We have a little baby. She is a preemie that is 18 months old and is still tiny. She has hypothyroidism which slows her growth. She is awfully cute and sweet and is mobile now and into everything. But I think this little baby is trying to kill me slowly.
How is she doing this? By waking up…All. Night. Long.
Every knowing parent just groaned that long low sigh. We have all been there and stumbled blindly around the bedroom at night to make bottles and comfort a squawking baby. We tend to be all motherly and tolerant when they are tiny and new but when they get to be mobile we are thinking, “Give it up already. GO TO SLEEP AND SLEEP PEACEFULLY WOULD YAH.”
I wear a FITBIT (pedometer) and when I get up in the morning I can go look and see how often I got up and how many zombie steps I took each time. Looking at this data helps me cope. It is confirmation that I really did get up 6 times and did not dream it. I can tell my friends with all seriousness that I got up every hour on the hour and walked 10-20 steps each time. I have PROOF to my husband who has done since left and went to the spare bedroom. He works, I don’t. “Yah, right.” BUT that is another song that every stay-at-home-mom can sing.
I am in the mode of trying new things.
1. Layers of pjs….one summer-weight stretchie and 1 fuzzy. So this is the happy combo now, not onesie and fuzzy pj, not just the fuzzy, and not just the stretchie. She is a coldish little human.
2. Move the crib…near the heating vent? Nope, too warm and it kicks on and off all night. Near the window? Nope, too cold. Sometimes moving the crib is the trick.
Or, in the case of my 4-year old, hanging a toddler-bed princess quilt on one side of her crib and securely pinning it down and tucking it under her mattress was the trick. (I used a lot of large safety pins so she couldn’t tug it or stick her head inside it. Be safe and really test your pinning prowess. I pinned on the outside of her bed and tightly where she couldn’t even touch the pins.) Anyway, she would not sleep in the crib and one day I laid on the floor by the crib and was playing with her and when I looked up into the vaulted ceiling I was struck with dizzying proportions. She was scared of the size of the room. I hung the blanket on her bed and that nap time she slept, well, like a baby and loved the crib after that.
3. Somebody has to go! Baby keeping daddy awake and daddy keeping baby (and myself) awake with his LOUD snoring. “Okay, I agree, you gotta move out. Here’s your pillow, go to the spare bedroom. See you in the morning.”
4. Maybe baby needs a pacifier? So I buy 5 different ones and put them in a basket and see if she will like one. She pulls them out of the princess purse and samples them but…..Nope, no go.
5. Wean from a night-time bottle… Are we ready for this? Agh. The sounds of crying baby who only wants 1 blessed solitary ounce before going back to sleep but let’s do this all night long. What a great magic trick. So….hold her and feed? Nope, she is squiggly and grumpy and wants to be left alone in her bed. Pat her back? Oh, she likes that but cries when I walk away. Give her a bottle? Yep, and watch her drink 1 oz and throw the bottle down ASLEEP. (Note: I nursed the others and understand the power of the boob but bottling is a whole different animal.)
6. Buy a sound machine. One that plays ocean waves, and summer night (although those dang crickets are making me crazy so that one is out), or a babbling brook. This helps a lot but some nights it isn’t enough to keep her asleep for more than 2-3 hours but it is better than getting up each hour). This gadget is going to keep playing though because it does ease my pounding heart and I can go back to sleep. WIN.
7. Does she need a bigger dinner? Nope, she is full when she goes to bed.
8. Is she sick? Nope, healthy.
In the end, it all boils down to growing up. My baby is crawling at full speed and standing up and cruising along the couch. She is busy and curious but still not drinking out of a cup so the bottle isn’t ready to leave yet. Maybe, she is having a hard time processing her new busyness. Her dreams are busy too I bet. Maybe her body hurts like a good workout only full speed every moment of the day except nap time. All I know is, she is learning a ton now so I guess I gotta be more patient. I have done everything I can think of. This craziness can’t last forever.
So I eat pecans, a stick of cheese, and a small glass of milk for breakfast. This gives me an energy boost and I can just go. BUT I am getting older and slower, and night wake-ups are getting to me. I tell my friends and they give me lots of ideas. I read blogs to get more ideas. I tell my husband so he can feel sorry for me and understand and be helpful.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. To every mom, dad, and grandparent out there that has a crying baby at night, you are not alone. You are just CRAZY (with sleep-deprivation). Good Luck. I hope you figure out the magic trick that works with your wakeful baby or maybe it is toddler.
Yep, I have a toddler. Babies we feed and diaper at night and they sleep when they are full and happy, but toddlers….well, they are….a different story. One I don’t understand yet.
Did I mention I have 5? Guess we are never as professional or expert as we think we are. 🙂