Thursday, August 27, 2009

Worst (Sleeping) Day Ever (I think)

Wow. Where to start?

I walk around all day thinking, oh I should blog about this, or I should blog about that. I even write some posts in my head. Obsessed, much? Anyway, one post I have been writing and re-writing in my head is about sleep (or lack thereof...), and today just lends itself as a good backdrop to my sleep post.

I guess it all started yesterday when Blaise took a late morning nap, a subsequent late afternoon nap, getting up after 2hours and 20minutes of respite at FOUR O'CLOCK! Okay, so I don't know what the rest of your baby schedules look like, but my poor sleeper gets put to bed between 6 and 6:30. So, ya, napping until 4pm not such a great thing. Why didn't I wake him up you ask? Well, I kinda did, finally, at 4pm. But, again, he's not the best sleeper, so I hate to rob him of it when he's in his groove, ya know? Back to my story, he went to bed later than usual of course, but not *too* late, it was about 7:45 I think. His first sleep phase was okay, he was up at 10:something and then stayed up for 2 hours. He has a BIG BIG BIG problem of scratching. Some days are better than others, but it tends to wake him up when he gets into a fit. The rest of the night went okay. One 4 hour stretch and then up around 6am.

I can only assume the chaos of yesterday led to today's major sleep deprivation and frustration. Or maybe he's finally teething, or maybe he's growing, or maybe it's just too hot, or maybe, or maybe, or maybe, or maybe...


Today was a sleep nightmare. Until recently, we had Blaise on a pretty good 2 nap schedule - a morning and an afternoon nap. Each ranging from 35-90+ minutes. Ever since last Sunday we've been having some unexpected and unwanted napping issues. It took me 40 minutes to get him to sleep this morning, and as I expected he slept a whopping 35ish minutes. After being pushed around the city in his buggy with Willi late morning, I thought FOR SURE I'd get him to nap relatively easily in the afternoon. Wrong. He didn't nap again. At all. Once we hit 3pm, I gave up. I had tried everything: bouncing, singing, nursing, cuddling, leaving him alone, rubbing his back, rubbing his belly. Everything. Nothing worked. He was tired, but would. not. sleep.


We went shopping. I bought a Baby Gift for Jen who will be holding her little bundle of joy in less than 12 hours. I bought some super cute hats for Blaise, a light fall hat, and a big fluffy winter hat. They were on sale. I love sales. Did you hear me, Mom? I already bought some hats for Blaise. I promise to post pictures of the hat cuteness.

In the meantime, here is a picture of his current hat that we are addicted to. It's great for early Saturday morning walks with Daddy. We've stretched it to the limits and it's pretty much too small. :( We love it, though. It was a present from my cousin, Anne, and it definitely got a lot of use! (as I am sure you blog followers have noticed!)

He's so cute

Let's not get totally off topic here. I come home from our shopping spree and get him ready for bed. Not an easy task because he is (obviously) overtired. I change his diaper, make him a bottle, nurse him and he falls asleep. I wasn't too overjoyed though, I knew it wasn't going to last. He was up 30 minutes later. I tried to give him the bottle. He drank a little. He cried. He was tired. I gave up, Jan was only minutes away. I handed him over when Jan hit the door. He tried everything, even a 45 minute buggy ride. Nope. I nursed him again and now he's been asleep just over 2 hours. I'm not too optimistic for the rest of the night.

If you are keeping track he was up for a total of 13 hours, with two 30 minute "naps." Seriously, what baby does this? Okay, besides Baby Michelle...

If you're still with me, kudos to you. That was just the backdrop.

We've been having sleep issues for months. Blaise really isn't the worst sleeper ever, I've read *much* worse stories, but I have serious sleep envy when I hear "my 6 week old sleeps through the night." Boo. I'm really not asking for the moon, one or two night feedings would be an improvement.

He is usually up 3 times, sometimes 2. Sleeps 3 hour spurts, sometimes 4. He was making progess until about 2 months old and has regressed and never moved forward from there. Having said all this (and it has been a lot) things actually have gotten better recently (except for the previous 36 hours). I found this website: which I have found really helpful. I even bought 2 emails and got Nick's advice about our situation. Her major piece of advice: put him down drowsy but not asleep. We're working on it. It's getting better. I think we are seeing some results (if I look at the big picture). I nurse him every time he gets up, that will be the next step, trying to get him back to sleep without nursing. Good luck.

All of this makes me feel like a sub-par Mommy. My tired baby was awake for 12 of 13 hours. Nightmare. Red eyes. Clingy, tired baby. I'm not fishing for 'you did your best, don't worry, you're a good Mommy' comments, I am just saying it like it is. It makes me feel like a sub-par Mommy.

Tomorrow is another day. Wish me luck. Good Night.


Jen said...

I was literally laughing out loud while reading your post. It was like I could hear you talking. You wrote it just as you would speak it and I could sense all your frustration. Not that your goal was humor, I just could appreciate what you wrote.

I agree with Nick, good sleep habits sometimes are taught. We all dream of a baby that sleeps through the night at four weeks. I have yet to have that happen though. Putting him down awake is a great first step. If he can learn to sooth himself to sleep at the beginning of the night, he'll slowly begin doing it when he wakes up and then eventually won't wake up at all.

Now, I'm certainly not an expert. By the way, I can't get my third child to eat so I have hurdles of my own. :-)

Just tips to try....make it the same routine every night, put him down awake, don't rush to him when he wakes, see if he can get himself back to sleep. If you're worried something's wrong, possibly position the crib so he can't see you checking on him. Once he sees you, it's go time and he's going to want to eat. Knowing he can get himself back to sleep is a great confidence/independence thing too, something he'll do forever. It's nice to teach it now before he's a toddler and out of a crib.

Sleep is important on a thousand just makes whatever the day brings so much easier to manage.

Good luck!! I look forward to your future post "Blaise slept through the night!"

APMom said...

I agree with Jen on many of her comments. I felt like I was listening to you tell me this story! Remember that all babies are different, but routines are very important. Even the best sleepers, eaters, etc. have times when things get all out of whack. A book that I read about routines and sleeping is called Baby Wise.
Allowing my girls to "cry it out", although it was difficult that first night, was the best thing I did. I felt like a terrible mom at the time, but it helped them learn to sooth themselves and made putting them to bed much easier. Putting the girls in their crib when they were still awake worked well for us. It never failed that if they were already asleep when I put them down, the nap would be MUCH shorter or they would wake almost as soon as they were out of my arms.
Back to the idea of routines, it helped if I not only had a routine for putting the girls to bed, but also routines for what we did between naps, before bedtime, times when naps and bedtime occurred, and where they took naps. My girls have always napped best when they are at home and in their own beds/cribs. I can pretty much forget about any sort of good naps or sleep when we are out of town (regular bedtime goes right out the window too!). Singing to my girls has always been helpful in calming them down too. I certainly don't have a great singing voice, but they don't really care and it doesn't matter what I sing or if I sing the right words. The soothing sound of mommy's voice is sometimes enough to comfort an overly tired baby or toddler.

Good luck and keep working at it. Try to stay patient and calm even when you have no idea what else to do. I honestly believe that babies can sense our frustration or sense of helplessness.