Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Old News, New Teeth, Still No Sleep

I haven't mentioned Kellen's new teeth, which is actually kind of old news now. (When this picture is full screen you can see one tooth quite clearly.) I think he got his first one 3 weeks ago (or maybe it was 2). Anyhow, Kellen's sleeping had gotten progressively worse, and I started blaming it on teething. I was so tired, that I started letting him sleep with us all the time and just nursing him back to sleep. I started noticing that he wasn't nursing that much in the day anymore and I was ALWAYS feeling tired. When the teeth came, things did not get better as I had hoped. Actually I think they got even worse. I started reading books on helping baby sleep.

So this past Friday night, I reached my breaking point. It was 3am and he was rolling around restlessly and waking every 5 minutes. How had it gotten so bad? Where had my pre-baby ideas of having a routine and even letting him "cry it out" gone? He was banished to his crib. I walked to his crib to comfort him every few minutes. At times, he would fall asleep but wake in 5 minutes again. It was 6am before I got to sleep. Ouch.

In just 2 nights, things got amazingly better. He sleeps very good in his crib. He goes to sleep quite well. I'm using several different ideas, which seemed reasonable to me, from books I've read. Thinking back to what a good sleeper he was for the first 3-4 months of his life, I wonder where it all went wrong. He used to get up just once in the night, but I was eventually getting up about 5 times with him! I wished I had some knowledge and a more specific plan on encouraging healthy sleep before the trouble started, I really think I could have avoided it all. And if anyone is an advocate for co-sleeping, I'm not saying it can't work, but it sure wasn't working for me (or Kellen).

Anyhow, my question(s) to those who care...what did you do to help your babies sleep better? OR how are you planning to manage the sleep issue/encourage healthy sleep in your babies?


jenn with two n's said...

Good questions Janet! I hope someone out there has some answers for you...then I can learn from your knowledge!

Kristi said...

Hi Janet,
Routine is the best thing to have babies sleep well at night. For Connor we did the sames things every night, in the same order. Babies are very comforted by that. Also we had a lullaby tape we played for him sometimes and that put him to sleep. Connor is now 4 and a half and we still do routine. When he has a sitter he can now tell them everything to do in order. We are going to try it with our new arrival in January. Hope this helps. Oh one more thing bathing them before bed and reading a story and then singing works well too. Let me know how it goes. Our family blog is crook-family.blogspot.com

Love Kristi Crook

J'nea said...

I would just call Jane Marean! She has tons of advice on getting baby to sleep. She will aslo tell you all the good books to read!
I am glad he is sleepign a little better now though.

Janet said...

Yeah, we do "the routine" before bed and he actually goes to sleep well. It's the waking around midnight and then often from that point on...

sheena said...

Hey, Janet. I found your blog. (I'm a reluctant blogger. Ha.)The sleep thing is huge. I remember, with all three girls, times of perfect sleeping routine, but then the dreaded waking in the night. I don't know that you could have prevented the poor sleeping stage. If you had, maybe there would have been some other stage he'd have gone through in its place.

Angela said...

this too shall pass. That's my advice! ha, ha. Ivan actually gets riled up once he's had his bath. I do remember times of walking with him, driving him in the car (not an option for Dominique- too expensive) or of lying on the floor with him in his room while he played at 4am. My one reassurance was that another friend with baby the same age had an all night play time too (only she had to go to work the next day). So basically, go with the flow, you're doing great and keep asking the man upstairs (no not Ian, the Big man with all the answers 'cause He knows exactly how He created your precious and unique midnight squealer.

Eric said...

Some good comments here. Mr. Mom echos the idea that routine is good, and also that even the routine fluxuae a little. With our oldest we got into the habit of bringing him into bed and then night time got more difficult. Breaking him of that habit and helping him learn to sleep on his own was tough. He went to sleep with a bottle (which I know you're not supposed to do but ...).

The second had a different routine (and a brother to copy). I did story time with the boys and then put them to bed. They loved the story time, the younger boy would dance to the Robert Munch stories. Oh yeah, he loved his blankie and slept easily with it. The Blankie seems like the best thing in the world to me ... but then some day it has to go.

Anonymous said...

Good morning dear,
Perhaps it is no consolation, but I am still trying to learn how to balance looking after my own needs and looking after those whom I love.
Your baby's father had my days and nights turned upside down by the time he was 6 months old, and I got scolded by the baby doctor! (Of course, with my love-hate relationship about such things as routine and sleep I didn't mind so much.)
My advice (HA) Get your sleep!I have always said that after we go nuts we are no good to anybody!
I also believe that your little son is growing up in a world full of love and fun. He will not break when he is surrounded by such good gifts from God, to Whom, by the way, I give thanks for the honest growing person who my son's wife and my grandson's mother!
So there Janet - dinna worry!
love, mary

Carolyn said...

Hey Janet! It has been a LONG time since I have seen you! I didn't even know you married Ian if that tells you anything! I found your blog off of Leah's. So - I have 2 sons (3 yrs. and almost 2) and another baby on the way. My advice is tough but it does work if you can hack it (but it sounds like you are!).....let him "cry it out". When he wakes at midnight and on and on - just check on him, pat his back for a second and leave. Check again and reassure him in 15-20 minutes if he is still going. He'll cry and break your heart but he'll learn to fall back asleep. And once the habit forms everyone's life is sooo much better - and he will be better off to have good sleeping habits.

He is a cutie!

I am in Mexico City - we're doing mission work and have been here about 3 years. Good to find you on the web.

Take care,
Carolyn (Wiebe) Brednich

Anonymous said...

hey there...great discussion. I think that paisly has been quite easy with the sleep thing but I also thinks its because of routine and sticking to your guns with no other option but sleep. I never looked into her eyes or talked to her (at night of course) and matthew and I would give only small pats to comfort her. I could only let her cry for a few minutes and would pat her again but that is all. She is a pretty darn good sleeper and I didn't have to suffer too much with letting her cry. But we will see with this next one if she is just a completely peaceful natured child or maybe we've done a few things to get her that way! sarah