The Worst Sleeper… EVER

Guys, remember when I was barking up Henry’s tree for his great routine? Remember when he was doing 5-7 hour sleep stretches?

Well, I’m having a hard time remembering because it’s been SO LONG. Henry has turned into the worst dang sleeper ever. 

If Henry could speak, this is what my nights would sound like (every 1.5-2 hours, start to finish):

Hey ma, I just farted… Can you come rock me back to sleep?

Momma, I dreamed I was drinking milk and now I’m thirsty. Can I have a sip?

Mommy, did you just try to put me down???? In my crib!!!? Pick me up immediately or I’ll wake the toddler!

Momma, I have hands! Now nurse me back to sleep!

Mommy, let’s snuggle (or I’ll scream).

You get the picture…

I don’t even think he’s hungry most of the time. He just wants to be snuggled NON STOP!

Don’t get me wrong, I love how cuddly and sweet he is, but time and place, Henry. Time and place.

Essentially, I’m haggard and tired and fed up. We need to sleep train STAT, but I don’t want the toddler to suffer. Ugh. Dilemmas. 

We just spent way too much money on a ZipadeeZip… Please say this will be our magic fix.

Let me know if you have helpful suggestions. I’m tired (understatement) and about to go back to work… 

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!

Sleep Training Follow Up

URGH! I just finished this post and accidentally deleted it. Hate when that happens… so, I apologize in advance if this post sucks. The first one was nice and detailed…

Anyway, about three weeks ago, we entered a new phase of sleep training: The cry-it-out-in-the-middle-of-the-night phase. We were inspired to give this a whirl after meeting with our pediatrician at Charlotte’s 4-month check up. At the appointment, she informed us that at 5 months, there was absolutely no reason why Charlotte would NEED to be eating in the middle of the night and that she was perfectly capable of sleeping through the night.

Music to our ears.

From about 3.5-5 months, Charlotte was waking up twice a night (sometimes 3 times, sometimes once). While some parents don’t mind waking up and comforting their babes at 3 am, we just aren’t those people. It was totally fine when she needed to eat, but once given the okay, we were ready to let her figure it out.

So, that’s what we did! As I explained in this post, the first couple of days were a little rough, but really, not even that bad. She fussed and cried for an hour and ended up putting herself back to sleep. After those first few nights, she just got progressively better and better. Most nights, she would wake up somewhere between 10 and 12 and 1 and 4 for anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes. After 2 weeks, it was only once a night and now, we rarely hear her at all and when we do, it’s just a subtle little noise and she’s transitioning into the next sleep cycle.

I’m not going to lie, it’s amazing.

Here’s a little snapshot of Charlotte’s sleep over the past week and month from my sleep tracking app. I don’t think the app is the best, but it works. Also, I’d recommend tracking sleep. It really helps you stay on top of baby’s routine and needs.

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Last 30 Days

 

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Last 7 Days

 

Over the past 6ish months, we have worked really hard to sleep train this little being. Whether it was at 2 months when I literally stayed home for three weeks straight to make sure Charlotte was napping every 1-2 hours in her crib, or the MANY nights and naptimes that left me covered in stress hives brought on by the screams and howls of our baby, we made sleep a priority. Now of course, we can’t take all (or likely even the majority) of the credit. Charlotte is a good sleeper and has a very independent side. I am positive that plays a role in this journey.

But, regardless, we are so proud of our little sleeper. Charlotte goes to bed every night between 5 and 7 – most often around 6p. She sleeps 12 hours THROUGH THE NIGHT. And even better, she’s an expert napper. She has finally consolidated her countless 40 minutes naps into some really nice long naps. In fact, over the past few days, she’s been taking 2 naps and sleeping 4-5 hours total during that time. It’s really awesome.

And it’s not just crib sleep, our little bunny can sleep in any pack n’ play or on any blanket (well, not anymore since she’s a rolling, scooting machine), as long as it’s in a dark room. It’s so convenient.

Way to go, Charlie!! Mommy and Daddy appreciate it. Now, if we could only get our bums in bed earlier, we might actually feel rested.

Also, I know I’ve mentioned the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby before, but I want to mention again that this is the book we use to guide us in our sleep training journey. I really recommend it. It didn’t always have the answers we were looking for, but it seemed to keep us focused.