Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sleepless Nights

 
As if getting used to a new routine is not challenging enough, getting used to a new routine being sleep deprive makes it even harder. 

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Lately, or rather ever since I started my new job our youngest child has been having issues staying asleep in his crib and even with us on our bed. I knew from the beginning that it was going to be hard on everyone adjusting to our new routine But I never imagined that the little one would have such a hard time with it. Maybe it's due to his teething happening around the same time? Who knows. Yet something had to be done about it. He's always been a great sleeper and has actually been steadily sleeping through the night since November. Until recently that is. The times before that were he was sleeping through the night and it just went out the window were due to either teething or sickness. So when his 5th tooth came in it made sense why his sleep had been so out of whack. A week after the tooth was out and he still had not gone back to sleeping normally had me wondering what could be the problem?

At first I thought that it was because he would get up early, around 5am, then fall asleep around 745am when we were on our way to my mother's until about 10am or after. Then he either didn't nap all throughout the day there and would fall asleep on our ride home when I picked him up around 5:15pm. Or he would nap around 4pm at my mothers all the way through our arrival at home. In either case is hard for a child his age to take late naps or be overtired and have to go to bed at 8pm. Right? 

After discussing with my mother what AJ's routine was like at her house we decided to adjust it a bit to make sure he's napping with her at an earlier time. Even with a better nap schedule going on at my mothers he still wasn't sleeping through the night at home. Then it got to the point where this child of ours refused to go to sleep at night altogether. Putting him to bed at night was an ongoing battle every night. I started being very observant around bedtime to see if I catch on to what might be going on that is making him fight his sleep so much and I've come up with two conclusions. 

UntitledOne is that all of this sleep issue started right around the time he began to walk. He loves being on his feet. Going places, getting his own toys to play with or going up to the dog area. He just loves to walk! I've noticed that whenever we are in his room he wants to be put down on the floor. From there he goes from spot to spot collecting toys to play with. Which leads to the second thing. His room holds the majority of his toys. And they're pretty much at plain sight and at hand reach for him. So being that bedtime routine is done in his bedroom he gets distracted to what's really to happened at that time. After shower, while I'm dressing him he fuses to be let go so that he can go after his toys or walk out of his room to look around for his brother. I admit that I'm guilty of giving him a toy to keep him occupied while I finish dressing him for bed but that shouldn't matter much, should it? Either way. After that is feeding time and reading then lights go off and I cuddle and rock him. 

Most nights the hubby puts him to bed while I finish cleaning the kitchen or do whatever needs to be done before bed. Other times I just take the easy way out and let him breast feed himself to sleep. I know is not the best way to handle the situation but I am not a morning person, whatever that means, so I need all the sleep that I can get. At least until I get comfortable with my new schedule.

Once he would finally fall asleep however he would toss and turn all through the night. I just couldn't take it anymore. Co-sleeping was not an option and using the cry-it-out method was just making things worse and that's just not us. We can't sleep right knowing our child is screaming his head off down the hallway. I did a little research and talked to some mothers then worked on my own method and so far it's been working like a charm.

UntitledOur routine? well I bought a projecting mobile (wish I had done it earlier, like newborn status earlier). We started to read before bath time just because if it was done after he would be on play mode. After bath time we go to his room get pajamas on, (I would have the milk ready to go next to the rocking chair) turn the projector on and lights off. I rock him while he drinks his milk and until the projector goes off, 10 minutes total. By that time he's very sleepy. When I first started this routine he would fall asleep in my arms and when I'd transfer him over to his crib he would wake up. I'd still put him in the crib and would just say "Momma's here baby, momma's here. Go back to sleep" and he would. That was 5 minutes of waiting then he was out and I sneak out of the room. A week later I started putting him in his crib while he was still drowsy, still standing around the crib while he fell asleep. Little by little I moved closer and closer to the door until last night. Last night I put him in the crib turned the mobile on 5 more minutes and walked out. I watched from our room through the monitor and was proud to see that he put himself to sleep without having me in the room. Go baby!

Today I noticed a 6th tooth was officially out. That confirms to me that babies don't always cry for the heck of it. Teething must be painful and all they want is comfort from their momma or daddy. AJ has been acting normal again and hasn't woken up through the night in the last week or so. He sleeps about 10 hours at night and takes 2 naps 1.5+ hours in length a day. Making him and us rested enough to go on with our daily routines.

Not only should you comfort your baby when they need to be comfort but take your time getting back into an old routine or a new one for that matter. I honestly don't mind rocking AJ before bedtime. Rocking won't last for ever and there will come a time where he won't want to cuddle anymore so until then I plan to take advantage of the time I have left of it and enjoy every second of it :) 

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