August 17, 2012

Sleep Woes*

I got cocky, everyone.

My baby is awesome. 

We have no sleep problems. 

He only wakes up once a night. 

He goes down wide awake and rarely fusses. 

Yeah. About that.

All the sleep training that we have done since Lucas was about 8 weeks old has pretty much been tossed out the window the past couple of weeks. Almost two weeks ago now (sheesh), Lucas decided that he wanted to roll over. YAY. This was awesome! He had been on the verge for a couple of weeks, and I finally decided to stop swaddling him because I KNEW it was going to happen soon. So one Friday night, I just stopped swaddling. We had done the one arm out thing for a while, but this time I went all in.

And wouldn't you know, that next morning, he rolled. Back to front. Just like a champ.

Waking up at 4am is fun. Or not.
But then the sleep issues started. At first it was rough. I mean, really rough. I think those first three nights, Lucas was up 3-5 times a night. This was going from ONCE a night. Lucas had been only waking up once a night since he was 8 weeks old. So to go from once a night to three, four, five times a night was a rude awakening (literally). There was one night where he was up every two hours, like clockwork. It was like having a newborn all over again. Except I didn't have the day after to lounge around my yoga pants, take naps and recover from the tough night, because, you know, work has to happen and I have to be a contributing member of society!

The problem, initially, was that Lucas would roll himself over and startle himself awake. Then he would get mad, need to be consoled, go back to sleep, and the whole process would start over again. He would sort of wake up, remember that he could roll, startle, scream. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I had so many friends who told me "My baby rolled then didn't do it again for a month or two." NOT MY KID. Damn overachiever. He was proud of his new trick, and wanted to show it off, much to the expense of my sleep.

After a frantic night where I had been trying to get him to go to sleep for well over an hour, I caved and asked the twitter universe for some frantic advice. The advice was simple: If he wants to be on his stomach, put him there, sooth him that way, and walk away.


I know that most of us grew up being put to sleep on our tummy's as babies, and we all turned out fine. The whole "back to sleep" movement is relatively new, but definitely important. We followed it and kept to our pediatrician's advice, so when it came time for him to want to sleep on his stomach, it was a hard pill to swallow. In fact, I am pretty I checked on him more times than I can count through out that night. Even when he was not awake, I was up, running into the nursery to check on him and make sure he was, you know, still breathing. Lucas has EXCELLENT head control, and has since he was still itty bitty (really. It was impressive!) so I really had no reason to worry. And slowly but surely, it got easier putting him to sleep on his stomach every night (well, put him on his back, but he immediately flips to his stomach).

Rock-A-Bye Baby
And, the sleeping has gotten better, but not anywhere near where it was. We are still up at least twice a night (which, I know ... is still not bad at four-ish months old! Again. We were lucky). Sometimes its as simple as giving him the pacifier and he will go right back to sleep. Other times it's not that simple. Naps during the day have also become difficult. Thirty minutes tend to be the norm, no matter how hard our sitter tries to get him down. I have taken to rocking him to sleep the past couple of nights (something we NEVER did before!) because I just don't have it in me right now to listen to him cry for an hour or more every night. I'm not quite ready to cry it out with him. I love that he's moving and that his tummy is where he wants to be, but I just wish he wouldn't get so frustrated about it.

And I have no answers to how to fix it other than to just deal with it. I am hopeful that the day will come when he can roll over tummy to back, and that fix's some of our problems. Until then, I'm trying my best to not make every night a struggle, but at the same time, if he wants to sleep on his stomach, he needs to figure out how to actually go to sleep there on his own while still awake.

How have you dealt with sleep woes with your baby?


Tsoniki Crazy Bull said...

Aw but he's so cute! He just wants to roll and smile!

JW slept on his stomach pretty much as soon as he could. He slept with me for ages so I was right there, paranoid and waking up to look at him. LOL He still sleeps on his stomach and he's totally fine, so maybe Lucas will just be a tummy sleeper. JW was/is pretty immediate too - I mean I'd lay him down and then he would flip right over.

Rhe Christine said...

My theory is he can roll himself the back sleeping thing is now a moot point. It's like insisting you sleep in one position forthw whole night? Like seriously? This why poor moms go insane! Some stupid movement shoving some one sentence theory out there without being reasonable or practical about it. How do you force a kid to stay on their back? And it's hard, eventually when they have to soothe themselves. If always takes a couple days but yoi'll be happy in the end. It really sucks with they lull you into complacency! Lol! You're an awesome mama! You'll figure it out