Once again, my baby is proving to me that sleeping through the night is a myth. Some families may get lucky, but by and large, if your kid sleeps through the night, you’d better enjoy it while you can, because it’s not going to last. And “whatever you do, don’t, under any circumstances…” TALK ABOUT IT!
On Monday night, Christian climbed into bed and said, “Hey, Nicholas hasn’t been up at night in a while, has he?”
I pinched my lips shut and said, “Umm…I’m not answering that.”
But the damage was done. That night it was three wakings. I patted him briefly the first two and ignored him the third, and he whimpered and fussed softly until he went back to sleep.
And then there was last night. At 1:20 a.m. he woke up shrieking. I got him out of bed, because he’d fallen on his head earlier in the evening and I was a little freaked out. So he got a pass that time, and snuggled back to sleep on Mommy’s chest.
At 2:40a.m. he was up again. And this time, he was up to stay. I patted him, but that had no effect, and Julianna began waking up. So I took him into our closet, where we have a blanket spread on the floor for this very purpose, and went back to bed to wait until his outrage spent itself. (This sounds terrible, but our closet is HUGE, and I always make sure there’s light in there.) Trouble is, in the last week, he’s really started army crawling with a purpose. So next thing I knew, his voice was getting louder as he scooted his way toward the open door of the bathroom.
Christian changed his diaper, took him downstairs and fed him some yogurt, then tried to rock him to sleep. No luck.
Christian put him in the guest bedroom in the basement so his crying wouldn’t wake the other two kids, and I took over. Shortly, Nicholas’s voice began fading, and I realized he was crawling into the guest room closet. Now, that closet is a catch-all storage space, and particularly in this season of boxes coming in and out, the stacking job is precarious. So I went to rescue him, and we snuggled up together on the spare bed until he went to sleep. Then I took him back to his crib…and off he went again.
By now I was aware that there had been far too much intervention. So I put him in the closet again, and Christian and I laid awake listening to him pull himself around the room, until finally, he subsided into intermittent gripes, and then, sleep.
That was shortly before 5 a.m.
So much for getting up at 5:30 to write.
It seems clear that some other solution is necessary. We can’t just close the door and ignore him, because Julianna is in that bedroom, too. But moving Nicholas doesn’t seem to be working—especially since he is no longer a stationary baby. So tonight, we are going to bring the sleeping bag into our room, and when Nicholas gets up, we’ll bring Julianna in to sleep. Nicholas will just have to stay in his crib, and learn to deal with it, the same as his big brother and big sister did.
Perhaps I’m fudging by posting this for WFMW, since we haven’t tried it yet…but so be it. Will this work for me? Stay tuned for the next episode of….PARENTING MYTHBUSTERS…
I love the co-sleeping method. When they were real little and needed to be nursed now and then at night, they were right there and I could “put them on” and we’d both drift back to sleep comfortably. (I was never tired in the morning.) When they got older we’d start them in their crib, then when they woke up the first time, my husband would bring them to me and we’d nurse peacefully back to sleep. As they got older they slowly but surely would just sleep all night long in their own crib. I wrote more about all that here: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/03/parenting-babies.html
Hope that helps!
Why don’t you just move his crib into the guest bedroom? Get a baby monitor if you’re worried about him being so far away and then his squalling won’t wake up the others.
That’s why we are keeping the baby in the basement. Firstly so he/she will be close to us, but also because baby will be away from the noise of our older ones and vice versa.
I have a confession to make. I am exaggerating the severity of Nicholas’s sleep problems. 🙂 True, he is a TERRIBLE napper, and true, he has had some bad nights, but he really did sleep through the night for ten days or so in between bad spells this time.
We coslept with Alex, and I agree–I was the best-rested first time mother you ever met. But Julianna couldn’t nurse in her sleep–nursing Julianna was all about latching, relatching, and relatching again, until we had battled ten minutes of relatching. I was lucky if she nursed three seconds without letting go (that sounds like an exaggeration but isn’t; nursing her required great dedication and determination), so we got out of the habit, and I discovered that I liked having a place to retreat to that was “adults only.”
We did bring Nicholas into bed for quite a while, but he’s just at that age now (8 1/2 months) where I want him to start learning to put himself back to sleep. If it was just a “wait it out” thing, I would be less interventionist about it, but the experience of my first two teaches me that this is a “come & go” kind of phenomenon that is likely to continue for months to come unless we teach him to go back to sleep on his own.
All my kids have been inconsistent night sleepers. They start sleeping through the night, then they quit, then they do it again for a while–just enough to play havoc with the milk supply. Which is why, at some point, I say, Enough. Whether you wake up or not, the cafeteria is closed. I know, that’s not very ecological breastfeeding of me, but the last several times I nursed Nicholas in the night, he didn’t go back to sleep anyway. He wakes up because something is wrong. Last time it was an ear infection. This time I have no idea. With Julianna it was teething–she would start waking up every night three or four times, and a few days later pop! there would be a tooth. I wish that was what was going on with Nicholas but he is still determinedly toothless.
Anyway, Kelley B.–there’s no room for the crib in the guest bedroom, and besides I don’t want to traipse TWO floors to get to him! LOL And we want the kids to learn to share rooms. I’m just confused about how parents have dealt with this issue through the ages of room sharing…
Last night we brought Julianna in, and Nicholas, left to himself in his crib, only cried for about 5 minutes. So far, so good. And now that I’ve written another entire post… Time to go get showered!
Isn’t it crazy how we have to constantly keep figuring things out all the time? It’s a challenge every day. And what works for one perfectly may never work for another. Heck what works one NIGHT may not work the next. That must be why God made babies so dang cute. 🙂