Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sleepless Nights

So... I hate to complain about lack of sleep. It comes with the territory of having a new baby. Nights of sound sleep and sleeping in late are a thing of the past (at least for a long while!)- that's a given. But today, I think I need to use this space to vent for a moment. Last night was a rough one. Sometimes we have good nights and I wake up in such a good mood feeling refreshed. Others, like last night, feel like a constant time of wakefulness and when Meredith wakes up for the day it feels near impossible to drag myself out of bed.

Last night, I put Meredith to bed around 7:15. She was very tired, but as soon as I laid her down she started fussing. She didn't fall asleep for another half hour or so. Then, as is her habit, she woke up about an hour later and fussed some more. She was asleep by 9:15. I went to bed around 10. She woke up at 11. Hoping to hold her off from a feeding, I just went in a gave her back the pacifier. After a couple times giving back the paci, it worked, thank goodness. As I was waiting to be sure she was back to sleep I laid down on the couch in her room and proceeded to fall fast asleep until 12:30 or so when she woke up to eat. I fed her and was finally back in my room by 1:15.

Cut to 3:00 when she was crying again. Too soon for her to eat again! She usually just does every 4 hours. I tried for 30 minutes to get her to go back to sleep and finally gave in and fed her at 3:30. I feed her laying down on the couch. This is so nice because I can rest my eyes while she eats. Last night, again, I fell asleep. This doesn't usually happen. So, it wasn't until 5:30 that I realized I was still on the couch with her in my arms. I put her back in her crib, crawled back into my warm bed for a whopping 30 seconds before she was crying again.

This time I asked Chris to go give her the paci. I was so cold and tired. He went in and instead of being soothed she started freaking out. At this point, it felt like I hadn't gotten any good sleep so I just asked him to bring her in, thinking she'd go right to sleep. Of course not! She fussed for about 30 minutes before falling asleep. I guess she slept for a while then- until about 7:30. At that point, though, between being up and down so many times and being sore from sleeping strangely on the couch, it didn't feel restful for me. 7:30 was painful this morning. Fortunately, she's taking a nap now.

I just don't understand all her night wakefulness. I'm trying to make sure she's getting enough sleep in the day and going to bed early enough to avoid overstimulation and overtiredness. I've tried swaddling, unswaddling and various sleeping positions. Nothing seems to do the trick. She seems big enough and old enough to be sleeping for longer stretches. Even on a good night the longest she goes lately is 5 hours (from 8 or 9pm to midnight or 1am). If you have advice, please share!

And, just to make myself feel better, I do have to end this post saying that I know motherhood is such a blessing and a dream come true. I don't want to complain, but today I was just feeling it!


Nat said...

How old is she? Sleep is disturbed by some key factors them being!
Physical development - rolling - crawling - cruising - walking.
Teething plays havoc with some children, they have a strong desire to feed or suck constantly.
Emotional development - separation anxiety kinda happens from 6 months old onwards, under that babies have a sense of being abandoned, so cry to call for help!

I'm not much help really I co-sleep/slept with all mine (I have three) this makes life a little easier. BUT it's not for E/O you have to do what works for you as a family. Maybe have her crib in your room, talk to her so she can hear you. Pat her off to sleep.

White noise is a-mazing you can buy white noise machines but personally buy a CD & stick it on repeat.

Once you start to eliminate factors such as teething, crawling then you can start to understand the sleep issues.
Thing is with babies you work it out, sort it out & then it all changes again!

Anyway hopefully you work out what's happening with her soon!

jana said...

awwww claire!! i'm so there with you!! COMPLAIN AWAY!! i hate to complain too because the little things are SUCH blessings, but for all the amazing perks and wonders of motherhood, it is the most draining, demanding, beautiful job ever!!

i am kind of in the same boat with keats right now, so i'm trying to relearn all of my old habits again (funny how quickly you forget!!) but some of the things we have done that work are: (1) if you are nursing, keep in mind that you produce the most milk between 11pm-5am (they have no idea why but la leche believes it is due to a surge in hormones at that time of day) so although she might go 4 hours during the day without eating, she may not make it that long at night as they are wired to consume more volume at that point. this never really helped with me getting more sleep, but for some reason REALLY helped my sanity when they just seemed to want to eat every 30 minutes some nights!!, (2) i was told by our pediatrician (and this was GOLD for all the kids) to put them down drowsy but not asleep and to comfort them from outside of the crib without picking them up whenever possible (not just for night time sleeping) to help them develope self-soothing skills, (3) sticking to a very strict routine just before bed and each time you are putting them back down at night. with arie, i had a strict routine i did when i put her down, but then when she woke back up, i would just nurse her or give her a binky or walk her around or whatever but with idina i had a "wake-up-routine" that i did each time she woke up (same song i sang either as i nursed or walked or whatever) and that was a good signal for her that although she was awake, it was time to sleep, and (4)LASTLY we co-slept. i know it's NOT for everyone and there are some strong opinions out there about but for us it was always the best solution, with the girls we started putting them in their own crib at about 6 weeks for at least 2-3 hours a night just to begin to transition them but we can't do that with keats yet because idina is still in the crib. but i will just lay on my side and nurse while i works for us!! but again that's not for everyone!!

i was also thinking, she is right at the perfect age for teething!! and if that's the case (it would be one of the front two on the top or bottom right now so you could tell by running your fingers on the gums and seeing if you felt any hard bumps under it) there's obviously orajel, but what works wonders (it's what they give baby boy's when they circumcise them) is sugar water on the pacifier (since she takes one already it is WONDERFUL-it got us through arie's teething sooo much easier than idina's because idina isn't a huge fan of the pacifier). there are recipes online for how much sugar you put per water, etc. or you could just call your pediatrician and ask for their recipe but it's pretty simple and makes a WORLD of difference!! i hope she gives you some good rest today and sleeps well tonight!! i always tell my kids "it's a good thing you're so cute" and meredith definitely has that going for her, the little heart-breaker!!

you sound like a wonderful, thoughtful mama!! meredith is blessed!!!! :)

Em {orange + barrel} said...

I am not a mom so I really have no clue about babies, but my friends baby wouldn't sleep through the night and she was allergic to the milk. My friend read the book Happiest Baby on the Block and it helped with her sleeping but I think they have to be a little older. Again, I really don't know anything!

Good luck. I love her name so much. It's classic.

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