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Monday, September 5, 2011

Running on Empty


This sweet little boy, so full of curiosity and wonder,
sometimes quiet, sometimes brimming with excitement,
this boy that has never had a meltdown while we're out,
who loves to sit for story time,
this boy that plays happily by himself,
chatting noisily, laughing randomly,
this sweet little boy,

is going to be the't.start.sleeping.soon.

Dear. God.  Help.  Me.


He has never been a good sleeper.

Even as a newborn when everyone said that he would be sleeping all the time... well he didn't.

And naps?  Naps are a whole different post.  A series of posts.
Naptime is a battle unto itself.

He hates sleeping.  He hates naps the most.

The thing is, he never gets all that grouchy.
But he needs them, you can see it in the bags under his eyes and 
when we don't get enough napping in, well bedtime is a nightmare.

He's never slept thru the night really.  
He would wake twice to drink a bottle and then go right back to sleep.

Getting him to drink a bottle during the day is nearly impossible.
He'll take in a few ounces of fluid a day, no matter what I'm trying to give him.

It didn't matter much because he was relatively easy to put to bed and 
wasn't up for long those 2 times a night.

Picnik collage

In the beginning of July he slept for 9 hours straight which was the longest since birth...
 and he was 8 months old.

That week he slept 8 or 9 hours a night, once was actually 10 hours and I nearly threw a party for it.

Then the teething started.  He cut 5 teeth in less than 2 weeks and gave up sleep.

I thought that after the teeth thing settled then we would go back to sleeping.

Only we didn't.

Saying we didn't is an colossal understatement.

The child's sleeping pattern is getting worse.

At first he would just wake every 3 hours or so and want to down a bottle.

Right around that time he learned to stand, waking, standing and screaming for me to come get him.

Before this he would just roll around until he went back to sleep.

Standing really threw a wrench into things.


Now the kid is up ALL THE TIME.

Oddly enough he's started taking in 12 or so ounces a day but still wants at least 2 full bottles a night.

 Either way he is still up constantly.

He has completely lost the ability to put himself back to sleep.

Sometimes he takes a bottle and goes right back to sleep but I'm still required to get up and get him.

Yes, I know that bottle will rot his teeth.

If he's had enough formula for the day then I just give him water.....
not that I care because when I'm up for the 30th time in a night I would give him vodka if it meant I could sleep for 2 straight hours.

This last week he's been up every 45 minutes to an hour.

And he gets up screaming.  It starts with a cry and escalates to a scream faster than the speed of light.

Occasionally he falls asleep the minute I pick him up.

He just wants to be held and often wakes the moment I put him down.

A few nights ago he even fell asleep on the changing table as I was changing his diaper.

Picnik collage

And yes, at this point I think crying it out would be a darn good idea.

The thing is... I live in an apartment and we share 2 walls and a floor with neighbors.

If it even crossed your minds that they would be understanding then you are sadly mistaken.

I mean, hey, I'm tired of waking up too 
but the downstairs neighbors can't even take the daytime pre-nap crying.

I'd been letting him cry at nap time when it didn't stress me 
that the neighbors were being tortured out of sleep.  

Someone else shared with me a that a week or so ago when Peanut was crying,
the downstairs neighbor proceeded to slam the windows shut whilst screaming
"Shut the @%&# up!".  
Not that I heard her, or that I've ever had a conversation with her, or even know her name...
but really?  She couldn't talk to me?
She thought that screaming profanities would make things better?

We've lived here for years and never had a problem, although they just moved in last year.
I should've known something was up when I noticed her dart for her door as I was coming up the walk.

None of the other neighbors have any complaints and apparently have told her that Peanut is just a baby and baby's sometimes cry.


Anyway, I don't think crying it out is an option.

Unless you want to let me come live with you when we get evicted.

I should add that he would sleep longer in bed with us.

In the mornings he wakes around 5 or 6 and I always bring him back to bed with us, 
where he sleeps happily for another couple hours.

I just don't want him in bed with us all night.
Mama needs her space.
I never sleep that well with him up against me, sweating and kicking and making noises,
while he and his daddy take up the whole bed,
and I hang on for dear life on the edge.

A night here or there is fine.  It's nice even.
But it's not something that I want to do when he is freaking out every hour.
I don't want it to be a reward for his constant waking.

But I need sleep and B needs sleep
and I suppose Peanut needs sleep but he doesn't seem to be bothered by this new arrangement.

It's like having a newborn again... only worse because I have waaaaaay less patience.

We're running on empty here. 

Pray that Peanut will start sleeping so I'm not forced to leave him on some doorstep.
Baby for sale!

And then sometimes in the mornings, after a particularly rough night,
he will wake up and pat my face and give me kisses and pull my arm around him to snuggle some more.

I'll look at him (through my stinging bloodshot eyes) and think about how God knew what he was doing when he made this kid so cute, because really if he weren't, oh man, we'd be in a world of trouble.


  1. Oh Dawn. I feel it. It's the worst kind of madness and saps the life and joy out of you with every scream. It makes you hate people who have easy babies and don't understand that you. have. TRIED!!!!!

    Not being able to cry it out is really tough, because although Dan has only just started sleeping really and truly well, controlled crying really did give us some more sleep. Could you talk to your neighbour? Could you stay at your mums for a week while you 'crack' it? Could you drop earplugs and a couple of bottles of wine to your neighbours and warn them that youre about to try to get some sleep and it may get noisy before it gets quiet?

    Sleep was so horrid when Dan was the same age Peanut is that I tearfully said, "no more babies" and meant it. But it improved. It wasn't perfect, but it did get better. Better enough for us to have Jemima.

    You are strong, you are working miracles simply by staying sane - try to simplify life when you can so that you don't get exhausted by other demands. Don't live to any one else's expectations. Survive.

    Sending love and babysitters. Xxxx

  2. Oh my friend! I had one who wouldn't sleep and I remember those days of exhaustion.

    Alice actually has a pretty good idea about staying at your Mom's for a week or so to see if you can "reprogram" his sleep patterns.

  3. I don't have any advice, but I sooo feel for you. It is hard to catch up when they don't sleep. I'd be happy to come politely hit your neighbor in the face with a sandwich. Peanut is sweet as pie and the last thing you need to worry about is an adult who feels bothered by the only way he knows to communicate. I'll be adding you to my prayers that often (always) include, "Dear God, please let my Cricket baby sleep through the night." It's happened once. :) Hang in there! You are a great mom!!!

  4. Ohhhhh ,,,so sorry to hear that Dawn, it must be draining. New type of prayers for you.

  5. *gianthug* I'm sorry honey, I know this is a rough time. I wish I had an easy answer for you, but suffice it to say he will not still be doing this in a year. For now, try letting him sleep with you just so you can get some sleep. Another friend of mine did that and she did, eventually, get her son to sleep in his own room. It just took a while.

    And your neighbor is a bitchface.

  6. So sorry Dawn!! We should call eachother in the middle of the night since I am up too feeding sweet Emme!! :) But think that staying at your mom's house for a week is a great idea! Then you can Ferberize little Peanut and not worry about your neighbors. It is an extremely stressful week, but worth it in the end! xo

  7. (((((((((big hugs)))))))))) You know I understand how you feel. It's so hard not to get frustrated. Just keep looking toward the light. It will get better.


    I hope.


  8. I'm sorry about this for you, too...all of my kids were stinkers of sleepers. I nursed them all through the night forever, so I created my own monsters. I'll pray, because of your apartment situation I am not sure what to tell you to do. Leave the boys in the big bed and go sleep in his crib? ;) Seriously, I hope he sleeps for you guys soon...this is not a fun stage at all when everyone is tired.

  9. Oh Dawn I swear I could've written this post word for word, I actually might just copy it and post it on my blog hoping to get some more prayer our way! ;) E also HATES sleeping... she has never had good sleep but like Peanut it also seems to be getting worse. We started sleep training and then she got 5 teeth within a month and that went out the window, I also thought things would get better as the teeth settled in but boy was I wrong... we have been getting up every 1-2 hours as well, and everytime we rock her back to sleep the second we lay her down she wakes up screaming, and just this last week she fell back asleep in the middle of the night while I was changing her on the changing table. We also don't let her sleep with us. We don't have the complication with the apartment, which sounds hard, and obviously that lady doesn't have kids! But I will definitely keep you in my prayers as I am saying them often in the middle of the night begging for some sleep! But he is cute- I wouldn't be able to stay upset with that face either! Hope you get some rest soon!


  10. I feel for you more for this post than for any other... ever! My son slept JUST LIKE THAT and I nearly lost my mind for the first two years of his life. And then (because my mind was so gone) I gave birth to his sister, continuing my sleepless cycle of life!! I have zero words of advice, because I tried every (damn) thing and nothing worked. It just took time to get past it. Loooonnnngg amounts of sleepless, cranky, mama can't take another minute time. Praying you get a break soon... maybe you need a sleep getaway. You know, drop him off with a friend or grand parent and go sleep somewhere? Hang in there... it really doesn't last forever. (though my son is still fighting sleep right this minute. Maybe some boys just don't need the same amount of sleep? I don't know...)

  11. Okay, I just have a couple things to say.

    1. I have so been there. It's so wearing on every aspect of your life and while this isn't helpful, at least I can tell you that I have made it out the other side of this alive and considerably less cranky.

    2. Some hope: While we did let Benjamin cry it out, that didn't work for Hannah. She was not a great sleeper OR napper, but, right about her first birthday she miraculously started sleeping through the night. She also started eating bigger meals at this time, although I can't really say for sure if that had anything to do with it.

    Hang in there!

  12. Oh my, I feel your pain sweetie. My youngest didn't sleep through the night until he went to preschool at four! But now, he's an amazing father and a sensitive, loving husband and son, so if you can just wait 30 years or so, it'll all be worth it! lol...

    I wish I lived closer, I'd totally take one of those night time bottle runs so you could get a little sleep!!!




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