Monday, October 25, 2010

giving up*

I feel like giving up and I haven't even really started. I liked being able to tell people that Blake was sleeping through the night most nights when he was about four and a half months old. He still woke up sometimes, but I could usually get him to go back to sleep. I don't know where that baby went. Blake slept through the night 2 nights last week. Every other night he was SCREAMING at 2 am and wouldn't go back to sleep until he had a bottle. I tried to let him cry a little, but this was not just his usual "I woke up and am going to fuss" type of crying. He was literally screaming like someone was trying to kill him. Do babies have bad dreams? Every night? Maybe he dreamed that every time he tried to drink from his bottle someone took it away from him. I guess that would make me scream too (except replace bottle with brownies). This morning I noticed he has some nasal congestion. He was really congested and slightly feverish when his bottom teeth came in so I'm hoping he's getting more teeth. I need an explanation as to why he's not sleeping. I can deal with the situation better if I have an explanation.

Due to the recent middle of the night awakenings going on at our house, I've been researching different methods for helping babies sleep through the night. That's where the giving up before I've started part comes in. I think it's made me feel a little anxious, like I should have been sleep training him 3 months ago and every night that he wakes up is just creating a pattern that will be harder to break. I really don't want to sleep train Blake. I just wanted him to naturally grow into a pattern of sleeping until at least 6 am. Not sure that's going to happen. I also am conflicted as to which method will work best for us. I'm not sure how one "expert" can claim never letting your baby cry and still being able to get them to sleep through the night is a successful method and another "expert" can say that letting them cry for increasingly longer periods of time will be the right way to teach them how to sleep. (And in all honesty, I can let him cry and fuss for a little while as he learns how to go back to sleep on his own. But recently it's not just crying, like I said, it's screaming.) So I'm just praying 2 little teeth pop out of his upper gums so he can get back to his little ol' sleeping self.

Any advice (what worked for you, what didn't work for you) would be helpful.

*I was going to write this post one morning at 2 am when I was up with Blake. It's probably better that I didn't. It would have probably contained my getaway plans and all forsaking of motherhood. It's been a rough week. Let's hope this week is better.


Two Normal Moms said...

Oh man. I actually still remember those times, even though mine is a teenager now. Maybe he is getting more teeth. Or maybe he's going through a growth spurt and really is waking up hungry, hence the bottle. Maybe it's just a stage that will stop as quickly as it began. What I can tell you is take it one day at a time, don't put too much pressure on yourself to train him to do what the books say (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't), and know that someday you will look back on it and the time period where you felt like a walking zombie will seem like such a short snapshot in life. I know it doesn't help the circles under your eyes now. Hang in there!

Whitney said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I think that's what I needed to hear!

Lindsay said...

That's rough, but it's normal. He could be having a hard time because he's teething, or having a growth spurt, or it could even just be that he got a little lost finding his way back to his routine after you trip home. Even though we didn't go anywhere and our days were fairly normal while my mom was visiting, Caleb got "off" at nights, and had a really (REALLY) hard time settling down. He's a screamer, too, and he doesn't give up. Ever. So I can't just let him cry it out -- at least not to a point. Anyway, he's doing better now and in hindsight I can see that it was probably the combination of two new teeth, a visit from Grandma, AND a developing cold that made him have such a hard time. Don't stress about letting Blake develop bad habits. He can, of course, develop them, but it takes a little more than some rough nights for them to stick. Cuddling and rocking him (as opposed to rigidly sleep training him) won't hurt anything in the long run, and you might as well get all the snuggling in now while he'll still let you do it. :) He's so young -- at this point there are no bad habits he can fall into that you can't fix fairly easily. And don't stress about the sleep training either. Babies really do fall into their own sleep pattern. You can guide them a little, but they really do just figure it out on their own for the most part. I've never been a "by the book" kind of mother. Every time I've read up on what the "experts" have to say, I get frustrated. That isn't to say they don't have good ideas I'm willing to implement, but I usually take a little here and a little there to fit what is best for both my and my kids. I just find it better to be educated, but let my gut do the rest of the work. Anyway, this is way long, but hang in there. You're doing great, you really are. Long, wakeful nights are for the dogs, but they won't last forever.

Chelsea said...

I bet she's right - teeth or growth spurt. The cold mist humidifier helped Kyler with the congestion thing - but I don't know if you need that out east! Also, he could be coming down with an ear infection, which makes it really painful to lay down. Kyler has done the same thing, where a few days in a row he would scream bloody murder - but it's all good now. It really doesn't usually last long - if he's been sleeping well before I wouldn't stress it too much. Nap when he does. I know it's hard to do, but I do it whenever I get the chance!!!

Losing Brownies said...

I hate it when The Boy wakes up like that. It's horrible and EVERY morning at like 4 am. We give him a bottle and he goes back down for a bit. When he does the little fussy noises Gadget Guy can go in and rub is back a bit and then massage his scalp and it puts him right out, which is so like his dad.

Whitney said...

Thanks guys! It helps to know that this is probably normal and that I'm not scarring my child for life.

Chelsea, I was wondering if he does have an ear infection because sometimes before we even get him all the way in the crib he's crying and pulls on his ear like he's in pain. I'll have to keep an eye on it.

Emily said...

I agree with Lindsay and I think it's probably b/c of your trip home. Travel always throws Elizabeth off schedule. I was looking at an old blog post of ours trying to remember when she did the wake up in the middle of the night and scream for no reason-thing. And she did it at five months and I had to let her cry it out. But that doesn't work for every baby so don't stress about not doing what the "experts" say. But I am a fan of sticking with a set nap schedule. It worked for me, anyway. Good luck!

Claudia said...

Hey Whit!
Stop reading the books, often written by a man who will never have a baby!! Wait till you read the one about potty training at nine months in one all-day session!!! Guess who really got "trained" - yep, the mom!! And remember, call your mother-she's pretty smart. Babies like to change things up just when you think you have them on a schedule...especially a SLEEPING schedule! If he's actually screaming, then something is hurting, and the ears are a good place to start. An earache is pure misery, and usually worse when lying down. See-told you I was smart. :)
Sure love you!

Whitney said...

Hahah I know you're smart, Mom. You did this with 4 children, so you know your stuff. Love you!