Sleepless in West Springfield

I’m beginning to think that Caroline lives to disprove everything I say about her (example: the post I wrote about being past my guess date and then her arrival the next day). Only a few days after I posted about how her sleep has dramatically improved, she is back to being a difficult sleeper. It is so frustrating & I had hoped that my feeling of sleep-deprivation would have dissipated by 6 months. Audrey was SO easy, even when she teethed, so this is a special form of torture. Plus, I seriously feel like a new mom sometimes in that there are some facts & insight that I just cannot remember from when Audrey was little. I’m not sure we know how to function on no sleep, especially because now there are two of them to corral rather than just one so even when we finally get Caroline to relax & sleep, Audrey is still a maniac (I mean that affectionately).

In all honesty, though, I am not sure what to do to fix this. I can’t figure out if it’s a problem with her not knowing how to self-soothe or if something else is going on. She’s never been a consistently good sleeper so there is nothing to compare this to. It’s hard to pinpoint whether this is par for the course with her or if it’s something like teething. All I know is that we are going crazy! Her naps are just fine when she’s home on the weekends but her night-time sleep is awful. I had to soothe her back to sleep with an hour of nonstop swaying and singing yesterday evening after Audrey woke her up. Usually she is easier to put down but not last night. The last few days she’s also been up (like clockwork) between 1130-1145 pm (right when we are starting to get into our deep sleep) and 330-345 am. I could deal with these wake-ups if it didn’t then take us another hour or two after each of them to get her to go back to sleep. Is it teething? Is she getting old enough to need something more substantial than just breastmilk? Does she need a hard lesson in how to self soothe? Who knows. With Audrey I used the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” and I need to bring that back into our lives but I’m pretty sure it’s awaiting a transition from the old house to the new house because it wasn’t with the rest of my baby reference books (I took it off the bookshelf to consult right before the move weekend). We have always had a lovey for her, but now we’re really working on making sure that her lovey is an “active” part of naptime & bedtime in hopes that it helps her self-soothe.

I really want to avoid CIO (cry-it-out) as long as possible because it doesn’t really mesh with how I want to deal with things but at the same time, oy, this is crazy. It’s to the point where I think letting her cry by herself in her crib for a little while is better than two high-strung, stressed out parents trying to calm her down…seems like a little bit of a conflict of interest there ;). I am usually so patient with her and I try to be so understanding of how strange it is to be an infant and to be bombarded with all sorts of new experiences but even I can’t maintain that patience on no sleep.

Anyway, does anyone have any thoughts? We decided to slowly start her on solids yesterday (she is almost 6 months) and when she is really inconsolable we’ve given her some Tylenol. I think we might try to give her more light in her room at night just in case that’s part of the problem too…but anything else? Please, someone come save us!

She was really cute, though, when she tried her bananas for the first time…



Filed under baby, Motherhood

7 responses to “Sleepless in West Springfield

  1. Kelly

    Hey, Liz!

    I showed your post to one of my friends who has two little girls and she suggested cutting out one of her daytime naps (not sure how many she’s taking). She had a similar experience with her youngest and that did the trick. She also suggested having a very strict bedtime routine (again, unsure if you already do this). And lastly, she suggested it may just be cyclical with breastfed babies 😦

    • Thanks! I feel like she is still on the too young side for cutting out a nap (she only takes two), especially because she doesn’t really nap at daycare but still has the same issues sleeping on weeknights. Bedtime routine is pretty stable…so frustrating. This age is always so hard because it could be so many different factors!

  2. I can’t remember how old Willa was, I think between 6-8 months, but we weren’t giving her enough time to self-soothe and she had to fuss a little bit to get settled. I didn’t want to do CIO either, but she really wasn’t, we (I b/c B was TDY) just had to be intune to which cry it was or if she was just getting settled. If it was one of those cries I just knew wasn’t “happy” I would go get her. We also used the homedics sound spa and adding solids helped a ton with naptime at daycare and at home. I always thought she was eating too much, but I guess it is what she needed. Good luck, no sleep is no beuno.

    • Thanks! The noise machine lesson is one we learned with Audrey so we started that from day 1…love those things. Hopefully the solids and minimal amount of CIO we let her do these days will do the trick! I really don’t mind waking up but would love her to go right back to sleep after eating, ha ha.

  3. Liz,
    It’s hard. My C is a little younger and was a great sleeper until the 4 month regression. Then, she would wake up multiple times and would want to roll over and play in her crib. She is slowly getting better. I think, for us at least, we need to give her more time to self soothe. I was always so cautious in the beginning because I didn’t want her crying to wake up her brother, but I realized that won’t happen.
    We use a sound machine and keep the nursery around 68-70 degrees. I know experts recommend it to be between 65-69. I have a night lite, but actually just changed it out because it was too bright.
    I am with you on the CIO thing. I just feel as though they are too little. I have started letting her fuss if she has woken up shortly after I already nursed her.
    My son didn’t start sttn until 6 months, so I am not overly concerned. I honestly think the majority of BF babies just don’t get there as early (you got lucky with A!) I will say, one wake up makes life so much more bearable than 2 and we are working on being there consistently again. I miss a full night of sleep…

  4. The Little Miss did something similar – great for 4months, then hell for months 4-6. What worked for her was a strict bedtime ritual starting at the same time every night, a nightlight, a lovey, and a fan (to drown out the noise of her brother getting ready for bed). She was also on solids by then to cut out the night time feedings – 2oz of veggies, and 1/4cup of baby rice cereal or oatmeal at dinner and then a bedtime nursing session.

    But do what you have to do. And what works best for you. She needs a healthy, happy Mommy too!

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