I never thought I would have a year-old baby who still isn’t sleeping through the night, but unless Dylan gets it all figured out in the next few weeks, that’s exactly the situation I’m in. It’s not ideal by any means, but as long as 1) he stays asleep from his bedtime until at least 11 or so, giving me those mission-critical few hours of downtime, and 2) he wakes up only once or twice and goes back down with a minimum of fuss, it’s doable. I GUESS.

It’s certainly not as bad as it used to be, what with the screaming and the screaming and oh yeah the scuh-reaming, but I do hate the inconsistency. I put him to bed at 7 and it’s anyone’s guess as to what happens next. He could sleep straight on through until 6 AM (very rare), sleep until 2 AM and wake up demanding a bottle (fairly common), wake up at 9-goddamned-thirty and refuse to go back to sleep until midnight then wake back up at 5 (not sure what this one was all about but it happened last night and suuuuucked).

During the Time of the Wee-hour Screamfests I’m not sure if we made a real, textbook attempt at crying it out or not. There were definitely some nights when there was a whole shitload of crying, but I was so addled by the whole thing I kept going in or not going in based on random data points like how clinically crazy I felt at any given moment, rather than the scheduled comfort visits as recommended in various sleep training methods. Sometimes he would cry no matter what I did, so what was there to do but put him back in his crib and pray his furious blattings eventually exhausted him while I lay in my own bed staring at the ceiling praying for death relief? I’ll tell you one thing, that kid had stamina. He could outcry any Ferber expert, and he could outcry any AP fan who dared to bring him into bed, where he would yell and kick and thrash his way around the mattress.

It was so awful for a while that I hardly dare complain about having to get up once or twice, but still: dude. It’s been almost twelve months. Riley slept like a champ starting at eight weeks, and I honestly just assumed that’s what babies did, unless, you know, you screwed things up somehow. Ha ha ha. Ha?

On the plus side, there is no feeling in the world like a baby nestling into your chest, making himself comfortable in order to fall asleep on your body — even if it’s at 3 in the morning. I know he won’t do this forever. Every day I hope he’ll stop, and then I think: wait.

In other news, do you mind if I take a moment to plug Bodies in Motivation? Because seriously, there is some very cool stuff over there, and I can say that because the majority of it isn’t written by me. There are awesomely inspirational success stories, calls for reader advice; a growing list of bloggers who are sharing the good, the bad, and the totally-relatable; and much more. If you’re not already visiting, I’d be honored if you stopped by. Any feedback is more than welcome!


74 Responses to “Wakeup calls”

  1. Angie on January 14th, 2009 9:23 am

    Have you read the Baby Whisperer books for infant and toddlers? They might help. Take them for what will work for your family situation. Each child is different, but they do help figure them out.

  2. Grace on January 14th, 2009 9:33 am

    Re Motivation: All the links go to one post about fitting in fitness (at least for me)to fitting in fitness. Maybe fix the links on the front page? (the site is ver nice)

  3. Alyson on January 14th, 2009 9:33 am

    Try feeding Dylan a bit of solid food right before bedtime……it always worked for me! of course, I was a totally spoiled mommy, my most torturous boy didn’t sleep through the night until he was ONE MONTH old. I know what you’re thinking……(I’m a bitch!) But honestly, that was one problem I didn’t really have. Now if you can think of a way to stop my youngest from being annoyingly precise all the time (it’s not 6:30, Mom, it’s 6:28)……..I would love a solution to that one. Screaming “who gives a shit what time it is!” has not been working.

  4. Lisa on January 14th, 2009 9:41 am

    Thank you thank you for admitting how wonderful it is to cuddle your little one to sleep. Mine is six months and, while I “know” that he should be putting himself to sleep, I am not in a real hurry to force it. Also I feel like letting him scream for hours (and he would, you betcha) is counterproductive since he doesn’t understand. It’s another thing entirely when you can tell a child and they understand but for the little ones? No thanks. I have read all sorts of suggestions about the night waking but, like you, am happy if it is just once and quick. Have you read Tracy Hogg’s book? Much gentler and kinder method

  5. wn on January 14th, 2009 10:15 am

    No advice on sleeping at all…we have a Riley at the moment (thank fuck)….BUT I LOVE LOVE LOVE Bodies in Motivation, I subscribed to it quite awhile ago. I particularly like hearing about workout routines and food tips. My little one is about 2 weeks younger than Dylan and I have really waited FAR too long to hop back on the train. BUT I am NOW…and it’s never too late. I am going to my first beginning boot camp this Friday morning…no more excuses.

    Thanks for putting BIM out there….I think there was a need for it.

  6. MichelleH on January 14th, 2009 11:17 am

    Aaaaaggh-I am right there. And I admit, I’ve had you in the back of my mind a lot lately-thinking Linda has been having this problem too, but her baby is almost a year old….mine is 4 months, so if I don’t figure this out I have a loooong way to go (or not–on the plus side, I might die of sleep deprivation first). He went from sleeping nicely for a week or so to being up all night STARVING (no nuzzling here, he is all business). I wish you luck that there is some sort of magical turnaround a la Riley and the pooping-maybe another hotel stay for you would solve this problem…??? Welp, I am off to go puree a turkey leg. SIGH….

  7. Lori on January 14th, 2009 12:19 pm

    Our first was a lousy sleeper – completely our fault. Our second is a sleeping champion and I was kind of hoping to take responsibility for that too. So please don’t tell me it’s possible that our next baby will be a lousy sleeper. I can’t do that again. CAN’T!!!

    I love Bodies in Motivation. I can relate to most of the stories and I appreciate getting new exercise ideas. Thanks Linda!

  8. Jen on January 14th, 2009 1:53 pm

    My son sounds EXACTLY like Dylan- only he’s almost 14 months old! WTF? What kind of child isn’t happy once they are safely in their parent’s bed? I mean, that’s what we have been trying (Ferber method worked for a WHILE) but lo and behold we are still having screamfests every night due to teething I HOPE! Ahh.

    Anyway, I can relate.

  9. kristylynne on January 14th, 2009 2:52 pm

    Yep, the sleep things blows. No advice, just sympathy.

    My kid did the same thing, did not sleep through until after he turned one. I think the key for us was feeding him more, so that he could sleep longer. But we still had to break that middle-of-the-night mommy craving. So hard.

  10. Karl on January 14th, 2009 3:44 pm

    One slept like a stone — still does. The other didn’t sleep for 9 months and we would have given her back if we could have found the receipt. She finally learned to not whine all night — notice I didn’t say sleep all night. Then, around 2 or 3 years old, she would quietly wander the house in the wee hours. Once we found her asleep in the morning with a half eaten baloney sandwich under her pillow. Our biggest fear was that she would try to cook…

    She is 22 now and still doesn’t sleep well at night. Her sister still needs 3 alarm clocks to get up for work. Gah.

  11. Jen on January 14th, 2009 5:12 pm

    While this is of no consolation to you, my now 8 year old DID NOT sleep!!! He is my second and like you, my first born slept through the night at an early age. Dylan looks like a big, healthy boy and was son was as well. EVENTUALLY, he did sleep though the night (I don’t remember when – blocked it out! HA!), but I honestly thought I would be giving him a ‘ba-ba’ till college!! LOL! My Ped was all “he doesn’t NEED it – but dammit, HE (Ped) wasn’t there when the howling started and WOULD. NOT. STOP. Couldn’t do the Ferber thing either – was torture for ME!
    Now, of course, I look back and think “where did my ‘baby’ go??” Silver lining? The boy could now sleep through a freight train plowing thought his bedroom and can rarely stay awake past 9pm (on weekends)! Bodies in Motion? LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Such great content that I am skipping other blogs to make more time for this one and Bodies! Thanks for your efforts! I don’t think I’m alone in saying they are appreciated and enjoyed! :)

  12. Barbara on January 14th, 2009 5:40 pm

    Re BIM site – um….each click gets the same “article”? Nothing to do with the header of what you’re clicking on. Just a heads up that something is screwed up….

  13. sundry on January 14th, 2009 5:49 pm

    Barbara: I can’t reproduce this problem, what links are you clicking? What browser are you using?

  14. Danyele on January 14th, 2009 9:20 pm

    If your inconsistent with babies, they will be inconsistent themselves. He needs sleep training. Teaching a child to fall asleep and put themselves back to sleep is one of the most important things we can do as parents. Humans have sleep-wake cycles while sleeping. He needs to know that when he wakes up there is no reason to keep screaming and crying for you, no reward. Let him scream and cry for a week or 2 and you will have a perfect sleeper on your hands. Your only teaching him when he screams and cries that you eventually give in and come to him to give him a bottle. Think about it.

  15. Barbara on January 15th, 2009 4:25 am

    Hi again – just saw your question about BIM. I clicked the link above, from your post. It goes right there – and the first article I wanted to read was about the Lululemon pants. It was “How To Fit in Fitness” by Angela. They all were. That article came up under any article header. I just went to the site from my Favorites, and yep, it does the same thing. No matter what I article I click on, it comes up “How To Fit in Fitness”. Very weird.

  16. Barbara on January 15th, 2009 4:29 am

    Oh – I use Internet Explorer.

  17. Mandy on January 15th, 2009 10:49 am

    Hahahaha. I’m not laughing at you, believe me, but I remember when you had Riley and how easy he slept for you. Riley is an anomaly in that department, as far as I’m concerned. My son is 4.5 and still wakes up once a night several nights a week. No bottle necessary, obviously, but he does like personal reassurance in the form of me stumbling out of bed and appearing at his bedside for a quick snuggle.

  18. wordygirl on January 15th, 2009 11:45 am

    Oh. My God. We are having the EXACT same issues with Gwen. We did sleep training in November and she took to it like a champ, only waking once in the night instead of 3-4 times. Since then, she’s learned to crawl and pull to standing and it seems that these skills have displaced the ability to fall asleep without an hour and a half of screaming beforehand. As you so wisely said, it suuuuuuuuucks.

  19. Amy on January 15th, 2009 1:46 pm

    I have this same problem with my 10-month-old. In fact we are just now starting to get him to go to sleep on his own. Before I had been nursing him to sleep around 7ish and then he’d wake up around 10:30 and I’d nurse him to sleep again and the same at 1:30 and again at 3:30 or 4 and then he gets up for good when I do around 6. I really miss sleep.

  20. Arnie on March 31st, 2010 1:14 pm
  21. Diesel on April 21st, 2010 11:47 pm
  22. Diesel on April 21st, 2010 11:47 pm
  23. Neo on April 29th, 2010 1:56 am
  24. Kir on October 21st, 2010 6:53 pm

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