Sleep Training: The “I Thought You Were Already Trained” Edition

Over the past 2 months or so, Charlotte has woken up at 3 or 4 am about 7 or so times. Unfortunately for me, 4 of those wakeups have occured this week… consecutively… while my hubby is away. Not fun.

I know that we are so lucky to have a baby who has slept through the night for the past 6ish months, so excuse me for complaining anyway. I’m totally struggling, walking around like a damn zombie. Or even better, walking around like I’m feeling fine, but making big errors or saying crap that makes no sense. Isn’t exhaustion awesome?

Anyway, I’ve made many excuses for why Charlotte is suddenly waking up…

  • She’s teething (she does have 4 giant teeth coming in on top… one that’s already cut through)
  • She doesn’t feel well (Mark’s been sick with an upper respiratory infection and I was battling all sorts of crud)
  • She’s overtired (she skipped two naps this past weekend and this girl never skips naps… ever)
  • Her schedule is totally off from our traveling these past two months

I’m pretty sure it’s a combo of all of these. My thought is that maybe it started as her teeth or something else bothering her and has been perpetuated by her being overtired and feeling off in terms of her schedule. Regardless, it’s gotta end.

I’ve been working so hard to get her napping on time and going to bed at a good time. But the child continues to wake up.

The first three nights, Charlotte got a diaper change, a little coddling and then it was back to bed. Last night, I decided it was time to cry it out. I felt horrible about it, but I kept going back to the fact that Charlotte and I are BOTH better off when she’s sleeping soundly through the night. Allowing her to get used to breaking up her sleep for a 4 am snuggle is not productive for her or for me.

So, I painfully listened to my baby cry for about 15 minutes. At that time, I whispered for her to go back to sleep and sang her a lullaby through the baby monitor. She was quiet for a minute, but then returned to crying/whining/tossing around her crib.

About a half hour later, I did the same thing again.

When she hit the 1-1.5 hour (ish) mark of being awake, I decided it was time to go in. When I got in her room, I saw that she had thrown her bunny and paci out of the crib (WHY DOES SHE KEEP DOING THIS!!?!?). I put her paci in her mouth, handed her the bunny and laid her down on her back. Of course, she started crying. I wound up her music box from my Aunt & Uncle, said goodnight and left the room.

She let out a couple of quick howls and then laid captivated by the music. She loves that music box.

Within 10-15 minutes, she was finally back to sleep… at 5:45 am. The whole affair took almost 2 hours of blissful joy.

I crawled back in bed, pulled the covers over my head, and we both slept until 8.

As always, I have no idea if I handled the situation correctly. But, unlike other times, I was alone last night. There’s something so reassuring about going back and forth with my hubs saying, “do you think this is right?” Last night I had to just trust my gut.

Hopefully it pays off.

Thankfully, despite waking up late, she went down for her morning nap at a decent hour (only about a half hour behind her normal schedule) and has been sleeping soundly for over two hours and counting. Not to mention the fact that she woke up in a relatively good mood.

She was a little edgy, but shared her adorable little smile and sweet laugh.

   Wish me luck tonight!

11 thoughts on “Sleep Training: The “I Thought You Were Already Trained” Edition

  1. We’ve been having 3/4 am wake-ups here too! I researched a bit about it and apparently there can be a rough sleep regression anywhere from 8-12 months. I read it has a lot to do about all the developmental milestones babies are meeting at that time.

    At first I would go in and give him a diaper change and cuddle with him. I stopped doing that because he would fall asleep on me and would wake up as soon as I laid him back down. Now I will give him 10 minutes to calm himself down, then go in and lay on the floor until he falls asleep (I even have a makeshift bed by his crib that I can set up in no time if he happens to wake up again). I try not to touch him and will say very little to him. I will say, “You’re okay, it’s night time. Time for sleep.” Then I’ll lay down and fall asleep (or try to anyway). He seemed to just need to know that it was still night time and that he wasn’t alone.

    Good luck! 3am wake-ups are no joke! So exhausting!

      • Since about 8.5 months. It was really bad, then got better, then this last month he’s had probably 7 or so rough nights. His naps are great, though, so I’m not sure exactly what is going on.

  2. Also, off the topic question, but what is Charlotte eating in the bottom pictures? I love seeing all the different foods she tries! We are trying BLW here and he is SLOWLY getting more involved.

    • The yellow/green is scrambled egg yolks and kale (we do it with spinach, too!) and the red is cut up strawberries. BLW has been so nice for Charlotte because it allows her to feed herself and have a lot of variety when it comes to food.

  3. The pacifier throwing!!!! I was JUST talking to a friend last night about this, her daughter also had gone through this phase. It’s so weird cause at first I thought the paci was falling on the floor- out of his mouth and THAT was waking him up (this reasoning makes no sense since the paci is pretty far from the crib). It’s strange to think that these babies wake up, toss their binky and then cry about it- or is it that strange? I honestly think Elliot knows when he does it makes me come into the room, cause that’s what I do. It’s more about him realizing he’s alone cause this business started when he also became clingy/whiney during the day with me. There have been times I have let him cry it out cause I have been 1/2 asleep and literally can’t get up and he does go back down- but I feel like those times aren’t the pacifier throwing times, cause the times he does throw the binky he does NOT give up. lol. I am not sure I am ready to toss the binky in the trash, but I have a feeling at least once a night (mostly nights) I expect this to happen. COFFEE. Get some 😉

    • It’s SO frustrating! I think she throws the pack and bunny when I first put her to bed, she falls asleep and when she wakes up at 3 or 4, suddenly needs them desperately. Also, I think you’re totally spot-on regarding the babes trying to get you into the room. That’s what it felt like last night. She would literally be half asleep and then would pop up like she was forcing herself to stay strong and fight for a visit with mommy. I would get 5 minutes of quiet and then BOOM, she was up and at it again. Im praying for a full night of sleep tonight.

  4. Brady has been waking up at 4am’sh for awhile too… Today I finally let him fuss a bit in his crib, and he did fall back asleep. But I don’t know if tomorrow will be as easy. My breastmilk supply is so low though that I actually have to wake up at 3am every night to pump. UGH!! Ha, ha. I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to sleep through the night… even just once. It’s been soooo long. Ha, ha.

    • Oh my goodness! Why is your supply so low? I’ve been taking the fenugreek (3 capsules, 3 times per day), which seems to be helping… Or Charlotte is just getting used to the smaller amount. Sending you milky thoughts for sure! I talked to a lactation consultant and she recommended pumping 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off for an hour to boost supply. As for night waking, Charlie’s got two good nights under her belt… Hopefully it lasts.

  5. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one with night wakings still! Annabelle does seem to have regressed sleep-wise in the past few weeks going from one quick nurse around 5am to waking at 1:30, 5:30 and for good at 7:30. I’m struggling!!

    BTW I love love to see all of your photos! Next to Annabelle, you have the cutest baby ever 😉

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