Friday, October 4, 2013

I'm in baby sleep hell.

Okay, so transitioning Caroline out of our bed and into the pack and play in her shared room with Ian went really well for about 2 nights.  And then it was a disaster.  She has never been an "easy" baby, so I don't know why I thought this would be easy!

She would cry, it would wake Ian up.  Or she would be asleep and then we would put Ian to bed about an hour later and she would wake up and scream, which would leave me mad at Ian for waking her up (and we all know that is fair, right? To be mad at a 2 1/2 year old for waking up a baby? Yeah.)

So at first we would swoop Ian up out of his crib and put him in a pack and play in our room so that C could fuss without disturbing him.  But he wasn't really sleeping that great in the pack and play in our room, and I think he might have even felt a little displaced...which in reality, he was!  So during the day he was starting to act out.  Sitting in time out, oh 6,000 times a day.  Ian is strong-willed as it is, so time out 6,000 times a day didn't do much for him.

I was frustrated...overall....with everything.

We hadn't really fixed any problems.....we just traded one kid out of our room for another kid in our room. 

And things were going down hill fast.  I was beyond frustrated.  I was frustrated in the daytime with all the acting out.  I was frustrated in the nighttime with all the crying and settling, and resettling.  I thought I had all the answers for getting C to sleep since I had read the internet up and down. 

It turns out, I didn't have any answers.

The other night, when the baby was screaming, and Ian was displaced and not sleeping, I started screaming...at my husband. 

For doing exactly what I had told him to do.

Because what I told him to do wasn't working....my plan wasn't working....and I wanted to blame somebody.....anybody.

I am still so ashamed of how I acted.  I just cannot even believe it was me.  Of course I apologized and (thankfully!) he forgave me immediately.  But it was awful and I knew something had to change. 
What we were doing was clearly not working.  It was breaking our family.

So we made the decision to move Ian back into his own room and bring C back into our room in a pack and play.  And it has already been much better as far as Ian's behavior is concerned. 

But the problem with C remains this:  She screams for an hour or more (usually just 1 hour) around bedtime.

Here is what happens:

5:30ish C eats dinner (babyfood dinner, not just breastmilk).
6:00pm C has a bath- she LOVES bathtime
6:15ish New diaper, get into pajamas, nurse
6:30pm-ish Put her down in the pack and play, with the fan on for noise, usually sleepy but awake; sometimes asleep from nursing.
7:15-7:30pm Somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour later, C wakes up and starts screaming.
For the next hour at least, we go in every 10 minutes to comfort her.  But she is hysterical....I basically pick her up and she calms down and sometimes instantly falls asleep, and then I put her back down and she might stay asleep for a minute or two, but then wakes up screaming.

This is every night.  I don't know how to get her past the "1 hour past bedtime screamfest".  

After she finally settles down (usually after an hour of this screaming routine), she is asleep for another 3-4 hours, waking around 11:30pm to nurse and then wakes around 4am to nurse, and after nursing goes right back to sleep beautifully....and then she wakes up around 7:30am.  I'm totally okay with the 2 nursings throughout the night....but the screaming isn't about wanting to nurse....I just don't get it.

I don't know what to do.  She's got a routine, she usually goes down just fine....how do I get her to make it past that daily nighttime scream?

I need help!  Right now I feel like we're in baby sleep hell.  It's at least better since Ian is getting sleep again, and I know it won't be this way forever...it is a limited amount of time....just like her colic/purple period was. 

Did I mention she is 6 months old today?? 

7 comments:

C said...

What if you push back the 6:30 nursing to sleep time to that 7:15 or 7:30 screaming time?? Maybe that would be the time she nurses to actual sleep and it would cut out the scream hour? You may have already tried that, but just thought I'd try to help. Good luck!

Angela said...

C that is a great idea- we have not tried that. And I am open to any and every suggestion that anyone has!

Sarah said...

We did a gradual transition with my son. He would usually go down in his crib beautifully until sometime later... and then with that first waking, he'd co-sleep for a bit. Eventually, the co-sleeping got less and less and he started staying in his crib more and more.

Another thing I had to do (so hard) was, after 6 months, I did allow him to cry it out. Going in to comfort him just riled him up. That said, he never needed CIO much (like maybe he'd cry for 10 minutes. Maybe. So with one who likes to scream an hour... I know some moms have done it and it improved very quickly over a week's time, but wow, that is bravery! I would break listening to an hour for even one night and not going in to try and comfort!).

Kandice said...

No lie, I could have seriously written this...So I obviously am no help, but just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I actually yelled at my 2 years olds just last night for waking the baby up. I immediately felt horrible and knew that was something I never wanted to happen. If you figure this out let me know because the twins were MUCH easier than this singleton.

Tara Brelinsky said...

Not sure my situation was the same but Nikolai didn't like to sleep. He could scream for an hour without one tear. As soon as he got what he wanted he could turn it off immediately. Greg began setting a timer and I wasn't allowed to go in to comfort him until the timer went off. Side note: Greg isn't an ogre he was helping me apply some tough love. Gradually he increased the time and it eventually worked. I know some people think crying out is cruel but honestly a stressed out mama is not a kinder option. I think some kids are just tougher and need the tougher action out of love. I will admit sometimes he would get to cosleep later on during the wee hours after a nursing session but eventually I had to tough that one out too to break him of the habit. Fyi he was my kid who wouldn't let go of his pacifier easily either but today at 16 he's a good well-adjusted young man so I guess the tough love didn't damage him ; )

My Heart Exults said...

Oh my gosh...I'm going through the same thing. I remember with JB, he didn't sleep until he was 8 months, which of course meant that I didn't sleep either. Mary Margaret is on the same path, only she screams bloody murder until we pick her up. And she goes from "just fine" to screaming like she is dying in one second. The other day, while DH and I were cleaning up the kitchen, she was in her crib just screaming. DH said, "If someone was walking by our house they would think we are killing her!" I know!!! So, this leads to us going in to calm her down with her binky. She'll spit her binky out and then scream. Happens about 4-5 times at bedtime. Good grief! I did CIO with JB at 8 months and it worked fine, and I'd do it again with M&M only I feel she is too small (4 months). I just keep telling myself; This too shall pass. Hang in there momma! I'll be thinking of you tonight!

Angela said...

Thank you all so much for your comments. It feels good to know that I'm not alone! LOL! Ugh...going to do an update soon. It's been a rollercoaster just since this post!