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Thursday, January 24, 2008


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Alex did not sleep easily for the longest time...recent days have suggested readiness is key (knock on wood). He's taken to sleeping with no cajoling, and little soothing. Stick it out. You'll be fine.

My second son was a horrible sleeper. HORRIBLE. GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH he was a horrible sleeper.

When my oldest was tiny, my MIL used to complain ALL THE TIME that my husband (as a newborn) "went to sleep on the stroke of midnight." She would nurse and rock and sing and walk and he wouldn't go to sleep until the clock struck 12. I would think smugly that I must be an awesome mother because MY baby went down reliably around 9:15.

Pride goeth before a hellish stretch of sleep deprivation. My second son arrived and he WOULD NOT go to sleep until somewhere between 11pm and 1am. I would nurse and rock and sing and walk and stand on my head and implore all God's holy angels to smite him with heavenly soporifics (smite him in a tender and angelic fashion, you understand), and NOTHING helped for the first two months.

When he was a toddler he would routinely wake up in the middle of the night and just be awake for a couple of hours. Sometimes he would play quietly in the dark, but a couple of times a week I would have to get up with him and settle him back down slowly. Only rarely was it nightmares or discomfort -- he was just wakeful. I used to say, "He is missing the thing that tells most of us, 'Dark outside means it's time to sleep.'" I also used to say, "Well, everybody's bad at something. My kid is bad at sleeping. There are worse things to be bad at." I tried desperately to have a good attitude about it, because it just seemed like that's who he was: sweet and cuddly and lovable and bad at sleeping.

BOY was it hard, I can say now that he is 8.

P.S. He sleeps fine now.

Adriana woke up six (6) (!) times last night.

PS: We also have the same thing with the books. What's up with that?

I'm not sure if I should be scared or reassured. I love Maggie too, partly because I have a non-sleeping 8 month old.

Your blog has actually been really reassuring to me because I'm not ready to plop my baby in his crib and let him cry like the mom's in my mom's group, so when I start to worry I think about you, so please don't fall apart. You were so comforting with the night weaning. I need comfort!!

PS: I think this is payback because like the above poster's husband, I was a bad sleeper. Still am. Why couldn't he have inherited his dad's sleep anywhere, anytime genes?

Jack has slept through the night for, oh, about a week now. BRING ON THE IRRATIONAL HAG!

love, maggie

My 2 1/2 year old comes in at 5 am to pull my hair for 1-2 hours. I'm like his special blankie... he sleeps pretty well whilr he's doing it, and I think I sleep fitfully, then wake up with a headache. At least that's how it went today. Auugghh!

Is Daniel wearing his mother's Garfield jammies in that picture? Cause those things totally rule.

Lucy screamed for milk. Asher screamed. Lucy screamed for water. Asher screamed. Lucy said her blankets weren't quite right. Asher screamed. Lucy fell asleep. Had to change Asher's diaper. Lucy woke up. Lucy screamed. Asher screamed. ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

Gabe is almost 13 months old and JUST started sleeping through the night. JUST NOW. All of a sudden, so now I'm totally convinced that it is a random readiness thing that they need to acquire. Plus, we all know that he'll sleep through the night for 2 weeks and then start waking up 7 times a night again. One day I bet she'll just decide that she is going to sleep like a college sophomore and POOF.

child#1 was sleeping dream. sigh. I love those memories. Sadly, I didn't know how good I had it. I do now. (of course, there was the month where child#1 had night terrors EVERY night, which are horrid, and I do not care to deal with ever again. Thankfully, they started spacing out and pretty much stopped coming anymore eventually.)

child#2 did not sleep through night until 18? 20? months? not sure. At the time, I said to meself - self: she is tiny. She needs her mimi time with Mami. She needs this. We will live. We will survive. Self said back - GAHHHHHHHHH. And at least she didn't have night terrors.

but we survived and she sleeps very well. (still asleep right now in fact, at 8:05 a.m., of course she is also sick, so that's not a great thing, she would normally be at school. I digress.)

Child#3. Slept fine by comparison with child#2. or maybe my standards have slipped even farther. But he sleeps. And he doesn't have night terrors. (I'm a bit fixated on the night terrors. But truly - they are horrid.)

and that's my 2 cents for what it's worth.

The Bookkeeper i used to work with contends that her daughter (now in her mid-30s) has NEVER slept through the night. The daughter will back it up, though it's much less of an issue NOW than it was when she was little.
By the time Angela was 3 or 4-ish, they made rules that she could get out of bed, left a bottle/cup of juice for her in a fridge shelf she could access and help herself to, and she was allowed to get up and play with certain (quiet) toys or books until she went back to sleep. This worked then, and apparently still works (though she has her own rules now, obviously).
So, while I don't know that it's encouraging, you will find a way for it to work somehow.

Homemade marshmallows? Homemade marshmallows? That's... I'm in awe. Marshmallows are not something you make, marshmallows are an ingredient. This is how I felt when I learned that Andrew likes cole slaw, but only homemade cole slaw, except even more so, because I can at least see how cole slaw is made of ingredients readily available in the store, but marshmallows?

Now I want to try it, though.

I have nothing to say about sleeping kids because I don't want to be smacked. I hope things get better for you though. She will eventually sleep all night, I swear. Or at least it will not be your problem if she lies awake, because she won't scream about it!

I have nothing to add to the sleeping discussion, for obvious reasons. So I'll just say that I'm psyched for your DC trip, too!

I know you don't want to hear this, but our 10-week-old sleeps through the night...and has been consistently doing this for the last 10 days. We're talking 8 straight hours of sleep. Commence throwing of shoes at my head.

At my sister-in-law's suggestion, we tried following the "babywise" book about worked for her. But our baby WOULD NOT FOLLOW THE SCHEDULE. She napped fitfully and ate every 2 hours or 5 hours or whatever suited her that day. So honestly, I don't think it was anything that we did...I just chalk it up to every child being different. We just got lucky. Very, very lucky. My husband claims that God sent us a fairly easy child because He only gives us what we can handle, and He knew how very weak we are.

Let me tell you about night terrors. They occur between the ages of 1 and 6 and can happen in the first half of the night's sleep. It is not the same as a night mare. After being asleep for about half an hour, the brain should shift over into deep sleep. But in some children, there is a problem at this point, and they SEEM to wake up (they are actually dead asleep), and they start SCREAMING. SCREAMING! If you try to wake them up to soothe them, it gets worse, because the poor kid has now been awakened while in an aroused state, and takes forever to go back to sleep. The best thing to do is wait it out, and not mess with them too much. But YOU can't sleep through it, because of the SCREAMING!

This happened to us with our son, from age 1 through about age 5. At its worst, we would have upwards of four cycles of night terrors before he would finally fall asleep for the night, which mean that even when he went down at 8 or 9, Mom and Dad could not really sleep until midnight or 1 AM. (Remember, the SCREAMING!) Also, it drives you completely insane when your child is screaming for 10 to 20 minutes and you can't comfort them. I would like there next to him, maybe sort of gently holding him, and I would look at the clock and say, "Okay, it is 9:05. By 9:25, this will all be over." It never actually took 20 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. During his younger years, we also had night issues and general night waking, as well as teething. So it was entirely possible to survive the 3-4 hours of terrors, finally get to sleep, then be awakened by ordinary toddler night time crying.

Well, telling this story has been therapeutic. I am temporarily comforted by the fact that we've been unable to produce another one of these delightful little housemates. :-)

Oh, and just so I can look humble, I can top myself. I know a family with four kids. Their oldest daughter has a rare genetic disorder that has rendered her profoundly developmentally disabled. It also makes her unable to sleep for more than a couple of hours at night. Mom takes the night shift, staying up until about 2, then dad gets up at 4 for the day shift. (She's actually a delightful child.) Let me tell you, that is a household full of extremely tired people. (And also a wonderful, inspiring Catholic family.) They're the ones I think of when I want to feel better. I don't know who they think of...

Have fun in DC! I don't know if I would describe DC as "warm" this time of year, but I suppose it is compared to your home state! :-)

No sleep advice for ya. But, I am just nosy and curious. How many times a night does Camilla wake up now? :-)

E will occasionally sleep throuh the night, but now we are teething and she is waking up a good bit, poor little thing. Any teething tips for us newbies? :-)

We're at 20 months, still no sleep. We had a little night weaning success at 16 months, then hit the 18 month regression at 17 months and everything went out the window. (He actually slept all night last night but he has a 103 fever today so I am not counting on it ever happening again.)

We're at 20 months right now and NOT EVEN CLOSE. But I already had a good sleeper, so I count my blessings.

Kiddo#3 will turn four in two months, and *he* doesn't sleep through the night. He gets out of bed and comes to sleep with us. So for the last year or so, we have slept through the night but we awaken with a Kiddo.

We've explained to him that this is going to stop. He patiently explains to us that "I wake up and I scary, so I come see Momma." We reply that he's going to have to sleep all night in bed just like everyone else. He tells us it's not fair. Well, tough. We've got another Kiddo on the way in a few months, and we need the bed free for that one. *shudder*

Daniel's pyjamas/outfit is adorable, and Camilla's face made me giggle. I'm blown away by the fact that you can make homemade marshmallows, or that someone actually thought to do that. I think someone needs to make chocolate marshmallows.

4 years, 7 months. Still waiting. :)

Seriously sister, you should have at least added a little note about the crazy outfit Daniel is wearing! At least some reference to it being an heirloom or something ;)

Three girls, all terrible sleepers, but I hardly remember now that they're 14, 12, and 10. Re: those marshmallows, do not try them unless you have that stand mixer. We made a batch in the summer and didn't beat them properly, and they ended up being ... very sweet vanilla-flavored finger jello. Ewwwww. I went and bought a bag (cheaper than that stand mixer).

My first slept through the night just a few days out of the hospital. Made me think I was IT ON A STICK. My second, not until I was pregnant (and not sleeping) with the third. The third is three and I haven't slept through the night in almost five years. I no longer feel IT. But hey, when they're all up and gone I'll miss this. Right? Maybe, not so much.

My 2 year old started sleeping well since about 7 months old. I fear saying it out loud will jinx it. His bio grandma says his dad was lazy and slept a lot too.

Princess never slept much. Tube fed every 3 hours and if not fed at the precise time, she screamed, which backed the formula out of her tummy. Not fun. Six hours of crying the night before she went to heaven.

Bubbles(now living in another foster home) was a dream baby. Never fussed much. Sleeping through the night at around 7 mos.

I know I'm gonna be doomed on the next one though, especially if it comes drug exposed, which is likely.

Although they slept well, they were all EXTREMELY needy when awake, so I could do nothing else.

I can't imagine how exhausted you must be! I pray she starts sleeping soon.

Well, since you asked, my daughter made a 6 hour stretch at night for the first time around 18 months. Prior to that I was up 2-3 times a night to nurse. We tried everything to no avail and it seemed like finally something clicked and she got the hang of sleeping. Now at 2 1/2 she is a champ at it but I remember in those first two years thinking I was going to go crazy from sleep deprivation.

Thanks for posting about marshmallows - I think I am going to try and make some!

Hey, I can TOTALLY make you feel better. NONE of my six kids slept through the night until they were over 2.

I'm swiping this topic for my own site tonight, ok?

Sending sleep vibes your way...

Catherine above with the night terror post already wrote much of my entry, but I'll go for it anyway.

My 1st slept like a normal baby/toddler (meaning not so great) until about 2, then wham...sleeps like a log.

My 3rd seems to be roughly on the same track...though we'll see (she's only two).

My 2nd....
I just don't know how to start other than to say I nearly wept when I read Catherine's entry and saw someone else who can 'feel my pain.'

Our second boy (generally about the sweetest munchkin you can imagine) is now 4 & 1/2 and he too has night terrors...since about one and 1/2. I can't describe this adequately.

At 2, he drove me from my then pregnant wife's bed because his repeated wakings (remember the screaming) were killing her (we co-sleep). I took him into another room across the house so she could sleep.

I thought this would last a few weeks (maybe months)....two years later, I hadn't slept through the night more than once or twice. That only because I was so insanely exhausted that I think I slept through the screaming (remember the screaming).

Finally, at four he was only waking and screaming 2 times per night. I tried finally going back into our bed, and after a few nights of having to get up to go listen to the screaming, I dragged him back into our room. At least I didn't have to walk across the house to listen to him scream.

He's approaching 5 and it's been unrelenting. It's a nightmare.

I have never felt like I wanted my kids to grow up quickly, because I truly enjoy them and want to savor them at whatever age they are....but I just can't wait until this passes...even writing it out makes me feel weak and tired.

I am just thrilled to know that hopefully in the next 1 or 2 this is suppossed to end.....right? right?

I wake up at some point every single night with my 2 and my 3 1/2 year old in our double bed. A year ago, they were both sleeping though the night. Now? It's a freaking circus - 2 adults, 2 toddlers, and a cat in a double bed.

Last night:

Baby wakes up, cries. Noise wakes up toddler. Toddler wakes up, cries. Nurse baby. Baby falls asleep. Put toddler back to bed. Think toddler is asleep, go back to bed myself. Toddler not asleep, yells for mom. Noise wakes up baby. Baby cries. Noise wakes up 5 yo, who is convinced porcupines live under his bed. 5 yo joins us in bed. Toddler jealous that 5 yo is in our bed, so he joins us, too. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Be glad you have the luxury of sleeping when (if) Milla naps!

i thin if we consider this then we should have to wait approximately four years and six months.

i thin if we consider this then we should have to wait approximately four years and six months.

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