Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sleeping Troubles

It's no secret that Elliot isn't the best sleeper. He typically wakes up every 1-3 hours all night long. It wasn't so bad, though, because although he woke up often, he would gobble down his bottle and then go right back to sleep. It was easy!
Did you notice that I said it WAS easy instead of it IS easy? Yeah. That's because lately, neither Elliot or I have been getting much sleep. I now dread the hours between 3-8am, because during that time, my sweet, cuddly baby turns into a sleep-deprived monster. He kicks, pulls my hair, and SCREAMS. And not "woe is me, mommy cuddle me" crying... we're talking "I'm mad and I'm going to make sure the whole house knows it" SCREAMING. He won't eat {you have NO idea how much formula we've been wasting lately}, and he can't get comfortable in any of our usual positions. I tried rocking him, patting his back, singing, cuddling... the works. Nothing worked.
Last night, after trying to soothe him for three hours straight, I'd had enough. I decided to use a piece of advice one of our NICU nurses gave me awhile ago: if, after trying your best to soothe/comfort him, he was still super upset, to simply put him down for a bit and let him work it out himself. I'm 100% anti-Ferber, but if he was going to cry either way, why not put him in his pack & play?
So I laid him in his pack & play with his favorite blanket and turned on his soothe & glow seahorse. His screams rose another decibel, so I quietly patted his back. And wouldn't you know it? After a few minutes, he STOPPED crying and fell asleep! Paranoid, I stared at him for probably fifteen minutes until I was sure he was sleeping. Then, I crawled back into my bed, which suddenly felt lonely and empty, cried for a few minutes, and fell asleep. To my surprise, when Elliot woke up two hours later, at 8:00, he wasn't traumatized or upset... he was happily babbling away to the elephants on the pack & play's toy bar.
I'm trying to psyche myself up to try letting him sleep in his pack & play again tonight. I really, REALLY love cosleeping. There is just nothing better than cuddling with my little man all night long. But... It doesn't seem to be doing either of us any good anymore. Originally, I didn't want to transition him out of my bed until my husband came home, when he was 6 or 7 months old. But I guess sometimes plans change. :( I'm sad because this could be the end of another great time in my relationship with Elliot. I already had to stop breastfeeding... and now maybe cosleeping too?! Oh man. I'm not ready!!

Lonely sleeper
Elliot sleeping peacefully in his pack & play


  1. We are going to have to try some sort of sleep training in the next week or so I just have to research what I want to try first.

  2. Just had the opportunity to browse your blog after several weeks and WOW - he looks sooo different! He totally looks like a little man! Glad to hear he's doing better :)

  3. Poor little guy & poor mommy. I hope tonight is a better night for both of you <3

    We are still having problems with D & R getting out of our bed. We have to put them to sleep in our bed and then carefully move them into their beds.. We co-slept with them for 2 years and I totally regret it. I just had some serious anxiety issues of them sleeping away from me.

  4. You know he might just be having a growth spurt. Alyson hit a major one around how old he was and was the SAME way for like a week. It was horrible, nothing worked!! That week went by and things were back to normal. Have you noticed if he is eating a lot more? Like more frequently or something? If so it might be a growth spurt. Another thing is he may be teething early, you never know, but I don't think its that if he eventually fell asleep.

    Also a trick we do with Alyson is put her in her car seat and drive her around the block, she instantly falls asleep if we indeed know she is tired and just won't go back to sleep. Oh and I've heard putting them in their car seat and sitting it on top of the dryer while its on tricks them to thinking they're in a car too. I'm not 100% on the 2nd option though haha.

    I hope tonight s better for you though!

    The Sweetest Life

  5. oh no, hun. :[ that does not sound fun, hopefully the next couple nights {and nights after those, get much better} but Laila use to do the same thing and it was because of a growth spurt.

    Cosleeping is wonderful and I am completely for it. We semi-stopped because it was affecting the way Laila was sleeping/napping. Now she goes to bed in her pack n play and when she wakes up in the middle of the night for a bottle, i bring her back into bed with me.. I can't help it, I just adore having her next to me.

    have your tried fans, running water, or car rides? those have worked wonderful for us.

  6. i'm sorry! gage was just like that. and it can really grate on your nerves. there were times when i just had to lay him in his bed and walk away just to get a few moments to clear my head. i hope it's just a phase and it gets better!

  7. Aw he looks like such a little man in that picture!
    I'm sorry that this is a hard transition for you :(
    I've had many of those in my daughter's 14 months with us. But each time I've found that there's something else to look forward to in our relationship. While I am sad with each passing milestone, it's not as sad as I thought it would be, and I find myself enjoying each stage even more than the last!

  8. Cute new header!

    Babies are all so different, so even if cosleeping doesn't work out with Elliot, maybe a future baby will love it!

    My second child fussed and woke up a lot when we tried cosleeping, so when he was 3 months old, I tried him in his crib in his own room to see what would happen, and he slept 12 hours! From then on, he slept in his own room and we were both much more rested.

    But I had two babies after him who were great cosleepers, they'd latch on and go right back to sleep or just snooze all night next to me.

    You never know!

  9. we made a similar experience with our daughter. she was sceaming on and on and there was nothing we could do. we tried everything! at one point we were so exhausted, we just put he in her crib and went into the bathroom. after 10 minutes she was lseeping peacefully. she was just as tired as we we were and needed some quiet and space to calm down and fall asleep :-) i hope, you and elliot will soon have good nights! Really like your blog!

  10. Hang in there!! Infant sleep is one of the most challenging elements of early parenthood in my opinion.

    If you love co-sleeping, don't give up!! He may have just been having an "off" night or perhaps going through a growth spurt or developmental leap.

    My daughter started sleeping through the night at around 13 weeks but she still has many difficult nights (and weeks!!). Their sleep patterns are always evolving/changing.

    Do you have a stability/yoga ball? It was (and still is sometimes) a god-send to us. I would sit on it and bounce and she would fall asleep in minutes.

  11. I have a little man who is a little older than Elliot. We never coslept exclusively, but we've gotten into the habit of bringing him into bed around 5:00 when wakes up, and he sleeps for anoter two hours. Maybe that's a good compromise? Put him in his own bed to go to sleep so he learns how to fall asleep on his own and then bring him into bed after one of the feedings. I agree, I cherish those two hours of sleeping together, and I know I'll miss it when it's gone!

  12. Just wanted to say that sometimes my daughter actually becomes OVER stimulated when I'm trying to soothe her at night. I was getting so sleep deprived that I was desperate for anything to work that would help her sleep in longer increments at night. I would rock her and sing to her. Try and feed her, use her pacifier. I would put her in her swing or lay her next to me in bed and pat her. She would either cry or be wide awake from just waking herself up more by crying or me engaging her. Sometimes I just have to leave her alone when I know she has a full belly and a dry diaper. I'll swaddle her and now shell eventually fall asleep on her own. I just have to leave her alone for a little bit and stop trying to do everything for her. She is doing better on sleep now. She is 5 weeks and used to wake up every 1 1/2-2 hours. Now I can get her to sleep around 3 hours between feedings. I hope things will continue to be better for you two!


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