Friday, February 28, 2014

exhausted, tired, delirious, etc. etc. etc.

Dear Fellow Mamas:


My child hates sleep.

For my own sake, I will give you a rundown of what exactly is going and then maybe someone will have some advice?? I got some advice on how to get her into her crib awhile ago and that actually worked for the most part so I'm throwing it out there again hoping for the same results!

Here is our story...

Since we brought the little miss home, she has been a terrible sleeper. I didn't know what "normal" was for a newborn (is there such a thing?) so I just assumed it was normal and everyone around us was "lucky". She was giving us around an hour stretch at a time and every once in awhile she would give us two, but keep in mind this was only if someone was actually holding her at the time. If we laid her down she screamed. So Ryan and I spent our nights in the living room switching on and off on who would hold her. At some point it kind of became the norm and I kind of got used to it and assumed she would grow out of it.

Around 2 months we were able to actually put her down to sleep BUT ONLY if we laid with her. Literally, she had to be sleeping in the crook of my arm, basically under my armpit. It wasn't ideal but it was better than holding her. She still wouldn't give us long stretches but would maybe go 2 hours on average around this time and we were in bed so I was again, kind of ok with it. At one point, she did give us three nights (not in a row) of about 4-4.5 hour stretches..just once in a night and then up every hour after, but it gave me hope.

Then 3 months rolled around and I was trying to get her on somewhat of a schedule hoping I could eventually get her sleeping better for both naps and night time.

Around this time I also started to want her in her own crib and realized the longer we waited, the harder it would be...she wasn't sleeping anyway so why not just transition now? I got some advice on Facebook and with a little willpower, I put it to work and it *kind of* started to work. I could get her into her crib for the beginning of the night and sometimes Ryan and I would even have a couple hours to ourselves before bed.

However, she was still waking up every hour or two, like she was a newborn. This is fine when we are awake and just have to walk to her room to resettle her but in the middle of the night its exhausting and I would cave and just bring her to our bed to at least try to savor the little sleep I did get. No, she doesn't sleep any better in our bed, it just simply saves me the time and energy of walking to her room 300 times.

So here we are at 4 months.

I STILL try to get her to her bed in her crib but lately it's been absolute torture. It's like she knows it is coming and absolutely goes nuts when it's bedtime. And as if that weren't bad enough, once she is asleep, she is still waking up 8-12 times a night. The last few weeks have been worse than ever..she is up every 30-45 minutes...all.night.long.

So what gives?! What are we doing wrong?!

And just for reference...I'm not 100% against crying it out but I am a little uneasy about it because everything I read says to wait until 6 months because they don't understand the concept at this age.

With that being said...Wednesday she did cry it out by default. We did the same routine as every night and I tried to get her to bed. She absolutely refused and cried off and on for TWO hours. TWO HOURS! Ryan tried, I tried, I even put her back in our bed and tried to side lie nurse her (which she loves) and she would nurse but wouldn't sleep or if she slipped into a light sleep she would startle and wake back up. Finally I was at my breaking point and laid her in her crib and walked into the living room crying myself. It was 8:51 and I told Ryan I was going to let her cry until 9:00 mainly so I could gather myself and decide what to do next. I'll be darned..she fell asleep in about 6 minutes! Literally the 9 minutes wasn't even up and she had not only quit crying but was knocked out..probably because she had exhausted herself for 2 hours. She slept clear until 1:30 and I gave her a bottle and walked out of the room (while she was awake) and she put herself back to sleep until 345 at which point she woke up crying and ended up in our bed. Needless to say, that was the best night we have gotten basically since she's been born.

I don't know if it was a fluke or what but last night she was back to herself...fought sleep, finally went down at 7:25, awake at 8, etc. etc. etc.

OH! and naps? I have to time her awake time to about 1.5 hours and literally expend all my energy trying to get her to sleep and then I have to hold her or lay beside her throughout the entire nap because if I even sneak out of the bed or set her down, its eyes wide open and instantly awake. Awake and screaming if she hasn't been asleep long enough. I mean I know this wouldn't fly in daycare but I am not kidding when I say I honestly think she would be kicked out of daycare! Ay,ay, ay.

So mama's...I'm open to advice. What am I doing wrong, what should I be doing differently, what worked for you?! I'm not expecting her to sleep 7-7 but I feel like 8-12 times waking a night is out of hand. And the wanting sleep isn't just for selfish reasons, I feel like she's exhausting herself also!


Reba said...

This breaks my heart :( you are definitely not doing anything wrong every baby is different. I know how exhausting it can be. We are at the teething stage and the cold season so the sleeplessness nights have begun again. When my little one was younger and wasn't fond of sleeping in her crib I started rocking her in there at nap time and bedtime so she got comfortable with her room and surroundings. I'm not sure if this is something you already do. We didn't do the cry it out method until she was at least 6 months because like you said doctors and others say this is when they actually understand that if they cry they may be able to get you to come get them. It is so hard and will definitely wear you out completely. I hope it all starts to go better for you. I hate hearing mom's going through this because it can be A LOT to handle. I can only tell you what I tried because I am absolutely no expert. I am here if you have any questions.

Audrie Is... said...

Thanks Reba! I'm actually rocking her in her her room while she sleeps right now! We do that for her night routine but rarely during the day..I think I'll start doing this every time and see if it helps. Like I said, I'm willing to try just about anything at this point. When you did do cry it out eventually, did it end up working??

Reba said...

I think it did. It was so hard for me to hear her cry but as long as I knew she wasn't hurting. The best things for us was putting her down drowsy but not completely asleep. It is so hard because their little bodies are changing constantly the first year with teething, new foods & what not. I feel so bad for you that you have been going through this. Another thought is have you tried wearing a shirt and then laying it in their before you lay her down. I'm not to sure I would leave the shirt in there while she sleeps but maybe her smelling you would help. I'm sorry I'm not much help I just hate seeing mom's go through this and it breaks my heart for your little girl also.

Sarah said...

Reading about her need to be held takes me back to the first month and a half of my son's life! I totally feel you there. Paxton also hated to be laid down. We would occasionally get 15-20 minutes of a nap in his pack-n-play if he was solidly sleeping when we put him down. Just before he turned 2 months my mom brought me a Rock-n-Play Sleeper that her co-worker said had been a lifesaver...and, let me tell you, IT WAS! It cradles the baby and is at a slight incline so they aren't flat. Paxton loved it and the first time we put him in it was the first time he fell asleep without being held. That day we also received the Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse as a gift and he loved that, too. There have been reports of malfunctions, but I have read it was user mistakes (using the wrong type of batteries) and not a product flaw. I would HIGHLY recommend these two products!! Good luck :)