previous entry :: next entry

Under the tyrannical rule of a wakeful dictator

ADVISORY WARNING: Some people find the stories of other people's children's sleeping habits incredibly boring. If this is you, please don't read the rest of this post. Instead click here to listen to a hilarious interview with comedian Aziz Ansari on NPR's Fresh Air. Not got 20 minutes to kill? Then what are you doing reading blogs, anyway?

Anyway, as I was saying, Harvey has been sleeping poorly as of late. A few months ago, which in sleep deprivation time reads like several hundred million years, Harvey was doing great with an eight-hour stretch followed by two quick wake-ups two hours apart. Life was good.

But then Harvey started pushing his bedtime later and later, and his first wake-up earlier and earlier, and before we knew it we were up every two hours every night as if we had a two-month-old.

We put him to bet at seven and he's up at nine. Then eleven. Then at one, three, five... any hour that isn't divisible by two. Every time he wants milk, and every other time I make him endure a diaper change. To save any semblance of parental functionality in the household, Dan has been sleeping on the couch downstairs. He still wakes up when the baby cries, so the situation is far from ideal, but the alternative is worse. If Dan and I are both in the bed with divergent opinions about what to do with a screaming baby, then it quickly dissolves into fisticuffs.

Before you offer your suggestions, here's what we've tried. We nailed down our evening routine so that every night we feed him, bathe him, have quiet down-time and then nursing. After that, Dan rocks Harvey to sleep while he screams at the top of his lungs. Harvey that is, not Dan. Dan is patiently singing in the face of the harshest critic he has ever seen.

So Harvey's got a belly-full of food, he's clean and relaxed, and he's at the break-down point of tired. He finally falls asleep, but it still won't carry him through to the am. What gives? People have suggested tooth troubles, but he's not fussy during the day! Today grandma suggested that it might be constipation, because the only time in a month that he slept six hours straight was when he did so in a pile of his own feces. I say terrible coincidence, not causality. After all, it's not like he wakes up and poops a storm. In fact, he doesn't usually make number two at all until the afternoon. And he's a happy boy all morning. He should be - he gets to be awake!

So I open it up to your wisdom, internet. Any ideas on saving our marriage and getting the little guy to sleep? Other than the classic T&T concoction? Time and Tylenol? I'll hear your suggestions in the comments.


I was going to suggest time, not Tylenol. No need to drug a baby who doesn't need it. A lot of babies go through this and I don't have any great advice for you. My kids still wake up in the middle of the night. JR only occasionally, but Tristan always wakes up and comes into our room sometime in the middle of the night and then may wake up again between 5 and 7 and ask if it's time to get up. I know that's not what you want to hear, you probably just want to hear how to get your baby to sleep, but I don't have any suggestions for that. However, we did sleep pretty well even with them waking up all the time. The trick was we just let them sleep with us. Baby wakes up and I just roll over, let him nurse and we both fall back asleep. It only started bothering me a few months ago so I night weaned him, now I just have to sleep with a toddlers arms wrapped around my head and him breathing in my face. It's not perfect and I wake up with a sore back sometimes from sleeping in a funny position but I usually sleep fairly well and so does he.

At this point Theresa I'd be happy for 2 wake-up night. That would be like a 50% improvement!

And I admit, I do love having the baby in the bed with me. The problem is that it vexes Dan too much, the uber light sleeper. Hey, maybe I should give Dan the tylenol!!!

Leah, remember my kid who only wakes up twice a night is 3 years old now. I remember him doing the every two hour thing well past the age of one. It comes and goes, he was sleeping better before that.

Yeah, give Dan the tylenol. I thought he was sleeping on the couch anyway? My husband currently has to deal with being kicked in the face at night. Parenting is all about the sacrifices. Don't you love it?

I just talked to my mom and she recommended the Dr. Ferber book about sleep "disorders." I said, "I'm too tired to read. Give me the exec summary." She said, "Let em cry through it for three days straight and they'll learn to sleep, but you'll only be able to stand it if your at the absolute end of your rope."

I feel like it's all something out of GitMo, but I can't tell who's the prisoner!

I highly don't recommend Ferber. I think it's torture to a little baby who doesn't understand why he's being left all alone. That's just my opinion though.

I feel that way too T, but I'm glad you said it out loud before me. I was afraid I was being a woos.

So I've been thinking about this- 2 thoughts:
1. he still could be teething or have an earache and just the laying down causes the ear ache to hurt or he is just too busy during the day to notice his gums bothering him, sometimes the settling down reminds us all of our aches and pains. if you wanted to try something less all or nothing than tylenol I like these "all natural" teething tablets that they sell at whole foods or natural food stores and sometimes even regular old stores.

2. we have used a little bed gate thing that attaches under the mattress on one side and then creates a barrier on the other side, really its sold for kiddie beds but it stretches long enough to fit our queen, then baby is all safe next to mama and you might be able to nurse him quicker in the night and get him back to sleep. later you run into night time weaning, but if he's not sleeping now, it might be an intermediate fix. or maybe he jsut wants to play if he is in bed with you in which case he;'s fired. HA

despite have 3 kids who each had their own weird night time phases I don't think I have a lot of other helpful advice esp since you have a pretty good night time plan .

and I suppose this is third tid bit I love love love and anything the DR Sears family says. they tend to be loving and yet firm and they aren't into screaming babies alone in a room and all that. but they tend to offer gobs of good advice, they had 8 kids of their own and 2 of the sons are pediatricians now as well, so its a great source of info if you haven't already tried them.

sorry about the harvey man.

we pray for the blessing of sleep over your house!

comments closed for this entry

previous entry :: next entry