My Baby Won't Sleep

EH's sleeping schedule - or the fact that he doesn't have one - has been our greatest struggle so far.  If he's not getting any sleep at night, that means that we're getting even less, since oftentimes the little sleep that he did get was in our arms while we were holding him.

I've learned that for me, sleep deprivation breeds negativity, and I was having a hard time being positive about anything when all I wanted to do was go to sleep.  I decided that it should be my top priority over the course of the next 5 weeks to get him on a sleep schedule.  Because if he keeps sleeping (or not sleeping) the way he has been AND I have to work a full day I am going to lose my mind. Again. Permanently.

Seriously, you wouldn't want to sleep either if you had this awesome dog to ride around on

So I did a little web research and we decided to conduct a Sleep Study.

On Baby Center I read that infants EH's age should be sleeping approximately 14 to 15 hours a day - about 10 hours at night and 4 to 5 hours of naps during the day.  I started a log to keep track of exactly when EH was sleeping and I let him do whatever he wanted in terms of being asleep or awake (for the most part.)  We learned that at most he was only getting about 12 hours of sleep a day, which was way more than we thought he was getting, but definitely less than the recommended amount for a 24 hour period.

So once we figured out what he was sleeping, he started to try to manage it.  Babies who are sleep deprived have a harder time falling asleep, even though they are exhausted, and thus need more help from us to get to sleep.  I do think that EH has a problem with this.  He's so over tired and hyper-alert that he cries and screams to keep himself awake, even though he's really exhausted.

So, I ordered some books based on recommendations of a couple of other new-ish moms, and I started reading.  First up was Babywise.

People either love or hate Babywise, and I really want to love it.  I read the whole thing (albeit rather quickly) and am trying to implement some of their schedule recommendations but I've been frustrated so far.  The Babywise schedule recommends that during the day you follow a schedule of Feeding Time, Awake Time, followed by Nap Time.  For nap time, if your baby cries when you lay him down, they recommend letting him cry for awhile.  But they don't offer any suggestions for what to do if your child won't stop crying.  When I lay EH down for a nap he cries forever.  He seriously won't stop crying.  He cried for an hour and a half today and finally I got him out of his crib because it was time for his next feeding.  Then after he ate he was wide awake once again. 

He's been up since 8:30 a.m. It's nearly 1 p.m. and he's showing no signs of wanting to sleep.

I've tried the pacifier. 
I've tried rocking him for awhile and then laying him down again once he's calmed down. 
I've tried music.
I've kept the TV off to prevent over stimulation.
I've kept the lights down low, since he lights to stare at lights. 
I've darkened his room.
I tried "shush"ing him and whispering in his ear.
I tried holding my hands over his eyes to force them closed.
I've tried letting him cry.

I don't know what else to try.

I'm not quitting yet, but I am allowing myself to recognize that not all babies are going to fit perfectly into the Babywise schedule.  Maybe EH is one of those babies that does not need as many naps a day as other babies.  Or maybe he does, and he just has a hard time falling asleep because he's so excited about the world.  Who knows?

During the day, he's a fairly happy baby, unless I am trying to make him nap.  He's usually quiet, wide-eyed and gurgly for most of the morning.  In the evenings he's super fussy and that's usually when I feel like he needs a nap but he's still not willing to do so.  I've also read that a lot of babies are really fussy in the evenings. I would even be ok with him not napping much during the day if he slept better at night.  He's getting better at night time sleep, but he's definitely still not where I want him to be yet. 

So we'll just keep trying...

We still have a long way to go, but I know it's only day one and I can't be expecting miracles.  EH may have won today's battle, but I am determined to win the war.  And honestly, I'm hoping that at the end of this we can work as allies and come to compromise to find something that works great for both of us.


Emmy said...

what time are you putting him to bed for the night? I found that Liam started sleeping much longer stretches when I started putting him down earlier in the evenings, before he had a chance to get overtired and overstimulated. Now we usually start the bedtime routine around 7, he's in bed around 7:30. Hang in there, Jake was an awful, awful sleeper and I felt like I was going to die for months....I promise, it will get better. Hugs.

Laura said...

Have you tried putting him to sleep on his belly? I know that's a huge no-no in most people's worlds but it is the only way that Liza would sleep.

Babywise is a really great thing. Change does take time so def give it some time. Since you didn't start right away after he was born it will take a little bit longer to get it all sorted out. But babywise is for sure a sanity saver once you get it working.

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