Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sleepy Head

We have been having some issues over here at my house. Some sleep issues. Now I know that several of you would say that I deserve it. After having months of restful nights when Miss A slept for at least ten hours in a row. But it's payback time. She has consistently been getting up at least once every night. What's worse it's usually at around 4:00 AM. Yuck. The worst part about that hour or the next three is that they are so close to morning. You have already been sleeping a long while, but not long enough. When you try to go back to sleep your body is confused and thinks that you've slept enough and it seems to take forever fall asleep again. If she must get up, any hour earlier than 4:00 AM is preferred.

On a few rare occasions she has decided that 4:00 AM is a totally acceptable time to get up. I strongly disagree. I am firm and insist that she, at the very least, must stay in her bed. She will chatter away to herself and play with her stuffed toys, aquarium and crib toy. Eventually she falls asleep again. I then have no idea how much sleep she actually got since I usually fall asleep despite still hearing the chatter coming from her room.

Some of you may be surprised to learn that I am still breastfeeding. Not a lot. Just first thing in the morning, before and after her nap (if I'm not working) and before bed. Oh yeah and IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT if she gets up. Since she went for months sleeping through the night, not nursing at all I know that she can do it. Therefore I can't say that hunger is the reason for her waking. We've even tried giving her a bottle in the evening to help 'fill her up' in case she's just not getting enough from me. (Breastfeeding so infrequently has definitely decreased my milk supply)

I know that her waking up could be due to any number of reasons. Growth spurt. Teething. Nightmares. Who knows what the reason is. I do feel lucky to have had it so good for so long. However that doesn't make it any easier to deal with now. In fact it may be harder because I've grown accustomed to getting more sleep.

Now here is the part where I ask the internet for advice. Or suggestions. First let me start by telling you that I don't jump out of bed and run to her room the moment I hear her cry out. So those of you in the cry it out camp can be assured that I wait to see if she'll just fall back to sleep. On the other hand sometimes I think I have unintentionally shot myself in the foot by letting her complain too long, in turn giving her too much time to fully wake up, making it harder to get her back to sleep. This usually happens when I am so tired that it takes me forever to drag myself out of bed. At those times I am having a groggy argument with myself – “Get up, she's crying. Don't bother, she'll go back to sleep. She's not going back to sleep, get up! I don't want to get up.” etc. Also, once when we tried the whole 'fill her up' with a bottle before bed she peed so much it leaked out of her diaper and onto her pajamas and I'm assuming that she woke up because she was wet. So what do you think? Is there anything else I can try? Or should I just suck it up?

And I will wrap up this gripey little post with the most hilarious picture I have ever taken of Miss A. This was taken last Friday morning. She usually gets up in her own good time except on Fridays and Saturdays when I work in the morning. On those days I often take my camera into her room in attempts to catch the rare sleeping picture. On this occasion she heard me coming in and started to get up. And then I captured this priceless photo of my sleepy headed baby. I have seen her father in the morning with the exact same impression on his face.


Jenn said...

Tee-hee! That is a perfect sleepy-head picture!

Unfortunately I don't have any fabulous advice for you as we are also struggling with night-time waking. Fun, fun.

Dawnyel said...

No advice from me. Sorry! If it came on suddenly...it should leave suddenly...right?
LOVE the pic tho!

ali said...

Claire decided to wake up at 3 am not so long ago, and we totally went through the same deliberations. we tried comforting her a couple of nights, then thought she was getting used to it, so we beared down and actually let her cry it out (we are the meanest i know) i think about an hour after of off and on wimpering (oh, and i should say that we determined her cry was an attention cry, not hunger or pain, etc, so we're not THE meanest) she finally went back to sleep. then I said "we win" and -knock on wood- she hasn't done it since. I'm not saying thats the answer, thats just an experience.

Lynanne said...

*LOVE* the photo!!! How about cereal instead of a bottle before bed to avoid waking up to pee/full bladder? Otherwise you are doing everything I do. That doesn't help I know - my daughter still wakes up. Lately my husband has had to get up to repeat the bedtime routine (pacifier, blanket and stuffed toy). Usually E. goes back to sleep. If not, he turns the light on, changes her diaper and puts her back to bed. This goes against everything I've been taught (don't stimulate the baby).

Hopefully she'll get back to her old routine soon. Keep us updated on anything you find that works. I'll be checking back to read comments. :)

bon said...

GAHGHK! Stupid blogger does NOT want me to comment to this post! First I got smenita all day yesterday, and today blogger just outright eats my comment. A comment that basically just says.... no help from ME!

Rachelle said...

No advice, but Cam went through a phase like that. He woke up between 5 and 5:30 for months. Finally, in just the past month, he's going to almost 7. good luck!

Allie said...

My son never slept through the night until he was 15 months old.

I tried the cry it out, I tried the gentle pat on the back and the bottle thing. Nothing seemed to work so when I got to the point of accepting that this was going to be our life routine; he started sleeping through the night.

I swear they do it on purpose .... just to test you out. :)

Love the picture! It is absolutely hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I can understand your frustration as my boy is 2 and still gets up at least once a night. For a little while after he was weaned he slept all night but now gets up and it is unusual for him to sleep all night. Sometimes we have to look on the bright side(WHAT?)And now that he is nearly toilet trained, when he does wake in the night it is usually because he has to pee. Better than waking up because youre wet and then strugling to train your children for night time potty visits. I don't have any real helpful info for you except that book The no cry sleep solutions for toddlers was helpful to me....and SuperNanny helped me with Claire.She started sleeping all night when Zack came along. I guess either we didn't have as much time for her or she had to learn to sleep sounder with her brother waking every 3 hours. Maybe it was because her daddy was on duty and he responds differently than mom.

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