26 September 2006

I Am Graying Prematurely

Well, I am about to my end. I hardly ever do this, but...I am asking for advice. How on earth can I persuade my precious son to sleep through the night? He HAS done it, at various times, so I know that he is capable. And yet he chooses to torture me. I am turning old before my very eyes. I feel exhausted and decrepit.

Seriously, I do not think he is sleeping enough--every night, he is up 3 or 4 times, and during the day, I am fortunate if he'll nap for longer than an hour, or take more than one nap. I am still hanging in, but by the barest thread.

I do not like to be angry with my infant son, but at 5 am, when he has already been awake twice, anger is the emotion closest at hand. It is hard, in fact, not to take it personally.

In light of these difficulties, I am proposing a contest. You give me your suggestions for better sleep for Judah and/or explain why he is not sleeping well. I will sort through these suggestions and explanations, and if yours ends up solving the problem, you will win a FABULOUS PRIZE! I am not sure what it will be. Maybe a weekend visit from Judah, maybe a few dozen cookies, maybe an '87 Buick. I don't know.

Let me mention some causes I have already considered:
  1. Perhaps it is a growth spurt. I know such things happen at 6 months, and that's where he is. But how long can he...spurt?
  2. Perhaps he is cutting teeth. Of course, he has popped four teeth through in the last month (another reason for the LOOOONNNGG stretch of sleeplessness), so that seems unlikely.
  3. Perhaps he is not eating well during the daytime hours. He eats every three hours or so, and we've also started giving him solid foods once a day, so that also seems unlikely.
  4. Perhaps he needs a crash course (no pun intended) on rolling over. More than once, he has woken himself up by rolling over and then getting stuck like a turtle on its back. He does not like being on his back. And believe me, I try to get him to like it--he just refuses.
  5. Perhaps he just misses my company. The other night, he slept in the Pack'n'Play in our room because Moriah was spending the night, and he slept like a rock until about 4:45 am, when he (of course) rolled over and woke up. I flipped him back over, and he was off to dreamland until about 7 am, when the alarm went off. Did sleeping in such close proximity to me fulfill some sort of need? The desperate part of me chooses to believe so.

That's all. Let the games begin.


April said...

Feed him at every little sign of hunger during the day. You may need to nurse every two or two-and-a-half hours during the day to get him to go longer at night.

Move him into your room temporarily until he gets the hang of sleeping longer -- he may feel more secure hearing/sensing you nearby and at least you won't have as far to go.

I know that feeling of frustration and the sense of being personally insulted that the third or fourth nighttime waking brings on. Don't you want mommy to be happy? Don't you care that I'm going crazy from lack of sleep? Don't feel bad, those are definitely the normal responses.

Alex is sleeping like a champ at night, but has to be coerced through car rides and strollers and swings to take brief naps during the day. I don't want to mess with it though because I'd rather have him sleep at night. Ruby did neither. She woke up at night until her first birthday, but by about 7 or 8 months it was down to once a night.

Charis + Judah's Mom said...

I will try that today. Perhaps I was spoiled by Charis--she slept through the night at 3 months, then took a couple of breaks for teeth, ear infection, etc., but by about 6 months, she slept 11 hours solid.

I thought Judah would be a breeze--he slept through at 2.5 months, and did so for about a month (?), but since then, sleeping through the night has been the exception, not the rule. I just covet my sleep so much!

I was halfway hoping that writing about it would "unjinx" things, and that last night he'd sleep through...but, no. 12:45, 3:30, 6:00. 7:15. 8:45. Sigh...

katie said...

I know this will hold VERY LITTLE consolation, but look at his darling face and remember, charis is already 2, soon to be 3 and on and on it goes. The glass is half full version? These are precious times!
(I know, I know.. I don't know anything about it... hugs)

Charity said...

Ugh, this brings back some painful memories from the not-so-distant past . . .

My best advice is, throw all the normal rules out the window and do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get him to sleep through the night! It sounds like he has gotten himself into a pattern of waking up, and needs to have several nights in a row of sleeping through to readjust things, even if it means having him sleep in a pack-n-play in your room for a while.

I'm cringing as I write this next one, because it is AWFUL for several nights, but we've had to do this with Karis, and it worked (just as I was about to check myself into a mental hospital). Anyway, sometimes babies just need to cry it out for a few nights. It's Hades for a while, but it sounds like things couldn't get much worse. I have a friend who tried this, and after 2 nights, everything was back to "normal."

And if all of this doesn't work, there's always Benadryl. :-)