In need of sleep

This mama needs some sleep.

Theo’s cutting his two front teeth on top and between that and a little cold he’s had, our nights have regressed back to newborn status here – which means he’s been waking up every 2 hours for milk.

Lord knows he doesn’t need milk anymore during the night. Although he’s a little dude, and is only in the 4th percentile for weight, I really feel like at this stage, he needs nighttime sleep more than he needs nighttime calories in order to grow better.

I, myself, have got some major hay fever going on. When the baby was up so much the other night I couldn’t even go back to sleep while he slept. I just couldn’t breathe. I was up at 2:45 and never got back to sleep, resulting in me feeling like a total zombie the next day. I even went to bed at the same time as Theo that evening in the hopes I’d get some more sleep. I did, but was still woken up every two hours the next night.

Something’s got to change here. I know teething and illness always throw off sleep schedules quite a bit, but oh my goodness. I just can’t.

Good thing he’s so cute during the day. He is most definitely worth the lost sleep, don’t get me wrong! But if I can get him sleeping some longer stretches at least…

Things will always get worse before they get better with sleep training, but it’s time. I think I am going to start night weaning. I’m afraid he thinks he needs the boob to get back to sleep.

I’m just afraid that what if I do night wean him and it still doesn’t improve any?

This whole sleep thing definitely belongs to the more puzzling parts of parenting. You can’t see the whole picture until all of the puzzle pieces are in place. And right now, mine feel scattered, and I’m not sure where to even start.

Every baby is different, obviously, and there are a million different ways to encourage baby to sleep through the night. But does anyone have any experience? Encouragement? Empathy?

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8 thoughts on “In need of sleep

  1. LOTS of empathy from this corner!!

    I just keep telling myself, hey, someday it’ll be over and I’ll barely remember how annoying nights were for so long. That is my mantra for the hard nights. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. I found post weaning it was more difficult to deal with the wake ups that, for us, continued right on, because I no longer had a magic weapon against it or any weapon at all, just the slowly deteriorating ability to remain calm/patient. But hey, for some people it works like a charm and post-weaning their kids become magical perfect sleepers. We don’t have one of those kids, so don’t depend on it 100%, but it COULD work. It has for many. Once you reach your limit you have to start trying things to figure something new out, so do what feels right.

    *fist in the air in solidarity* 🙂

    • Ooh, I’m glad you said that! See, that’s exactly my worry. It works well for lots of babies, but like you said…what if I get rid of my magic weapon? There’s no going back, is there?

      Thanks for the solidarity! I just feel like I’m almost at the end of my rope.

  2. I was also worried, a couple of months back, that Leda was relying on the boob to sleep – I also think we are scared into it by the whole ‘sleep training’ industry. Once we started giving her dinner, Leda gave up her night feeds by herself – all but 1, which she takes any time between 2 and 4am, and I guess she will drop that when she is ready too. I don’t know … I tend to think the babies know what they need and we are inundated with ‘DON’T do this’ and ‘DON’T let them do that’ messages, and we start freaking out a little, when we don’t need to. If Theo is ill and teething, as Leda is at the moment too, he’ll go to the breast for comfort and food, but once he is better, that comfort feeds will disappear. Plus, if he is weaning, his own schedule is a bit mixed up. I know the sleep thing is ghastly, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Theo knows what he needs and right now he needs a bit extra – that will change!

    • As you can imagine, I’ve read probably thousands of articles about baby sleep habits in the last few days. The only thing I feel like I’ve learned for sure is that there are so many different ways out there and they all contradict each other! That is, of course, because babies are all different and need different things.

      I just feel like if I knew exactly the reason why he’s still night waking — is it just a habit? is it really for food? is it because his pacifier has fallen out and he can’t get to it again before he wakes up too much? do his gums hurt? is it just that he misses me and wants some cuddles? — how the heck does one figure that out? Breastfeeding him back to sleep has worked really well for us in the past, and before I got by pretty well with the 2- to 3-hour chunks of sleep, but I feel something in me has changed and I’m just running myself ragged.

      He has been ill and teething and I can definitely get on board with some comfort feedings. Temporarily. But it wasn’t really any better before then either, so I feel a bit at a loss as to what else it could be.

      At least all of what I’ve read does say that, regardless of whether or not parents do anything to encourage it one way or another, all babies will sleep through the night SOMEday…

  3. Wow! I just read this and thought someone else is living the same life as me! Haha!
    Let me introduce my very sleep deprived self. I’m a Canadian living in Berlin with my 9 month old son Jack. He has never been fond of sleeping much and we just started sleep training about a month ago. (slow gentle method, me in the room with him, soothing but no picking up out of the crib) it’s definitely been a struggle but after about a week or two of sleep training he has continued to sleep through from 7:30pm to around 1am! Which was an amazing success for us. He still wakes every 2-3 hours after that and I nurse him once around 3/4am. He now also sleeps in his own room because he is a super light sleeper and even the sound of me or my husband rolling over in bed woke him up.
    I’m not saying sleep training works for everyone but it can only get better right?! Right??!!! 😮
    He’s also working on those top two teeth and I swear by a homeopathic remedy called Osanit (In the Apotheke). You can give up to 8 little globules every half hour when it gets bad. I find they help a lot and let him sleep better as well.

    Wishing you lots of success and looking forward to a progress update!!
    (“pressing my thumbs” for good luck for you in the most German was possible!)

    • Thanks for your comment!

      That’s a great first step, Willow! It was a very nice reminder that we’ve got to celebrate those small successes.

      Theo’s top two teeth have broken through and are just working their way all the way out now. I’m assuming most of the pain happens when they first come out, because he’s been in a bit better mood the past few days. I also have those Osanit globules and have been using them every once in a while — not religiously, though, so I don’t know if I’ve been able to see a difference or not either.

      Good luck to you, too! I sure hope it does get better for you and Jack, too! Let me know how things go for you! 🙂

  4. hey, its completly normal as a new mother to love sleep more than your baby on some days or nights. I bet it happens to any mother. it certainly happend to me. so, don’t beat yourself. every day is a new day.
    As long as your little man is not comfortable and healthy, weaning could get really frustrating. Just do, what you think would be a good thing for your little man, yourself and your family. after some years as a mother I realised, that the great decisions, like when is the right time for weaning, potty training ect. are totally forgotten and irrelevant some years later. When your little man starts school, will it really matter when he started to walk or use the potty? I weaned my son or he weaned himself when he was nearly two. I don’t even remember when he started to sleep through. I can only remember that when he was ill or uncomfortable he needed the boob and me becoming really forgetful because of the little sleep.
    So bottom line, trust your own judgements, mistakes won’t result in permanent damage of your little mans childhood, relax and survive, someday it will be over. You are doing a great job!

    • Very true! They say that all good things must end, so it must also follow that all bad things must end sometime too! 😉 It’s hard to keep that in perspective sometimes in the middle of the night, but you’re so right!

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

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