March 1, 2013

Sleeping Through the Night? What's That?*

Every once in a while, I get jealous of all the parents who brag about their kids sleeping through the night so early on. There are some parents out there who boast about the six-weeker who is already sleeping in 8-hour stretches, or how Parenting Style X is the secret to all your sleep woes. Despite all that, it never fails -- I shake my head, roll my eyes as far back into my head and think to myself "just wait. It's not going to last forever."

We've all been there. We've all had those days where we were up six times the night before and the mere THOUGHT of somebody bragging on their kid's awesome sleep habits is enough to make you want to punch them in the throat. DON'T DENY IT.

I truly am no different. My kid did awesome for the first four months of his life. He in no way came close to sleeping through the night, but we could get through a long stretch with one early wakeup. Then four months hit, and it was all downhill from there.

We have yet to recover.

I blame this on teething. When Lucas was five months old, he sprouted his first tooth. It was every two to three weeks after that for quite some time. By Christmas (nine months old) he was the proud owner of EIGHT pearly whites. While not completely uncommon, he definitely was above the curve in that aspect. At six months he started crawling. Seven months he started pulling himself up. Nine months, full blown walking. The kid grew & he grew fast. I would imagine major milestones & constant teething without a real break will keep a kid from sleeping.

In January I thought it had finally happened. For two weeks, he mostly slept through the night. To bed at 7:30 every night and up around 5:30 or 6. But the two weak teaser was just that, a tease. Now we wait for that first molar to make it's way down & it seems to be taking it's sweet time, as I hear molars often do. At least, I'm assuming it's a molar. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out WHY we are having a sleep pattern like this.

But it is what is it. Yeah, it sucks. And I have a permanent IV drip of coffee into my veins (god I wish!) but it's just that ... it is what it is. Personally, I have never understood the rush to get a baby to sleep through the night. That is completely my opinion. But I read all the books. I have done the research. I watched the webinars. I asked questions to the sleep experts. On paper, I have done everything that you are supposed to do. And here I am, shouting from the rooftops that at eleven months old, my kid STILL wakes up at least once a night. Often in an inconsolable, standing up in the crib manner. Not just a manner that would allow him to sooth himself back to sleep. One that always requires mom to get in there and get him back to sleep.

I have never been a fan of Crying It Out. Personally. Mostly because I'm a sucker, and seeing my kid cry for more than a couple of minutes was never my thing. Plus, bedtime is not our problem. He knows what to do, and while he may fuss for a couple of minutes, he's fast asleep within five. I KNOW he can sleep through the night because he has done it, and the thought HAS crossed my mind to just let him cry at night and put himself back to sleep (this has also been suggested to me by other) but I just can't bring myself to do it. He's will usually eat at least a couple of ounces, never a full bottle anymore, so I know he's not waking up because he's hungry. I know it's just routine. However, we also both work so being up for an hour in the middle of the night while Lucas figures it out and cries himself back to sleep isn't ideal, either. Ten minutes out of bed to feed/rock/get back to sleep is much better in my book.

I am sure that I could obsess over it, spend more time doing research on it, try everything that another book says, or ask for more advice from other moms. But that's just less time with the kiddo or the husband. I am just keeping the faith that SOMEDAY, my kid will sleep through the night. I am truly hoping this is not a life time of sleep problems for him!

When did your kid start sleeping through the night? Any other late bloomers out there like mine?


Anonymous said...

Ant didn't consistently sleep through the night until he was 2 after I night weaned him. I felt like it was faster to go in nurse him for 5mins and then back to bed for both of us. I got a lot of flack for having a almost 2 year old who was still nursing at night. Now he is 3 and sleeps like a champ but night weaning was a nightmare but worth it.

Megan said...

Love this post. I hate, hate CIO and it makes me so sad to think of those sweet babies. :( They're only this little for so long. Why rush it?

Heather said...

Love your post. We co sleep so I just roll over, feed him and go back to sleep. At least once. He is 8 months now.

Stevie said...

You know where I'm at with this, mama. My nearly three year old is still in bed with me almost every night. Should I do something to stop it? Probably. And when it gets to an untenable level, I will. But they're also only young once. Is she going to be crawling into bed with me at 13? Nope. Do I cherish having her come into bed with me while we then fall back to sleep, forehead to forehead? Every time it happens.

I think you have to do what's right for you. If it's not working, you'll figure out ways to change it. At least, that's how I look at it. But it does get tough, I will admit. Hugs to you and I hope a consistency comes soon...because that's the hardest part. The fact it goes all over the place! Oy. These little people keep us on our toes.

Sunny said...

Didn't sleep through the night until 13 months old and still goes through spells where he is up several times. Usually teething or a cold. I could never let him cio. He is a great napper and goes down easily. So I figure if he wakes up he must need something if he is still crying after a few minutes. Do what you think you and your child needs, only you really know, and those momma instincts are better than any book.