Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So, So Tired

If you Google "sleeping baby images" thousands of images of sleeping babies come up.  None of which are our child.  At 10 and a half months, Nathan still does not sleep through the night, nor does he make up for it with naps.

When he was born he was only 5 lbs, 7oz.  When we left the hospital he was only 5 lbs.  The doctors, nurses and the lactation consultant said to wake him to eat every 3 hours - and this is where I think our problems began.  Yes, it was important that he eat, but I still wonder how long he would have slept if we hadn't been waking him up.

As he got older, our family doctor told me outright not to do any "sleep training" with him as he is still very thin and he probably wakes up to eat because he's hungry.  So we're fast approaching his first birthday (much too soon), and he's still skinny, but he's also tall, very active, and meeting his milestones too - but still not sleeping through the night.

A "typical" day for us lately is:

  • Nathan wakes up around 7 am (although the past few mornings he's woken up at 6)
  • We eat (he often refuses cereal and just wants a portion of a bottle - he's a morning grazer)
  • We play - he will watch Baby T.V. while I eat and read e-mail
  • He goes for a bath
  • And, usually, he will nap about 3 hours after he wakes up.  This gives me 30 minutes to get dressed, make the bed, clean the kitchen, and basically get ready for the rest of the day.  Yes, you read that right - 30 minutes.
  • After he gets up we'll either go and run some errands or just hang out until Hubby comes home for lunch.  I try to avoid running errands near "nap time" because I'd rather he sleep in his crib than in the car
  • The afternoon usually consists of another nap of approx. 30 minutes and, if we didn't go out in the morning, an outing (errands, walk, etc).
  • He's usually due for a nap around 5 pm but this is when he starts to fight it.  By 6:30 he's really pushing it but by now I don't want him to nap because it's close to bedtime.
  • By 7:30 - 8pm it is bedtime.  Either Hubby or I will take him up, give him a bottle and put him to bed.
And this is where it gets ugly.  Last night for example:
  • 7:30 pm - Nathan goes to bed
  • 9:30 pm - Nathan wakes up - I go in to rock him back to sleep
  • 10:30 pm - Nathan wakes up - I go in to rock him back to sleep.  As soon as I put him back in the crib, he wakes up.  Repeat the process 4 times.  
  • 11:30 pm - Nathan still awake and getting very upset.  Give in, make up a bottle - he sucks back 6 oz of formula like he's starved.  
  • 11:45 pm - Nathan dozing.  Continue to rock him in the chair for 15 minutes to make sure he's really asleep.
  • 12 (midnight) - put him back in crib.  Nathan wakes up.  Pick him up, rock him.  He proceeds to wake up each time I try to sit.
  • 12:30 am - Ensure that he is mostly asleep, bring him into bed with me.  Ensuring that at least I will get some sleep.
  • 5:30 am - Nathan starts to stir - Mom gets kicked repeatedly
  • 5:30 - 6 am - ignore baby in bed hoping he goes back to sleep
  • 6 am - give in.  Go back to Nathan's room.  Change diaper, make up another bottle.  Bottle gives Nathan sudden burst of energy.
  • 6:15 am - still in denial.  Hoping if I continue to rock that the motion will put him to sleep.  
  • 6:25 am - realize that I have no control.  Look at cat sleeping on my bed longingly as I walk by with the baby to start our day.
And this was a good night.  It's not uncommon for him to wake up at 1 am or 3 am to eat and "play" for a couple of hours.  To recap:  yesterday he napped for a total of 1 hour, 20 minutes, then slept off and on for maybe 7 hours last night.  So in the past 24 hour period, my child has slept through roughly 9 hours of it.  This can't be normal!  Right now I'm blaming teething, but nothing that I seem to do to help him, has helped me.

My only saving grace is that he's a very happy child.  Thank goodness for that!


Alex said...

Oh wow! This sounds exhausting - no wonder why you're tired! And what will you do when you return to work? Have you talked with the doc about sleep training him now? Hopefully you get the clearance to do something, as I can't imagine continuing this kind of schedule. Obviously I don't have any real-world experience, but I just finished reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth, and your schedule does not sound very good according to this book... It's a very good read - I highly recommend it!

And I hope YOU can get some sleep sometime!!!

Crazy Cowans said...

My twins were/are on the smaller side -not at birth but later - anyway they would both get up 3-4 times Each a night and at 13 months their Dr said (in a nice way) I was crazy to still be getting up with them that much I said but they are small she said as long as they are still on Their growing curve she isn't worried. That they were both growing well and that after 6-7 months that babies don't need to eat at night it's habit. So IF he is growing and it sounds like he is he is just skinny give the sleep training a shot. I like you feel the waking every 3 hours as new born set up for bad sleep later.
Took my twins 3 nights before they didn't scream first night was bad 2 1/2 hours of crying , second night only 20 mins third about 5 after that they just got it. And still do well unless bed time is off or we are gone. Now they go to bed at 6 or 6:30 and get up about 7 then nap from 10-12 and normally 30 min nap about 3:30 on the way to pick up my oldest from school.

Dee said...

Please google Dana Obleman Sleep sense program and buy it! It took us one night to get it right. Also your LO needs to get to bed between 6-7pm and you will see a huge difference, also NO rocking! He must learn to put himself to sleep.

Yuppy Mom said...

Thanks for your comments and e-mails. The reason that I don't let Nathan cry it out is because he's a climber. I don't like the idea of him climbing up in his crib in the middle of the night.
I suspect that his sleep patterns will improve when 1 - he's not cutting 4 teeth and 2 - when I have to go back to work and he is forced onto a schedule.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kimberley, I would say he's gotten into the habit of being rocked to sleep, so he can't resettle himself when he wakes and needs to relearn sleeping! I think under about 11 weeks it takes about 3 days to change a habit, once they're older it takes longer. With my eldest ds it did take about 3 days to see big improvements (he was under the 11wk mark). I had the book 'secrets of the baby whisperer' which gives you pointers on helping a baby resettle. It's a bit of a catch 22 because it takes time to reteach them to sleep, and I remember thinking I was too tired to do it but eventually I did! Anyway this book doesn't do CIO, it's basically you put the baby down to sleep (awake, after a routine such as book, cuddle, singing), when he cries, you pick him up, soothe him but to the point that he's just settled, then put him down again still awake. Repeat (which the author said for some babies she counted into the hundreds) until baby falls asleep himself in bed. I think counting gives you some measure of feeling like it's working. I think it was over 50 times when I first did it with my ds (picking up, putting back down when calm), but the very next time it went down to 30, then the next down to 12... I felt I could see big changes quickly but he was just under that 11wk mark too.

Anyway I personally loved the book and it became my baby bible. I hope you find something that works for you because you need more sleep than you're getting and him too!

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