well ALL night!

  5. Is the bath time hyping him up? For a long time baths calmed McKenna but now that she’s almost 5 months and far more active she gets excited to splash and sit it the water so it has to be a morning bath now not an evening one.

  6. I have no tips,but hang in there. I know I will be in your shoes very soon! By then, Avery will have his rhythm down and I will be asking you for your advice on what you did! 🙂

    • Thanks! His sleeping habits at night for the past month haven’t been the best, but in the past week he’s gotten a cold, tummy bug, and he’s cutting in his first tooth! So, hopefully when that all passes, we can implement a new bedtime routine/method. I’ll be happy to share advice when your little one comes!

  7. meg he’ll be back to a full night of sleep once he figures out how to crawl i bet that’s all it is it happend with both of my boys when they almost had it down they would stay up all night long it’s like anxeity they just want it to happen so bad think about how you sleep when you’re excited for something not very good right once he gets it down he’ll sleep sound again if that’;s not it maybe he’s teething….ur bedtime routine sounds great i wouldn’t change it consistancy is the best thing for bedtime…good luck hope you’re feeling better, oh and are you up this weekend for easter or chillin at home?

    • Thanks, Amber. We’re sticking with the nighttime routine but he’s still up in the middle of the night multiple times so we’re going to do some more research and figure out what to do next… as for this weekend, we’re coming up to VT because Marcus is coming back from Germany and we’re going up to visit him. It’s going to be quite a crazy weekend because of that. How about you guys? Going to Nana and Papa’s for the holiday?

  8. Oh boy! Sounds like where we are! Mikayla was going 7:30-5 for a while and just two weeks ago started getting up anywhere between 12 and 2! One night she got up at 10! eeek! I have been blaming it on her tooth coming in but now i think she wakes up out of habit! Last night i heard her at 12:45. She wasnt crying..just making noise and fussing. I think we are so used to jumping up to get her at every sound she has become used to that. So i let her fuss and she went back to sleep after ten minutes and was back up at 4 so fed her then. She took 7 oz and went back to sleep. I know she is getting plenty to eat and so is Avery so its not a matter of them being hungry, I just think they need to learn to self soothe and go back to sleep. Their bodies are so use to getting up and eating that it is more routine than hunger. It will be hard to let him cry but I heard from other parents and reading books it takes anywhere from 3-7 straight nights of letting them cry before the adjust. Good luck and keep me posted!!

    • I agree on the self-soothing. I used to jump up at any sound from Avery, like you. But now we’re using the 3-5 minutes rule and a couple times last night I heard him wake up, but he put himself back to sleep. I think it’s harder for the parents, than the child. My husband can’t stand hearing the crying..he feels bad. We just have to suck it up and stick to our guns. I’ve heard others say all it takes is 3 days too, but I think that’s only if you go hard-core and let them cry a long time. We’re doing a little gentler approach I think. I bet he’ll catch on and soon be sleeping longer… 🙂

  9. I really know what you are going through! We went through all of that, trying to decipher, figure her out, try to get inside her little head, was it something we were doing wrong? I have to tell you my baby is nearly 14 months and she still doesn’t sleep through the night! Now I still breastfeed her, so I know breastfed babies are different from formula fed babies in that breastmilk digests much faster and they get hungrier more often. We are feeding her solids but shes not wild about them just yet. It sounds like your little one is still little, don’t rush it. The nights when my baby does sleep really well or all night, I miss her! I get up and sometimes wish that she would get up! Ok that’s a little extreme I know- I still long for sleep, I do, but they are just babies now. I tell myself when she’s in grade school I will ache for the nights that she spent on my breast falling asleep in our bed with us. I just try to get sleep when I can, just let go of that whole “he HAS to sleep through the night” idea and you might just rest easier!

    • It’s nice to hear that other mommies are going through the same thing. Thanks for sharing. And when Avery does sleep well, I still find myself waking up, listening to hear from him. So even if he doesn’t wake in the night, my body is so used to it now.

      You want her to wake up?! Haha… I heard other Mom’s say that too. Sometimes when I wake and don’t hear him, I go in and just check on him because I’m worried when he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night… but then again, we’re worried that he’s not sleeping through the night.. haha. Parenting and babies are so finicky. 🙂

  10. Maybe you could rock him longer or differently. I’ve found that if I can get my daughter’s head to sway smoothly back & forth on my shoulder it’s night-night magic :). I know that it takes our little girl 30-40 minutes of rocking at bed time to get her completely out, but after she’s asleep she usually stays asleep. Hang in there… no sleep is the pits, especially when you’re working!!!

  11. Pingback: Just Another Sleep Journey « Being Mummy

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