Do you ever feel like you are failing at life?
This week has been one for the books my friends and my primary source of stress is William’s sleep. I’m. Losing. My. Shit. And I’m pretty sure I have no one to blame but myself.
Every night, William is rocked to sleep (1st mistake) by me (2nd mistake) and has a bottle (3rd mistake). Once he is sound asleep (4th mistake), I put him in his crib, sometimes in a sleep sack, sometimes in only fleece pjs. Recently we have only been getting about 2 hours of him sleeping in his crib before he wakes up hysterical. And I’m not talking laying in his crib fussing because he wishes we were in the room with him. I’m talking full on devil trying to invade his body hysterical. We have been trying to do some version of cry it out but it feels impossible. Last night I waited outside his room for an attempted 5 minutes. 20 seconds before the 5 minutes was over, he had his hands in his mouth while screaming and proceeded to throw up everywhere, which resulted in a shower, new PJs, lots of snuggles and mass confusion from poor William as to why I would have let that happen. Which then leads to this feeling that I am legit failing as a mom. WHY WON’T MY CHILD SLEEP?!
I have methodically thought through this no less than 5,000 times and here are my thoughts:
- William slept in our room until he was 6 ½ months. Never in our bed – in a rock n play for the first 4 months and then in the Halo bassinet with a dock a tot. He would still wake once a night wanting a bottle
- At 6 ½ months, we transitioned him to his crib with the dock a tot and at 7 months he was sleeping through the night – glorious!
- At 10 months, he stopped sleeping through the night – we could put him to sleep but he wouldn’t STAY asleep. Out of sheer exhaustion I finally brought him into our room and as soon as he hit my shoulder he would be back to sleep – so starts the sleeping in our bed.
- 3 days before his 1 year appointment, he starts sleeping through the night again after we let him cry it out – we thought we were on the up and up….nope.
- A week later he was back to waking up and this time earlier and earlier after putting him to sleep.
- So here we are, 4 months into our son not sleeping through the night and now sleeping with us consistently although He always starts in his crib. He also does wake up throughout the night a little fussy once he is in bed with us, but once he realizes he is with us, he rolls over and goes back to sleep.
My conclusion – he wakes up and is uncomfortable with the fact that he is in his crib and not in bed with us. I’m sure any of you reading this are like….DUH…but that is the only conclusion I can come to.
So…I’m making an appointment with a sleep specialist and I’m buying a dock a tot. Those are my next steps in saving my sanity because everything can be going semi-swimmingly and 3 nights of interrupted sleep can make you feel like your whole life is falling apart…we are going on 4 months. I received some great advice from my original Facebook post about William’s sleep issues- one of my favorites was that you have to survive the night in order to thrive during the day. I embraced that but because he wakes up earlier and earlier, the initial cry to come in get him sets my blood pressure into over-drive and that feeling of failure and defeat comes soaring back (wow do I sound dramatic or what?!). So, we need to find a solution, for both myself and my husband’s sanity. I’ll keep you updated if anything finally works or if we are doomed to a life of sleeping with our child.
If any of you are also having sleeping issues – Alex and I have also considered/tried the following to no avail – but they seem to have worked for some! …and to be completely honest, some seem ridiculous. Babycenter.com had a good synopsis of the different sleep expert viewpoints for kids William’s age. Good luck and Godspeed to any of you with sleeping issues. I feel your pain and wish you the best.
- Mindell’s View: As long as you’re putting your child to sleep on his own at bedtime, it’s all right to do what you think will help him go back to sleep, such as rocking him or pacing the floor until he falls asleep. As long as his bedtime routine is consistent, night waking should diminish in a few weeks. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to resort to a checking routine: Stay in your child’s room for a brief time, keep contact neutral, and don’t pick him up. Leave and return in five-minute intervals, gradually increasing the time you’re gone. Didn’t work for us – i.e. last night’s puke disaster
- Ferber’s View: Make sure your child falls asleep alone — without you, a pacifier, or a bottle. If he won’t stay asleep, try letting him cry for progressively longer intervals of time, starting at five minutes, increasing to 10, and so on. Between intervals, you can spend about two to three minutes with your child, reassuring him by talking to him and possibly patting him on the back. Don’t pick him up or rock him. Doesn’t work for us per the four mistakes I listed in the beginning of my post
- AAP’s View: Make sure your child falls asleep alone — without you, a pacifier, or a bottle. If he won’t stay asleep, try letting him cry for progressively longer intervals of time, starting at five minutes, increasing to 10, and so on. Between intervals, you can spend about two to three minutes with your child, reassuring him by talking to him and possibly patting him on the back. Don’t pick him up or rock him. Essentially a summary of one and two and why both don’t work for us.
- Brazelton’s View: Break into your child’s sleep rhythm by waking him up before your bedtime. Love and cuddle him, feed him if necessary, and put him down again, reassuring him that you’re there. Be firm, and make sure you’re following all your familiar bedtime rituals. If My child is asleep, there is no way in hell I’m waking him for fear that he will never go back down.
- Sear’s View: Be flexible. Don’t let your child cry it out; instead, try to find the source of his wakefulness (such as a dirty diaper, hunger, upset routines during the day, a stuffy nose, or even irritating pajamas). Increase his daytime attachment to you and let Dad play the role of nighttime co-comforter so both parents can help their child fall back to sleep. If your child has been a consistent sleeper but is going through a big development spurt, expect him to wake up more often at night. When this happens, try to get him back to sleep without taking him out of his crib. Instead, pat his back, talk to him soothingly, and sing. You can also consider taking him into your own bed. This is essentially what we are doing…minus looking for the source of the wakefulness outside of what I would consider pure hysterics. But the result is yes, he is in bed with us.