Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sleepless Nights

It's 2:48 a.m. and in a four hour span, the Babe has woken up, cried and/or nursed three times in that time.

It's during these times that I am close to losing my mind. And I wonder, am I doing something wrong? All my friends who nurse and have their babies sleeping in the same room seem to wake up many times during the night. I hear them say things like, I wish I could have four consecutive hours of sleep or If she wakes up only four times in the night, then it's a good night.

Dr. Sears says that it's normal for a baby to wake up once or twice a night until the age of one. That would be heaven. Mine wakes up anywhere between five and ten times.

Sometimes it's hunger, sometimes it's the need for comfort, sometimes it's a street noise, then it's a nightmare, then it's the urine in the diaper. And on a bad night, it's my sanity.

Some people look at me with accusing eyes because for them it's simple: put the baby in another room and let him cry. He'll get over it in two days.

Is that really the only way?


LeslieCarole said...

i was totally blessed with a child who had no problem sleeping, as long as it was with me. his favorite thing to do was to position himself so he was lying on top of me so that if i tried to sneak away it would be nearly impossible. at 2 years old, enough was enough. but it took 3 weeks to get him to sleep through the night. lots of back & forth of nursing that power struggle. hope that helps. big mamma hugs to you.

LeslieCarole said...


Anonymous said...

our daugther never slept more than two hours for YEARS. i thought i would go crazy.
then she went into a phase when she would awake from a nap shrieking for a good forty minutes.
then she transitioned into needing to sleep in our bed once the middle of the might hit.
we comforted her through all of it.

the result??? we have a lovely human being who's into her senior year at an ivy league school and is solid as a rock in ALL WAYS.

sooooooooo, give over to it. this is a special, unique person you are helping into this world. you both have great hearts. you are tired now, but you are doing something no one wants to admit to. . .SACRIFICING, a noble calling.
i'm so proud of you and the gift of security you are giving your son.
we need people like him in the world.


Ad said...

We weren't one of the lucky ones whose baby slept through the night by three months... So, you are not alone... Our baby was up lots too... That constant feeling of exhaustion makes the first year really hard. But rest assured, they do start sleeping longer, and you will get more sleep (at least a little more). Hang in there... The sleep situation will only get better. Pull a P-Diddy, and remix it a little... Comfort, let him cry a little, kisses and love, and a little more crying. Don't forget to add the bass or guitar in Anthony's case.

Anonymous said...

We've gone through several rough patches with our daughter waking up in the middle of the night, especially when I was still nursing. But it's not ONLY the nursing, because since I stopped she still has periods when she needs comfort. For us, though, it has made a huge difference having her in another room. We just returned from vacation, where she was sharing a room with us again and none of us slept well. I think sharing can work for some families, but for us leaving her alone was the only way to teach her how to fall back asleep on her own. We do go in and comfort her if she wakes up crying, but after a bit of cuddling she usually (not always!!) knows that she can drift off on her own. It was really, really tough at first and did include some heart-breaking cries but (again, for us) it was and still is the only thing that can break the cycle. I hope that helps! Feel free to call me if you want to talk more about it...
Bisous, Kim

Anonymous said...

I do think, unless you sleep train, this is totally normal. People in the West are the only folks who expect their babies to sleep through the night. Look at Africa, Asia--they don't think twice about sleeping with babe and waking up. Your son is confident and happy because he knows he can rely on you. It will be pay off in the long run! Check out the nighttime parenting discussions on for support. Also, read this:
Jeanne (Sleepless in Manhattan)

Anonymous said...

I went throught the same thing,Dya and look how healthy & well adjusted she is. She sleeps in her own bed every night and wakes up cranky like her mom did. The anonymous reply that said about the sacrifice you are doing was right. It's probably not the first time you are sacrificing and certainly/definitely not the last time. I did try the cry it out method....ONCE.... and never again. Poor Martina was so upset she threw up. Curt, of all people, strode into the room and picked her up and said what are you doing???? So, dear friend, trust your instincts, deal w/ it even if you do go a little crazy (what mom hasnt??), and this too shall pass.

Anonymous said...

They warn you about labor pain and your nipples being sour from nursing but they don't warn you about your baby not sleeping... I know very few people whose baby slept through the night the first year. I agree with what your friend said: it is a western expectation and they only got there because they let them cry. I thought about letting Alexandre cry but I had done everything in my power to make him stop crying until he was 9 months old so the thought alone was unbearable. You are teaching Luca that this world is safe because you both are making it this way, that's a huge investment and it will pay off. In the process you'll get to be such a stronger person. Hang in there, it doesn't last forever (just seems like it)
We all go crazy from time to time if that makes you feel better.
For my boys, having them (whether nursing or not) in another room was a big difference. We got up 6 times some nights, reassured them and stayed sometimes an hour but it was a big change once they had their room.
Thinking of you and if it's any relief something happens after their first birthday.