Saturday, March 31, 2012

Update - The Truth about Sleep (Or, I'm STILL $&%*#-ing Exhausted!)

It’s been two months since I last wrote about the sleep issues we were having and since we hired a sleep consultant.  I’m ecstatic to report that Baby O is now sleeping 12 hours straight without waking up or fussing and is napping 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.  He’s a textbook case. 

And if you believe that, I’ve got a nice piece of swamp land in Florida to sell you too…

I think this post might be even harder to write than the first one was.  As you read in that post, admitting that we had sleep issues and talking about it was difficult.  But now after hiring someone to help, paying good money, and working very, very hard on sleep, admitting that O still isn’t sleeping well makes me feel like even more of a failure.

We have had some success.  There have been nights where O has slept 11 or 12 hours without waking and nights where he’d have a really good stretch of 7 or 8 hours.  The biggest success is that he is sleeping in his crib all night, and I can put him down awake and he falls asleep on his own.  Whether he wakes up in the night or not, this is a triumph.  Nap training proved to be EXTREMELY difficult.  I can’t stress that enough.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it didn’t work very well.  After three weeks, we abandoned nap “training” and just let the naps fall where they may.  They have gotten better but there isn’t a whole lot of consistency.  Again though, the biggest triumph is that O will nap in his crib instead of in my arms or the stroller. 

About three weeks into the sleep training O started teething like a mad man.  When this baby gets a tooth they come fast and furious.  He got 3 teeth in 10 days (for a total of six teeth before he was 7 months old) and all the sleep training went out the window.  Right after those teeth broke through, he got his first cold which lasted 10 days.  There was no chance that sleep training would work again, so I waited a little while to try re-training.  It went pretty well the second time around (and I did it without the support of a consultant) and we had some success with a handful of nights with no waking.  
This week, O celebrated his 8 month birthday and he seems to have reverted back to all his old ways of not sleeping and I’m feeling exhausted, bitchy and very stressed out again.  He is having a very hard time falling asleep for naps and at bed time, is waking three or four times a night and is having very short naps again.  

I need to RELAX I guess.  Easier said than done when the above-mentioned money and time and effort have been spent and desperation for a good night’s sleep is still looming. I am trying to accept the fact that this sweet, adorable baby of mine is just not meant to sleep through the night.  I am  also trying to take comfort in the knowledge that other moms with babies of similar age are going through this too.  Some had babies that slept through the night early on and are now not sleeping, some are going through the same challenges that I am.  I have not heard of ANY babies that actually have the textbook naps of two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon.  Where do the books and “experts’ get the idea that babies will do this?? 

I suppose that what we are going through is normal, but it is still difficult.  I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass and that one day O will be a 16-year-old teenager like his big brother B who could sleep all day if we let him and that these sleep issues will be a distant memory.

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Jen, I don't know if my experience counts for much but I tried only giving Mike water when he awoke at night. Afterawhile he slept through. I guess it wasn't worth waking up for just water.
    Do you think maybe some meditation might help you to at least get some relaxation to make up for lost sleep? Just brainstorming kiddo.