Sleep. Or the lack, thereof.

I’ve noticed that I’ve had quite a few Google hits on my blog from people searching for “controlled crying”.  There have also been an inordinate number of readers seeking Clark Griswold, but that’s a topic for another day, thrill-seekers!

Neighborhood lights - too classy for Clark!

Neighborhood lights – too classy for Clark!

Anyway, I realise it’s time for an update.  I’d hate y’all to be happily under the impression I’m now all bright eyed and bushy tailed each morning, dancing round the kitchen in my blue and white checked apron and flipping blueberry pancakes like some Stepford wife, so refreshed am I from my lovely night of 8 hours uninterrupted sleep!

It’s more a case of “Neeeeeed caffeine……..”, as I crawl across the kitchen floor towards the coffee percolator, at the particularly painful hour of 6 a.m.

So nope, I wouldn’t exactly call the exercise a roaring success.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that we definitely saw an improvement for a few weeks there.  And even now, Henry is waking once, maybe twice, a night.   That’s so much better than the every 1-2 hours we were enduring previously.   When he does wake at 2am, I nurse him for 10 minutes, and he goes straight back to sleep again – no rocking, pacing or singing required.  So that is an improvement too.

But, at 8 months of age, and weighing in at a whopping 21 lb,  my hungry Henry really ought to be able to last the night without a milky top-up.

So much adorable, well-fed, chub!

So much adorable, well-fed, chub!

Having given in to the cries once (OK, a hundred times) too often in the last few weeks, resorting to nursing or cuddling him to sleep, I have a horrible feeling that we may have to go back to the starting line, and just harden my heart once again.   I’m cross with myself for taking a backwards step like this – I wish I could have been stronger, and let him cry it out those times.  But…you never know, do you?  He could have been in pain with his teeth (still no sign, incidentally – where are they?!?), he could have been too hot, too cold, too exhausted from all the stair-climbing – it just seems cruel to let him cry it out when there is just so much that could be bothering him at this age.   There’s also the little problem of Henry now standing up every time he wakes.  It seems to be his automatic response to stirring – no matter what has disturbed him, he’s up on his knees and climbing the crib within seconds!  Argh!

Oh, and of course, there is this other little problem.

Evie.

What.  The.  Hell?

My sweet girl, light of my life, big sister extraordinaire, has also regressed beyond reason.  From reliably sleeping at least 12 hours each night in her lovely, cosy, Dora-themed bedroom, she is suddenly determined to snuggle up in “mummy’s bed” every night.  She makes her wishes known by screaming blue bloody murder until she gets her way, at whatever hour of the night she might stir – usually between 2 and 3 am, that particularly horrid time, where you are so deeply asleep that being so rudely awoken leaves you restless for the rest of the night.

But honestly, you’ve never heard anything like it – it’s like somebody has her in a vice grip, so agonised are her screams.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find the police at our door one day, investigating what particularly primitive methods of torture we are using on our poor, darling daughter.

Of course, being as exhausted as we already are from her not-so-little brother’s antics, the solution is always to give in, bring her to our cosy lair and spend the rest of the night precariously teetering on the edge of the mattress, as Evie lies starfish-fashion between us, snoring peacefully away and somehow monopolising a king-size bed.

Damn her tiny, restless self!

There has to be a solution to both of the Pepperlings’ nighttime shenanigans, but I’m afraid I’m just too tired to see it right now, so I shoot myself in the foot each night and resort to the path of least resistance – surrender!  Yes, it appears that my kids are, in fact, the boss of me.  Godammit!

I don’t know.  I suppose with Henry, I’ll just need to harden my heart to his cries, and go back to tough love.  It’s just so hard when he’s such a cheerful little soul during the day.   And with Evie….oh, please, answers on a postcard!  Well, in the comments section below, anyway – I’m at a loss – help?

I really need to see this more often, so that we can all catch some much needed zzzzzzzzzzs in the Dream House:

Sweet, sweet sleep.  More of this, please, Henry!

Sweet, sweet sleep. More of this, please, Pepperlings!

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2 Responses to Sleep. Or the lack, thereof.

  1. anita says:

    Blimey. Evie. Wow. Not sure what to say, being so far away and not clued up on what you’ve already tried etc. As with most of parenting, there’s just no “1 rule fits all” solution is there? Declan had a period just before Livia was born when he wanted to come to our room every night, and as I think I said in previous comment re: the “cry it out” saga, we let him cry it out – took about 3 or 4 nights of pain, during which he shouted so much he lost his voice by the 3rd day. However, I made sure he was absolutely OK and not in any real distress before I left him, and would go in every 20 or 30 mins, just to make sure he was OK. No chatting, shouting or anything…..just go in, check diaper, make sure he’s not got his head caught in a drawer or anything, and for 1st time only offered him a drink of milk, then put him to bed, kiss him, and leave. repeat, ad nauseum. It got worse and worse until 3rd or 4th night, when he shouted for about 4hrs non-stop, then it seemed like it just clicked that he was NOT going to get his way, so he gave up. However, that was pre-Livia. Dont think I’d be able to do that with Livia in next room. He does occasionally wake and shout now, but we’re able to quickly quash that by telling him that if he can’t be quiet he wont be able to sleep with his favourite toy anymore (a plastic digger/excavator would you bellieve….cuddly it is not). Does she have a favourite toy/doll or anything that she sleeps with, that you could threaten to remove? Maybe you think it’s too cruel to threaten to remove something……..but just a thought, as it works for us (we’re very mean parents…..lol).

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  2. Kristin says:

    I agree with your friend. The path to sleep training is brutal, and filled with screaming — no way around that. But our pediatrician told us, when trying to sleep train our just-back-from-Ethiopia baby, that we either “pay now, or pay later.” That used to go through my head when B ratcheted up his scream levels to “I’m really pissed off” levels.

    We trained B much the way your friend detailed. We’d leave, and if he cried, we’d set the timer on the microwave to three minutes. Then, if he was still crying, we’d go back in, pick him up, kiss him, and put him back in his crib. No talking, no nothing. Just enough to calm him down. Repeat. The first day (B has always slept through the night — it was napping that was hard), I repeated the scenario 12 times. The next day, 8. The next, 4. And in a week, he was trained.

    Of course, we only have the one. Two kids is a whole other ballgame. Can you and the hubby tag team? One of you deals with Henry and the other, with Evie?

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