Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sleep is a Crap Shoot

Last night I got 4 hours of sleep collectively. in increments of 1 hour and 3 hours.
As I was awake waiting to see if DD would actually go to sleep this time I wrote and composed this whole blog post in my head. I should have gotten up and written it for real but I decided getting some sleep was more important.
So forgive the brokeness of this post as I am super tired.

Sweetness is nearly 2. Her birthday is approaching in 3 short days. If you had told me when I was pregnant that I would get so little sleep these last 2 years I'd have laughed. I planned to aggressively use CIO and sleep train my baby. (after she was the prescribed 6 months old of course.)
Hubby and I tried "extinction" CIO when she was about that age. It was horrible. We both where in tears with her and finally after the second night said we would do things differently.
So we instead used a method where you go in at 5 minute intervals and calm your child down and check for a real problem. It worked well and soon dd could put herself to sleep with no issues for naps and night time and slept great for naps.
However she still woke up pretty much every 2-3 hours from the time she was around 6 months old to a year.

At right around a year we traveled out of state for a month for husbands job. We'd done short trips before and I knew she'd take about 3 days to adjust to the new time zone and place. At about a week and a half in she was sleeping fine and napping great. Ignoring the loud noises of our hotel neighbors.
Then we switched hotels. She wouldn't sleep from that point on. We drove around in the car one night for 3 hours and she slept for about 30-ish minutes of that drive and wouldn't go back to sleep.
I got up and rocked her,sang, bounced her, nothing worked except my breasts.
So In order to get some sleep, I nursed her back to sleep. Over, and over and over again. every single night. She was waking up literally 15+ times a night. We co-slept on the pull out extra bed for most of the night just her and I.
And she refused to nap during the day at all despite having had 2 naps a day.
Needless to say I was exhausted.

When we got home I resolved to night wean her to solve the multiple night wake ups. We did what I called "sleep bootcamp" where anytime she was tired I put her down for a nap regardless of time of day.  This worked fine. But night was still hard. She wouldn't go to sleep for hubby anymore so I had to be with her when she woke up and all she wanted was mama's milk. We temporarily night weaned, then when her canines cut we nursed again.
Finally in January of this year I managed to night wean her while hubby was out of town for a week. I was sure at this point with her 18 months old that she would start sleeping all night.

I was wrong. See sleep and nursing don't mean anything. Sleep is a milestone. Just like rolling, crawling, lifting their head up, eating solids, sitting up, and talking(to name a few). And for children this happens at different times and ages. Some babies are born sleeping 6 hours straight. Some like sweetness sleep in 45 minute increments till they are several months old.
I knew this. I'd read it many times since Sweetness was small. But It was made abundantly clear recently.

See DD is now 7 months past night weaning. She still is waking up multiple times at night. We don't nurse to sleep. She goes to sleep awake. Her room is dark. She has no lights except her cloud b turtle which shuts off after 45 minutes. I've tried chamomile tea, lavender oil, chest rub, white noise, she's on a schedule, and meds and homemopathics for teeth. Sometimes thy help sometimes not.

As I woke up for the 4th time last night I finally gave in and gave her tylenol and she slept. Her previous meds hadn't technically worn off according to the label, but for Sweetness these things take the edge off and wear off fast. I have yet to find a homeopathic strong enough for the two year molars.

Some nights she sleeps without meds. Sometimes she has to have them. Sometimes not. Sometimes she sleeps for 5 or 6 hours, wakes one time and goes back to sleep with 10 minutes of snuggles in the rocker. some times  I am up for hours.
I try to be strong in this. Try to remain patient, try not to be short tempered, yet still firm that it's bedtime. I wish to be able to just enjoy the snuggles, the singing, the quiet moments of just her and me. That would be noble and wonderful. I am human though. A fallen sinful creature. And as such most nights I just want to go to sleep.

I'm assured by many that one day she will sleep and so will I. Or she will move out. One of the two. ;)