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MOM-ents: To Sleep No More

Meghan finds herself measuring the quality of a late-night activity against the quality of sleep she could be having.

“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.” - Leo J. Burke

I LOVE sleeping.  Especially now that I have two children and sleep is a hot commodity in our house.  In fact, I don’t trust people that say that they only need four or five hours of sleep a night, unless they have a thyroid issue.

When an activity that we are doing goes past 9:00 (8:00) p.m., my mind is constantly running down the odds of how much sleep I will get that night and what the quality of that sleep will be.  Also, whatever we are doing needs to be way more rewarding than sleeping, and these days not many things are. 

That being said, the last week in our house has been tough.  Matthew has rarely slept through the night (to my knowledge.) When I was still nursing him at night this was not an issue because we were co-sleeping and I would barely wake up to feed him. It was just a matter of scooting him over and latching him on (too much information, I know.) So when people would inevitably ask if he was sleeping through the night I would always respond “I don’t know if he is, but I am!”

As we tried to move him into the crib we would rush when he cried so that he would not wake his sister up.  Little did we know that it would probably take a train running directly through our house to do that. She sleeps better than anyone in the house, probably because she has about 75% of a king-size bed to herself while hubby and I split the other 25%.

This last week Matthew has been awake from like 2:00 in the morning to roughly 3:30–and I mean WIDE-awake and mostly crying.  Any mother knows that the sounds of their baby’s cry can bring on a very primal instinct to get that crying to stop–it is the worst sound in the world.  So I tried everything: feeding him, trying to rock him, etc. while resisting the urge to jump out of our bedroom window.  One night I just said, “Fine, you want to be up?” and turned on the lights so that we could play with his toys.  I really showed him as he took two long naps the next day while I drank my weight in coffee trying to make it through work (that will teach him!)

So I am going to sacrifice the next few nights of sleep by figuring out how to get Matthew to go back to sleep on his own.  Any suggestions are welcome and I am looking forward to the Friday evening when I can enjoy a cocktail with my hubby without trying to balance a highball on my baby’s bottom as I hold him.  Cheers!

Lindsey Hale March 28, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Being spoiled with a baby that slept through the night since about 1 month old...we've had a few nights recently where she wanted to play at about 3am. Not so fun. Our daughter also takes up the majority of our bed so I will make it my mission to do the same with our next, to get them sleeping in their bed hopefully!
Kelly Bagdon March 28, 2011 at 04:50 PM
My son used to sleep through the night...well, at least for a while he did. Then all of a sudden for the past few weeks he waking up 2-3 times a night! In the past if he woke up I would just take him into our bed and lay down with him. That would do the trick and he'd be back to sleep in no time. Lately, not so much. He just cries and cries and I didn't know what to do to get him to stop! It was driving me insane!. The only thing that seems to work is to give him a bottle. I was reluctant to feed him in the middle of the night but after a few nights of hardly any sleep I was desperate and gave in. Hopefully this is just a phase and he will grow out of it! Otherwise I may need to buy a few more bottles of wine. ;o)
Peggy jernigan March 31, 2011 at 10:39 AM
It took me 6 kids to realize a baby needs to know how to relax themselves and go to sleep. The children before him were rocked,coddled,slep with and occasionally transferred to their own crib while I did an army crawl out of their room in case their head bobbed up and caught me. An hr or 2 later they were awake and between their dad and I. Eventually they were on their own but for some that was kindergarten. While waiting in the pediatricians office I found an article assuring me the baby will not be psychologically damaged if allowed to cry themselves to sleep.It said no baby >6mo needs food or drink in the middle of the night and should be sleeping 8+hrs/night. It suggested you pick a night to start this when you have ample catch up on your sleep time the next day. Go through your usual bedtime routine whatever that may be--bath,book,and or bottle. Kiss the child good night and remove all toys and blankets from the crib and close the door. DO NOT GO BACK IN FOR ANYTHING. If the child cries for an hr then you go in-the next time you try this they will cry an hr plus. The first night I tried this my son screamed for approx 45 min. The next morning was the first time in >9mo I woke up to sunshine in my window. He was still sleeping! The next night he cried about 1/2 hr and then slept through and the 3rd night I laid him down and he rolled over without giving off a whimper and promptly went to sleep. From that night on he slept 10-12 hrs until teen yrs and then he slept 16!

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