516. Sleep update.

I'm not sure I've ever written a sleep update before. I've touched on it in Joshua's monthly update posts, here and there, but I've always been too worried about jinxing things. Every time I tell anyone that J only wakes once, that night he wakes a million times. Every time I moan to someone that he's up often, that night he wakes a million and one times. Jinxed, fo sho.

But I'm reaching the end of my tether. It's Saturday night (Sunday morning) when I've started this post, 3:41 am. Joshua's already up for the second time since 8:30, the first at just after midnight. He's always up at least once a night, though often two or three times. Usually every three hours, for about 20-30 minutes. So I'm getting about 2.5 hours sleep at a time. It's pretty exhausting, to say the least.

We've tried sleep training. For Joshua's naps, I wrap him up in a loose swaddle, put on some music and rock him for a couple of minutes before putting him in his cot. Even after a few weeks he still cries himself to sleep, often I have to go in once to comfort him and lie him back down, as he's sitting up. He does eventually drift off to sleep. But night times are a whole different kettle of fish. I feed him at around 8, after a bath, massage, jammies & bedtime story. 99% of the time he's pretty tired by then & feeds to sleep, and I transfer him to his cot. Tonight he woke just after midnight, and I decided to feed him in the hopes I'd get a longer stretch of sleep in. No dice, he's up again at 3am. I decided I was going to be strong, and not feed him, he's 9 months old & shouldn't need feeding every three hours at night, it's just a comfort. Right?!

Here's where I'm stumped, because even after 30 minutes of on off screaming - he sounded like he drifted off twice but woke back up, and I rocked him twice - he's still awake. I've given in and fed him, because I'm fairly sure by this point he's woken Daniel, Colin and even our neighbours (I can hear them shouting and can only think we're to blame) He was getting louder and louder, what started off as a shout just to keep himself awake had turned into a "come-and-get-me-right-now-this-very-second!" scream. Not even a hungry scream, and when I pick him up he doesn't root for food, but it's the only way I know how to get him back to sleep quickly and quietly. I just don't know what to do. I've spent the last half hour talking myself into the fact I'm doing the right thing, that I need more sleep, but now I feel like I've made a mistake, for selfish reasons. But if only he would learn to self soothe, this would be over quickly and we'd ALL sleep peacefully!

I don't think my child will be emotionally scarred by letting him cry for a little while, but I am struggling to tell if he's genuinely distressed or just shouting for attention, and I'm doubting my own mothering skills. I don't like hearing him cry either. I have heard countless horror stories of people who's son didn't sleep through the night till he was four, you know the ones. I'll literally be a caffeine independent mess by that point. I cope quite well on little sleep, but it's going to start totting up. When is enough enough? Daniel's a great sleeper, which I'm thankful for, but we did sleep train him, through the night, at 10 months & I often wonder if that's why.

Sometimes, often actually, I'm happy to get up in the night with Joshua. Quiet time, to myself, is quite nice. Another chance to snuggle that warm, sleeping body & watch that sweet face, two of my favourite things in the world. Things I don't get to do with my biggest, because he sleeps soundly in his own bed, and I'll miss it when it stops. I don't know where I'm going with this post really, I've been meaning to write about sleep for a while & tonight I needed to get it off my chest. I'm sure everyone and their mother's cat's doctor's wife will have some advice for me, but really I have to decide what's best for US. I hope I can figure it out soon!


Typically, the next morning Joshua came into bed with us at 7am and then slept till 10am, unheard of! But then last night? Even worse - up every two hours and then for the day at 6:45. Boo. There IS a little tooth poking through, and a nagging cough, so either of those could be to blame. I've decided to quit letting him cry it out, at least at night, and just feed him when he wakes. It's easier for us both, and I can often squeeze a nap in while the boys do, or just start going to bed earlier. He is only going to be this little once!

Lots of Love
Momma B


  1. Oh you poor thing!!! It's so hard to know what to do sometimes, but your spot on with doing what works for you and gets you a bit of sleep!! I'm s'posed to be starting to let Olly cry it out a wee bit, but he shrieks like a banshee and wakes everyone in the house (and probably the neighbors too) I hope everything settles soon for yas!

  2. Urgh, lack of sleep is such a horrible thing! You've just got to remind yourself that you did it once with Daniel and even though Joshua is a different kettle of fish you have to ignore the 4 year old horror stories and believe that it will just click, he's still really little :)

    With C I bought and read the Gina Ford Complete Sleep Book, I started gently with the first couple of steps and luckily it clicked then, but it was good to know there were techniques out to help you get through more difficult times!

    Good luck and make sure Colin let's you have at least one lie in on the weekend xxx

  3. One of my favorite pieces of advice that anyone has ever given me, is that something is only a "problem" if it is a problem for YOU and your baby. If nursing him back to sleep at night works for you and gets you more sleep, then don't feel bad about it! It sounds like Joshua's sleep troubles are mostly temperament-related, so just remember, this too shall pass.

    I'm not a cry it out fan, but we have a lot of trouble with naps. I picked up the No Cry Nap Solution by Elizabeth Pantley at the library recently, and am in the process of reading it now to see if I can add some more tools to my parenting tool box. While I don't think it is a "solution" necessarily, there are some bits in there that I like and may use. She has a nighttime sleep book too, that may be worth checking out. Hang in there, mama!