Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby's Bad Sleeping Habits

Wiggle Bean will be have her first birthday this weekend and for some reason (first time mom naivety I guess) I was under the impression that by the time we hit this milestone she would be sleeping through the night.

I dream of consistently sleeping through the night but that is the only dreaming I get to do since she is still getting up at least twice during the night.  It gets exponentially worse when she is sick or teething.  During these times we are up more than we are down or else I end up sleeping with her to "comfort" her.

I do not mean to sleep with her all night but I am so tired that I fall asleep either on the bed in her room or the couch while feeding her.  This usually happens after the 3rd or 4th time up in the night and I just can not keep getting up every hour to feed/comfort her.

We were doing pretty good for a while and I got her down to getting up once or twice, for a late night snack but then she got a cold and started teething and it was all down hill from there.  For the past two to three weeks I have been sleeping with her since it was the only way I could get her to stay asleep for longer than an hour or two at a time.

I do not sleep soundly while holding her because I am afraid that she will roll out of my grasp, fall off the bed/couch, or I will squish her.  The light sleep is however better than getting up every hour to feed her (she does not eat much each hour, so I assume it is a comfort thing) or not sleeping at all like last night.

She is over her cold and her tooth is in so I thought things would get better and I would be able to sleep in my own bed.  Wrong again!

Sunday night was not too bad, we had our big 8oz bedtime bottle, I rocked her to sleep and put her in her bed about 8:30.  She woke at 12:30 for a "snack" and I got her back in bed within 15 minutes.  She woke up again at 2:30 for another snack.  My milk production is really low now so I fixed her a 4oz bottle and she went back to sleep not waking again until almost 6:30.  This was great since she had been getting up at 5:00 with me and then it takes me forever to fix breakfast and lunch for hubby and myself because she wanted to be held.

Monday evening comes around and I am looking forward to another night where I get to sleep more than one hours at a time and in my own bed.  Guess Wiggle Bean had different plans.  She was super tired and cranky so I fixed her bedtime bottle a little early and she went to bed at 8:00.  I made it to bed around 10:30 and she woke up at 11:30 for a snack.  I fed her and put her back in bed about 11:45.  Around 1:15 she woke up again so I went and fixed her a 4 1/2 oz bottle.  She guzzled that like she hadn't eaten in days (she actually ate better for dinner than she had in weeks).  I got her back to a restless sleep and put her in bed around 1:45 but she was not satisfied and was whimpering again by 2:00.   She was wide awake by this time and though it should be play time.  I tried everything, I snuggled on the bed with her, we curled up together on the couch, I rocked her in our chair, and I tried nursing her but she was having none of it.  About 2:45 I fixed her another 5oz bottle of which she drank 4oz but she was still not going to lay down and sleep.

Finally at 3:10, I decided to try tough love and put her in her crib awake.  I clicked off the monitor so as to not wake up hubby and put her in her bed, she was not happy about that.  She screamed and cried bloody murder.  I closed her door and struggled to stay out of her room and let her "cry it out".  I sat on the floor outside her room quietly crying to myself and feeling like the worst mom in the world for letting her cry for so long.  I made it about 15 minutes before I decided that this was not working and I am not cut out for "tough love".  I went in and she immediately wanted me to pick her up but I held my ground (I call it not quite so tough love) and made her stay in her crib but I rubbed her back and head.  I tried to comfort her by telling her that it was OK, and I was here but that she had to stay in her bed (like she understood me, how do you reason with a 1 year old?).  I sat on the floor near her crib, reaching a hand through the slats to rest on her back for 20 minutes until she finally went to a restless sleep.

I crawled back in bed around 4:00 only to have my alarm go off just after 5:00 so that I could get ready for work.  She must have wore her self out with all the crying because she did not wake up when I got up and stayed in bed until a little before 6:30.

I am sure it is my fault, I must have done something wrong.  They (whoever THEY are, sometimes I want to strangle THEY) say that I should not feed her during the night or it will form a habit and she will forever wake up to eat at night.  I just do not see how if she is hungry I should not feed her.  That just seems mean.  I read about a "trick" where instead of milk you give her water and then she eventually realize that water is not food and not wake up for food in the night.  I tried that, it didn't work for us, she would just throw a fit until I gave her milk. 

According to the article 5 Baby Bedtime Mistakes to Avoid from Parents.com, I am guilty of 3 out of 5 of the No No's.  I always jump out of bed as soon as I hear her peep in the might.  It started as me getting up to quiet her so as to not wake hubby up since I was on maternity leave but it never changed even thought I have returned to work.  Mistake #2, Wiggle is well over the 12lbs that the article suggests stopping night feedings.  #3, I ALWAYS rock her to sleep.  It seemed to soother her and it was great bonding time for us.  Another mistake that I apparently make is not putting her in bed awake.

Now I have to break her of all the bad bedtime habits that I created for her.  I guess I will start with sleeping in her own bed and not getting up to snuggle with mommy.  Then I will tackle the getting up 3-4 times in the night for food.  I am sure it is just a pipe dream to want to sleep a full night so if I could get her down to only getting up once I would be a happy camper.

Some day I hope to be able to get a full nights sleep again but at this rate she will be a teenager before that happens and then the worrying will only get worse because then she will be a teenager! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Tonight I will  begin our new sleep training.  I will be sure to keep you posted on our progress. 


Momma Lyngheim said...

I remember those nights all to well, and now I have started over again with my third!! We were the same way with the same "mistakes". I agree that "They" should be strangled.

You are not a bad parent, don't think that!! I know the feeling of helplessness when you try and let them cry it out, my oldest was the worst, probably becuase I was a new mom and he was feeling my anxiety as well.

I had not heard of the no night time feedins once they reached a certain weight, I have always been under the impression that if they are hungry, feed them!

It takes quite a few nights to get them "trained" but it will be worth it in the end.

Keep up the great work, you are an amazing mother!!

And happy early first birthday Wiggle Bean!!

marvelousjes@ said...

I think opinions are like fingers, most people have not only one handful, but two! Especially parenting magazines.. but they do not love your child! My little boy is 9 1/2 months, and we have been cosleeping since we got him home. He has never been squished or fallen, although once he started crawling we put our mattress on the floor and put a crib mattress in the corner next to it. Yes he still wakes once or twice a night, but it's much better than the scene that you are dealing with. Most grown-ups don't like to sleep alone, so I really don't understand why it's expected of babies.

marvelousjes@ said...

there is a time for sleep training, when they can understand and respond to rewards etc. Just like potty training.

Mom said...

I too am dealing with this issue (amanicmid.blogspot.com). It is really tough because it's the mommies who have to deal with the crying and gulity feelings rather than the daddies. My Dh states he hates her crying but it is me who puts her to bed, and he can tune out the crying a lot better than I. Don't beat your self up it will get better and the book healthy sleep habbits healthly baby will help as well.

Anonymous said...

My Little One is 18 months and we have recently dealt with a few of these. I have not done any night feedings since like 10-11 months, so we never had that problem. However, I always rocked her to sleep with her night night bottle. At 16-17 months we started to put her to bed awake and it only took 4 days of "cry it out" and now she goes to bed with no fuss at all.

We also had to let her cry it out at 3am a few times also because I would not pick her up. Some of those lasted 45 min. And 3 am is the worst, I get up at 4:30 for work so by the time she stops crying my alarm is going off...ugh!

Kim....Erie, PA

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Ah, sleep. A big issue for many parents. My first boy didn't sleep through the night until he was about 18 months old, and even then he still woke up at night a few times a week. We did the water-only at night too -- my husband got up with him instead of me so our boy would know he wasn't going to get to nurse. That really helped. Later, we tried the holding-hands-through-the-crib thing too, and that morphed into just sitting in his room with him until he fell asleep, and that became just sitting for a little while and leaving before he fell asleep. You'll eventually find something that works. Good luck! My baby now at six months, I think he just wakes up at night out of habit. I'm not ready to try any sleep training with him yet, but we started off putting him in his bed while he was still awake, so he is used to it, thank goodness!


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