The Pregonaut

A non-breeder's journey into the unknown

Sleep it out, cry it out September 22, 2010

Filed under: Space Detritus — anditron @ 4:12 pm

We're trying for more of this - the happy, not another baby.

We’re hitting a critical stage here in the household. The Bot is now 8 months and I’ve instilled some bad habits in her I fear – she’s not sleeping through the night at all.

We start her bath at 7:30 then nursing and a song until she’s dozed off. We would put her in the co-sleeper and that was usually about 8. She’d wake at 10:30/11pm when I went to bed and I’d nurse her again. Usually she would wake again around 3am, I’d nurse and she’d sleep until 7ish. A few times she slept through the night, but that was short lived.

I know that at 4 or 5 months a baby can often sleep through the night, and I’m pretty certain the Bot could have as well if only she hadn’t started teething at 4 months. If you’re lucky enough to get a few months to create a routine before teething, enjoy it!

So much of this time, I’ve thought it was simply a matter of teething or growing pains so I’d always nurse her when she woke up and lay her back down in the co-sleeper or between Bob909 and myself.

But lately it’s gotten worse. She wakes up at 10:30pm, 1am, 3 or 4am and then sleeps till 7am or so. She’s grunty and kicking about in her sleep. I get no rest and neither does Bob909 and in the day she doesn’t seem to eat a lot of baby food though her bottles

This isn’t working.

So we removed the co-sleeper and brought the pack-n-play in thinking her being too close to me was causing her to fuss and squirm and awaken. While she’d start out going to sleep easily (as always) she still fussed and fitted herself awake. We tried to move her to the crib in her room, that was miserable for me (trying to listen to the monitor), and she still woke up too many times. We tried the cry it out method and that was a disaster – the next day she couldn’t bare to have me out of her sight or away from her side.

So now we’re trying to figure out how to fix whatever it is that we caused. We’ve started by making sure she only naps an hour in the morning and an hour in the early afternoon and no more than 30 minutes as her late nap. We still get her in bed by 8 and it does seem to be improving though it’s not perfect yet. The last two nights she’s slept from 8 to 7 with only one night waking. Ironically, neither of us got any sleep last night thanks to us both expecting her to wake up!

We’re getting there and I haven’t managed to ween myself off nursing her when she wakes yet, I know I have to get there, and I will but I’d like to just get a week of her sleeping with just one waking first. Course by then, she’ll probably start cutting another tooth and we’ll have to start all over again. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

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4 Responses to “Sleep it out, cry it out”

  1. Megan Says:

    We’re really lucky. Our six-month old usually sleeps straight through from 8 or 9pm until 5-6am, then sometimes goes back to sleep for another few hours.

    From what I’ve read, it is totally normal for infants to wake up several times throughout the night, but they should be able to fall back asleep. If you’re actively listening for her every noise, that’s part of the problem. You’ve got to let her learn to fall back asleep.

    I don’t particularly advocate the cry-it-out method, as I couldn’t handle it very long. Katerina often cries for 3-5 minutes when we put her to bed before she falls asleep and that works fine for us. The crib in the next room also works well – we can hear her when she’s really upset, but don’t wake up to every little noise.

    I really wish you luck! I know how exhausting that can be. It’s hard to appreciate how cute and fun they can be when you’re exhausted from no sleep!

    • anditron Says:

      You are lucky!

      I felt like I was messing things up for her too which is why we wanted to get her out of our bed. We just have this weird chemistry that causes us both to affect the other one. Before I went back to work she would happily stay in bed sleeping as long as I did, and man would I drag that out as long as possible. So my nursing her in the night wasn’t a matter of actively listening for her, but while she was in bed with us when she would wake up she’d writhe and kick and I would inevitably wake up.

      The cry it out method just made everything about 10 times worse but it goes to show there are so many “methods” you really have to go with your gut for what is right. Read the different theories and go with what makes sense. Interestingly we did just this, and Bob909 discovered that the actual problem was she was sleeping too long during her naps. I’ll write about the results after we’ve had a long enough period of good ones.

      I guess a big part of it is the same thing I tell myself when she’s playing or standing and trying to figure out how to walk, I just have to let her do it. I just have to step out of the equation at the right times so she can grow.

  2. Syd Says:

    Mine is 3 months old. I think he’s going to teeth early, also. In the last couple of weeks I read “Heathy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth and started him on a nap/sleep schedule. And I also recently learned the double swaddle (my kiddo hates swaddles, but this one works for some reason). And he slept through the night last night for the first time.

    My previous schedule was identical to yours. And we use the co-sleeper/shared bed technique as well. Turns out the baby needs to sleep a lot during the day, and the more he naps the better he sleeps at night, which goes against all reason.

    The book is pretty good, though he repeats himself a lot and could have written the whole thing in 1-2 chapters. Yeah, yeah, babies need sleep. Yes, I understand nap in the morning, nap in the afternoon. Rinse and repeat.

    But it may be helpful to you as you attempt to regulate her sleeping. I think crying it out method is super hard. In fact, in the book, he kind of pushes letting the baby cry (if you choose) but I haven’t gone that route. If he cries I go in and soothe until he goes back down. I just can’t handle the tears 😦

    Good luck!

    • anditron Says:

      That’s one of the books we read too and I found good and bad in it (like all the books I read). It was that book’s advice, to let the child cry for an hour max that we tried and had such disastrous results. However, saying that, his advice about the time schedule for babies was dead on for us. Swaddling worked for a short period of time but, if I recall correctly that was before she had fully unfurled, and she always hated it. We also discovered she’s having a gassy period and that we have to start using the gas drops again in order to alleviate the grunts.


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