Category Archives: sleep issues

The Great Debinkying Adventure

Before we had Rose, I had always swore that we wouldn’t use a binky with “our baby”.  Oh no.  No binky would touch the lips of our precious children.  I had seen too many children (children not babies) walking around with pacifiers in their mouths, taking them out to have a conversation with their parents. I just “knew” that I wouldn’t let that have a chance of happening.  Yaaaaaah. So all that conviction was thrown in the garbage after the multi episode, multi hour, cry fests that Rose would do those first few weeks.  When she was in the NICU, they gave her a pacifier as they couldn’t be holding her 24/7 with wires/tubes/uv light.  Out of desperation, I tried one of the pacifiers that she came home with and sweet lord there was silence.  Silence and a happy baby. We never looked back.

She wasn’t allowed to take it everywhere.  She mostly used it for naps and bed time and never really grew terribly attached.  Once her 1 year birthday rolled around and it was time to stop giving her a pacifier, we simply stopped giving it to her and it was like she never used it.  Wonderful!

When Evelyn was born we didn’t even think twice before starting her with a binky.  We even used a Wabbanub which was even better (side note: those Wabbanubs are a wonderful invention. You can use the animal on the end of prop it up and in the babies mouth when they are too small to keep it in).  She only had it when she was sleeping so I figured dropping it when she was 1 would be as easy as with Rose.  However, once her birthday rolled around, she was popping through some molars and used the binky as a soothing devise as she fell asleep.  So I put it off.  No big deal right?  Thing was, I started to notice that when it came to putting Evelyn down for sleep, she would just about leap out of my arms into the crib.  At first I thought this was great!  No issues putting this baby down.  Then I realized it was because she wanted to get that binky in her mouth as quickly as possible.  Then she started to scream like you were kicking her favorite puppy when you made her drop it in the crib in the morning.

Hello sign!!

So two weeks ago we decided to stop the binky cold turkey.  No binky at nap, no binky at bedtime.  She took it great!  Hahaha!  Just kidding.  She screamed her head off.  She threw her lovey out of the crib in anger (we had been introducing a lovey in prep).  She screamed some more.  Then, 20 minutes in, she passed out.

image

Not a further peep was heard until her usual 3:30 wake up.  Instead of scrounging around for her binky and falling back asleep, it was scrounge around for binky, realize it wasn’t there, then scream her head off.  Luckily that lasted only 5 minutes before she passed out again.  Then she slept in to 7:30.  Score!  The nap was a little harder but she fell asleep in about 10 minutes and then cried off and on for about an hour and a half.  The next night she went down in 5 minutes.

Now, if she isn’t really tired, she will cry for about a minute before snuggling with her lovey and falling asleep.  This really isn’t any different then with the binky so yay success!  She also learned quickly that if she throws the lovey out in anger the lovey doesn’t come back.  No lovey throwing has happened since. 🙂

The very best side effect of having her give up the binky is that now, as you are putting her down for the night, she will gladly snuggle in your arms as you sing to her.  Not much is better then baby arms clutched around your neck with a baby head snuggled on your shoulder.  Sure it’s more like a death grip because she is trying to avoid going into the crib but I’ll cry ignorance and enjoy it.

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Filed under Evelyn, parenthood, Rose, sleep issues, Tips

Baby Sleep Issues Update Pt. 2

When we last left off on The Young and the Sleepless, our heroine was disparately attempting to wrap her sleep deprived brain around a solution to rid her life of the dreaded Sleep Bandit.  She tried everything she could think of but to no avail.  Finally after a seemly random full night of sleep, she used her slightly fuzzy powers of reasoning to determine the most likely cause of the Sleep Bandits temporary absence……

So was it the Vit D or the absence of decaf coffee and chocolate in my diet.  The Vit D was easy to try.  Her wonderful day care provider made sure that Evelyn was out in the sun off and on most of next day.  That night, she did go down easier and had one three hour stretch of sleep but then was back up every 2 hours.  Check that one off the list.

That left the decaf coffee and chocolate.  I already knew that Evelyn was sensitive to what I ate.  A single glass of anything citrus (orange juice, lemonade, etc) will cause her to empty the entire content of her tummy on whoever is holding her at some point by the end of the day (or on your aunt’s beautiful hardwood floor. Sorry Gayle!).  I had seen charts showing the amount of caffeine in “decaf” coffee (25 mg) and tea (12 mg).  Dark chocolate is on there too (20 mg). While the numbers are smaller in comparison to regular coffee (75-120 mg), it’s nothing to sneeze at when you think I was drinking three cups per day with the occasional piece (or 3 pieces) of dark chocolate per day (hey, it’s free at work).  I might as well have been drinking a cup or two of regular coffee.  I did a little searching of the internet and found that apparently this is a known issue for babies under 6 months.  If fact it can be worse for people who avoided caffeine during pregnancy.  Dang me and trying to be healthy during pregnancy.

To test this theory, I cut out all coffee, tea and chocolate for two days.  Then took the pumped milk from the third day directly to daycare.  Halfway through the second day of exclusively caffeine free milk, Evelyn had a huuuge diaper and then was a changed baby.  She was more smiley, napped better and generally gave off happy baby vibes.  That evening she woke only once to eat at 3:30 and then again right before it was time to get up anyway.  Humph.  As the days went on, the happier baby continued to be stick around and the sleep continued to go well.  Yay?

To cap off the study, on Monday she went back to daycare and went back to eating the older caffinated milk.  During the day she was cranky.  Night time sleep, up twice.  Tuesday night sleep, every two hours.  Uggg. 

So the conclusion is that if you have a cranky colicy no sleeping baby it may be the caffeine in the milk.  Poop.

Luckily milk chocolate has very little caffeine or I might have to switch to formula.  (kidding!!)

IMG_0010

 

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Filed under breastfeeding, Evelyn, sleep issues, Teething, Tips

Baby Sleep Issue Update Pt. 1

I started writing this as one post a few days ago and apparently I rambled too much as it got way too long for a single post.  So here is pt 1 of the latest in my baby sleeping saga.

Last week I was prepared to write a post wishing that I could report that the sleep bandit has left the house and we are all getting a good 5-6 hours at time.  That darn creature had been sticking around despite my repeat efforts to find a way to kick him out.  I had been all set at the beginning of the week to try and remember to just stick the binky in instead of immediately picking her up to feed if it had been less than 3 hours, which is really hard to do at 2am (I was going to go as far as putting up a white board next to the crib to write down the last feeding time) but she chose that night to go through some type of reflux/sleep regression/growing pains/I’m going to screw with my mommy thing and scream her head off when she woke up instead of just rolling around grunting as usual.

Then Saturday night happened.  She woke up as usual around 11:30 pm to eat which caused me to get mentally ready for the now every two hour wake up.  I tucked myself back into bed closed my eyes and then…. wait for it…. didn’t wake up until 5am.  You read that right.  I rolled over to look at the clock and it was FIVE AM (sorry for yelling but I was pretty excited).  After a brief moment of panic (I started breathing again when I heard her soft sighs) I lay in bed stunned.  My baby had slept without waking for 5.5 hours.  Not only that, but I dosed for another 1.5 hours until she woke up at 6:30.  Needless to say that certain parts of me (mammary glands) were very uncomfortable by the time she did wake up but oh was it worth it.  That was literally the first time I had gotten more than 4 hours of sleep in a row in 16 weeks.  My brain didn’t know what to do with all that sleep.

Was this it?  Was this the at least temporary end to the nasty sleep cycle?  Would she finally give me enough sleep to be able to function with more than half a brain at work?  Wahahaha! (Cue evil laughter)  Nope, Sunday night she went right back to waking cranky every 2 hours.  I figured I brought it on myself for bragging about the previous night online.

Monday morning I knew I needed to do something.  I had already Googled the heck out of sleep training infants a few weeks ago when initially attempting to rid our bedroom of the sleep bandit so I knew it was down to me to figure something, anything out.  Yes, I know that some babies are just light fussy sleepers but darned if I wasn’t going to try every last option before giving in to another nine months of multiple wakings every night (I’m nursing for a year so after that Steve can get up, ha!).

Something had to be different.  Something on Saturday allowed my up and down all night little girl to keep her eyes closed for 7 hours straight.  After analyzing every minute of the day it came down to two things.  My mom had watched her for a few hours that morning and spent quite a few of those hours outside so that Rose could play in the garden.  Vit D???  It was also the first day in a long while I hadn’t had even one cup of decaf coffee or chocolate.  I had been staying away from the caffeinated coffee thinking that some of it might be getting in the milk but had been imbibing in at least 2 cups of decaff in an effort to trick my brain into thinking it was the real stuff.  Hmmmm.

Coming soon.  Pt. 2: Where I make a wonderful yet sucky conclusion.

Where there is less of this….
Evelyn+Awake
 And more of this.
Evelyn+in+bed

 

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Filed under Evelyn, sleep issues, Teething

The Sleep Bandit

Dear Sleep, 

How do I miss you.  It’s been 11 weeks now since I have seen you for more than a few hours at a time.  I’m starting to think that our previous relationship in which we would spend long hours together, sometimes up to 9 hours at a time, is over forever.  Our time together has been increasingly stolen each night by a tiny person I can only describe as a sleep bandit.  This little creature, while utterly adorable, has been breaking into our togetherness on a regular basis and it is getting to be an issue.  I have a vague recollection of you running away like this when the bandit’s big sister was her age but it’s mostly a blur.  I wonder why?

I have tried tying up the bandit at night but the confinement unit only keeps her contained for so long before she either gets out or complains loudly enough to scare you away.  I have tried bribing the bandit with food right before I go to sleep but that works sparingly or not at all.  I have tried repeat insertion of a muting device but she has become an expert at extraction.  I have tried keeping her up later but all that results in is a very pissed off bandit.  My husband has offered to put himself up as a victim collateral a buffer between me and the bandit but I know that this will result in you running away again while I kick him awake multiple times a night.

I know that you keep wanting to see me during the day at work but my boss highly discourages your visits to the office (he has turned down my request for a futon in the back room).  Please please please tell the Sleep Bandit to let you come back for longer periods of time at night.  I want you, I need you, please be mine again.

Yours in loving memory,
Valerie

“You want to sleep mommy?  Hahahahahaha!”
Evelyn+Laughs+1
See, sleep visits the sleep bandit regularly during the day.  Lucky.
Evelyn+Sleeping

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Filed under Evelyn, sleep issues, Teething

The big girl bed

Since every night the past few weeks, Rose has been pointing at the twin bed in her room saying ‘nigh, nigh (night, night)’, we decided it was time to transition her into a big girl bed.  I have to admit though that it made me more than a little sad that my little tiny baby was old enough to not only be big enough for a larger bed (she was starting to look a little squished in the crib) but to actually request it.  Sniff, sniff.

 
We took an example from my friend and decided to forgo the bed rail altogether and instead just put the mattress straight on the ground.  I did take the precaution of putting a few stuffed animals on the floor next to her though.  
 
Snuggled with Neigh (her horse) under Nana’s awesome quilt.
Big+Girl+Bed+1
 
I think she likes the room to roll.  What do ya think?
Big+Girl+Bed+2
 
So far so good.  We are three nights and and besides the intense begging each night for me to snuggle down and sleep with her, she has done great.  Fingers crossed!

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Filed under Rose, sleep issues

Sleep.

Sleep TrainingSo tired.  So very tired.  If only it wasn’t all my fault.  Blaming someone else always makes it a little better.  😉  For the past few weeks, every few nights Rose has woken up crying.  Who knows why.  Teething?  Separation Anxiety?  Too warm?  Too cold?  The moon is lined up with Venus?  


Bottom line, the method we used (admittedly in a desperate attempt to get some sleep) was to pick her up and cuddle with her in the bed in the nursery.  She would fall right back to sleep and in an hour or so when she was fully asleep, you could put her back in the crib.  During that time we could get a little sleep ourselves.  


Now we have created a monster.  She demands that we pick her up for a cuddle.  Really, who could blame her.  Heaven knows I sleep a whole lot better when I can snuggle with Steve.  And it is so hard to say no to the teary eyed sweetheart disparately signing PLEASE and holding out her arms.  Oh my.


This led to last night.  Last night when we decided to let her cry it out.  No picking up.  No cuddling.  No sleeping in the bed.  Just the occasional head and back rubbing.    She woke up at 10:20pm.  She finally fell back to sleep around 12:40am.  Screaming and crying and very angry the whole time.  I don’t know if it was harder on me or her.  I finally had to turn on the t.v. and watch something as sleeping with angry crying washing over me sure wasn’t going to happen.


Please oh please have let her figured out that sleeping through the night is better.  Sleeping through the night is wonderful.  All the cool babies are doing it.  PLEASE!

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Sleep regression

The past week or so Rose has been waking up about 11:30 pm to 1:30 am screaming.  Not every night but enough to really disrupt my sleep pattern.  Steve’s too since he is usually the first to get up and sooth her.  This is one of those parenting moments where I really wish she could talk and just tell me what is bothering her.  Is it teething?  Night terrors?  Separation anxiety?  Indigestion? Have we been getting up too quickly to sooth her so that she is now expecting us to come in?

There has been a few nights that we have been up for an hour trying to get her back to sleep.

We have been learning as we go on what will get her back to sleep the fastest.  We have walked, rocked, sang (me), snuggled in bed, gave binkies and gave Motrin.  Some things worked better than others and some things we didn’t try again such as taking her into the office to say hi to daddy (she woke up for a hour and a half after that) and taking her into bed with us (she rolled ALL over the place, punching and poking and flopping all over us).  In the end just holding a hand on her head while gently rubbing her back seems to work the best.

Here’s hoping that she moves past this phase soon.  I was used to this when she was newborn.  Now I’m used to getting my sleep!

Sleep Regression

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Working on napping in the pack n’ play

There will be a day, some time soon hopefully, that Rose will be sleeping overnight in some place not the comfort of her own crib. Thus we are working on getting her to nap in her pack n’ play to get her used to sleeping somewhere other than her crib or Steve’s arms. The day care provider is working on this as well but is having about as much luck as we are. I put her down sleeping or almost sleeping and this is how is usually goes.
IMG_1868_editedAs I type she is rolling around playing with her binky with wide open eyes. Sigh…. At least she is not crying??? Yet. Oh, there she goes.

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Filed under Rose, sleep issues