Tuesday, September 17, 2013

sleepless nights.

i haven't been sleeping well at all lately. partially this is because i have to get up to go to the bathroom at least once, if not multiple times, during the night (thank you, pregnancy). i'm also already struggling to get comfortable at night, tossing and turning for what seems like hours.

on top of my own issues sleeping, bennett has been waking up during the night on and off for 8+ weeks (basically since we moved into our new house). i'd say at least 4 nights per week he's been up crying between 4 and 5am. the most difficult issue is that bennett is nearly impossible to soothe. he's always been fairly independent- never really a snuggler, never really liked being rocked, rarely has fallen asleep in our arms since he was around 3 months old. this is a major blessing in some ways- that he can fall alseep on his own without any help from us.

out like a light
however, when he wakes up crying, there's pretty much nothing we can do to help him. he doesn't want to be rocked, doesn't want to be held, doesn't want his back rubbed. nada.

therefore, we are left with two options: give him milk (which we've determined is more about calming than about actually being hungry) or let him cry. neither really seems like a good option. we don't want him to get used to getting milk at 4am when he cries because it seems that would just perpetuate the pattern. this has been going on for longer than the 1-2 weeks that would typically constitute a growth spurt and since he's 14 months old, he should be able to go all night without eating. we give him milk and a snack (usually yogurt) before bed each night. plus, on the couple of early mornings that we've finally given up on him going back to sleep, he's gotten up and been happy as a clam without us feeding him. if he were truly hungry, he wouldn't settle down instantly when getting out of his crib.

the other option, letting him cry it out (CIO), worked great for us when sleep training around 6 months. however, it doesn't seem to be working in this case. it's not meant to be something that you have to continually do night after night, but rather a short-term means to an end. listening to my 14 month old cry for as much as an hour and a half 4 nights a week isn't something i'm willing to do [anymore]. if it were just a couple of rough nights followed by consistent all night sleeping, sign me up. but that hasn't happened. we've had full nights of sleep here and there, but many nights joe and i wind up awoken around 4:30am looking at each other asking, "what should we do?"

so it seems we're in a lose-lose. we don't want him to cry night after night, but we don't want to give him milk each night for fear of creating an even bigger monster down the road. we've done both, and neither has seemed to be a true fix for the problem.

naturally, we've been racking our brains trying to figure out what it is that's causing him to wake up. ear infection? teething? hot? cold? missing nuk or binky? it's anyone's guess. for a while i was sure it was just adjusting to a new room and new house, but it's been 2 months now so i have a hard time believing he's not adjusted to his room by now. we moved his bedtime back from 7:15 to 8pm, but that hasn't helped. he's usually only taking one 1.5-2 hour nap during the day, so i don't think too much sleep is the issue. maybe he's overtired? several nights (though not each night he's woken up), he's soaked through his nighttime diaper. that's what the issue was this morning- his jammies and sheet were wet. so remedying that is going to be our next plan of action.

i've read a lot online and it seems that the consensus is that huggies nighttime diapers are far superior to pampers. also, many suggest going up a size in nighttime diapers from what your child normally wears during the day. apparently i'm an idiot because it seems this is common knowledge to every mom everywhere. anyone want some pampers nighttime diapers in a size 4? we're going to try huggies nighttime diapers in a size 5 and see if that will keep him from leaking through at night.

also, i realized this morning, when telling a few coworkers about our struggles, that we had music (disney lullabies) playing in bennett's room all night from the time he was about 3 months old up until we moved. we didn't set the ipod dock up in his new room, assuming he didn't need the music anymore. but that's about when the sleep issues started. so, we're going to put the music back in his room tonight to see if that helps soothe him back to sleep [if and] when he wakes up.

my last thought is to bring him in to see his pediatrician. that way we can rule out an ear infection or something else organic that could be causing this. i haven't noticed that he's teething, but i guess that's always a possibility. plus, maybe she'll have some insight or ideas we haven't thought of. i'll try anything...

any suggestions? i'm interviewing night nurses as we speak. i wish...

it's a good thing he's so darn cute!

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