Friday, December 11, 2009

Sleeping Habits

Henry is not sleeping well. I have no idea what has happened to him. He used to be exhausted at his bed time, which is around nine. I know lots of people do seven or seven thirty, but nine works for us. I don't get home from work until 6:15, and I just need more time with him than an hour. I just do. (defensive a little??) Anyway, for his entire life he has slept easily. We can lay him down and he happily goes to sleep. Sometimes, on the more difficult nights, he needed to be rocked to sleep. Something I actually never mind because he is so stinkin' sweet I could just eat him up. So sometimes I rocked him to sleep, sometimes he fell asleep on his own, but he ALWAYS went to sleep. Until recently.

Recently he has decided he is no longer interested in sleep. He fights it and fights it. When he finally passes out, he sleeps for a couple of hours, then wakes up WIDE AWAKE. This leads to me nursing him to get him back to sleep around midnight. He then wakes up several times in the night. Most of the time he doesn't wake all the way up, just enough to stir, kick around, grunt and moan, wake us up, then fall back asleep. Usually at least once he wakes ALL THE WAY UP. This commonly requires nursing, and sometimes bringing him back to bed with us so the entire family can get some sleep.

Now, as I post this, I know I am breaking all kind of parenting book rules. I know I should "sooth him" but not nurse him. I know I shouldn't actually get him out of the bed, but he is WIDE AWAKE. He doesn't even cry most of the time, he just yells. Like, "HEY YOU GUUUUUUYS??? DID YOU FORGET ABOUT MEEEE??? I LOVE YOU...AND I MISS YOU....AND I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEED YOU." Who can resist that?? I know I probably shouldn't take him back to bed with us, but lets be honest. Mama is tired. Mama has to work in the morning and these are the most effective answers.

When it started I thought it was a short term problem, but now it has lasted a few weeks. That kinda sounds like short term, but good lord it FEELS like long term. Usually when I get him up from bed in the night, he has a lot of I am thinking it is his digestive system that is waking him up. Could it be all the new food he is eating? I just don't know. What I do know is we are tired. All three of us. Do you all have any tips? Suggestions for how to get him back to sleeping peacefully all night?? Magic tricks that knock babies out from nine pm to seven thirty am without a peep? I need some help.


  1. Most babies need their bedtimes moved up an hour or more as they get older because they nap less during the day. He is probably over tired by nine. Unfortunately he will probably need to go to bed earlier. Check out a baby sleep book.

  2. You may have read this on my blog already, but I'm giong to repeat it here :)

    I had the same problem with Kasen. Champion sleeper from birth then all of a sudden he started waking up every two to three hours. I had a few people suggest "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley and within two days of implementing her suggestions, he was sleeping through the night again!

    What I learned was the following:

    1. Their day naps effect their night sleeping. I didn't have him on any type of nap schedule... just let him sleep when he seemed tired and wake up when he fussed. Turned out I was letting him get over tired and getting him up before he was really ready. Now my goal every day is 2 two-hour naps.

    2. He wasn't going to bed early enough. His bed time used to be 9 p.m. as well with me hoping he'd sleep until 8 or 9 a.m. That's just not how babies bodies work though - the earlier they go to bed the longer they sleep. (It's all explained in the book.)

    3. We had taught him to only be able to fall asleep while sucking.

    Not including the past few days because he had his 6-month vaccines which threw off his schedule completely, he generally would be awake for about two hours and nap for about two hours throughout the day - getting up around 8 a.m. and going to bed around 7 p.m.

    Henry should be getting about 11 hours of sleep each night... so if you have to get him up at say 7 a.m. (I'm just guessing here) then he would need to be in bed no later than 8 p.m. Also - make sure that he's getting good *long* naps during the day. I usually let Kasen lay in his crib for awhile when he wakes up from a nap - especially if he's been asleep for less than 2 hours. If he's truly ready to get up he'll lay in there and play until he gets bored and does the "helloooo! did you forget about me?" thing. If he's not ready, then he'll fall back to sleep.

    Anyway - read it! It saved my life!

  3. Carrie has some awesome tips! I wanted to add this too. Some parents are against this, but sometimes is it is time to let them cry it out. It is hard, but it worked for us. Just my opinion, for what it is worth!

  4. Hi! I have twins who are right around Henry's age, and they are doing the exact same thing.

    For us, we *think* it is teething. My daughter had a tooth pop through about two weeks ago, and she's better. Now, waiting on my son.

    Good luck!

  5. My son, who is a month younger than Henry, is going through the same thing. As the person above wrote, I too think it's teething. Teething affects babies differently, where some cry in agony, others just exhibit restlessness. Don't feel guilty for taking Henry back to bed with you--I do it all the time! I mean, someone in the house needs to sleep, right? Anyways, just remember, this is just a phase, and in about...say...18 years, or so, we can resume our normal sleeping habits! :)

  6. We are actually just getting past what you are going thru - our 6 month old Connor (born 5/19) started sleeping all night at 7 weeks and then at 4 months he decided to start waking up every night (2-4 times a night).

    Being a Mommy and thinking he might just be hungry I'd feed him and he'd go right back to sleep. But then he would do this like I said, many times in the middle of the night. I would try the whole "let him cry it out" but lordy lordy this kid has some good lungs - he will literally scream (not cry - scream) until he gets sick). So that is just no fun for any of us and not good on him. Finally our pediatrician told us to increase what he gets for his last bottle at night and to put him to bed an hour or so earlier. Sure enough, it worked! He sleeps so much better now. He sleeps from 7 PM until about 9 AM and sometimes will sleep until 11 AM.

    Hope this helps a little. Good luck - I know how hard it is. I have a 2 1/2 year old little girl, Alyson, and she started sleeping thru the night at 6 weeks and has never had any issues unless she's been sick.

    Keep us updated. Love reading your blog!

  7. Hi! I have a 6 months old and he was a great sleeper until around 4 months. He started crying and fussing like crazy at bedtime, which was around 9ish. I finally figured out that he was getting too tired and once we moved his bedtime up to around 7:30-8:00 things improved. On a side note, one thing we were told to watch for when giving him new food was disruptions in his sleep. Maybe Henry is eating something that is hurting his little tummy. Good luck! I know how precious sleep is!