Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Dirty Little Sleep Secret

Wow.  I blinked and 2 weeks flew by without me posting a damn thing.

So, here's what's been going on in Brennan household...

Sleeping has been shitty.

Baby Jett has been a BAD BAD sleeper lately. 

And when Jett's a bad sleeper we all suffer.

We were running into several different problems and they were all colliding making nighttime HELL and something I began to dread each and every day.

It all started with that awful night when I was by myself and he was little Screamy McScreamerson.  Ever since then every night he became a fussy little monster sometime around 7:00-8:00pm and without fail we had 2 hours (sometimes longer!) of terror baby before he would finally settle down to sleep.  This resulted in us and baby going to bed sometime between 9:00-midnight all together.  Some nights when things were very bad he would end up sleeping ON one of us because after 2+ hours of a fussy baby you just do whatever works to get him to sleep.  

We just accepted this as the way it was and tried to grin and bear it, hoping he would just grow out of it.

He WAS also at this point still giving me 3 hour stretches of sleep.   Only waking up briefly to nurse in the sidelying position and then back to sleep.

Then that changed and now he's on a EVERY 2 HOURS ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT nursing regime.  And the amazing sidelying position to nurse at night is no longer working as he ends up spitting up on me so that we both have to get up and get changed or he starts screaming half an hour after eating because he needs to burp.

And then shitty nights turned into shitty days as the only way I could get the baby to sleep and stay asleep was to sleep ON ME.  So not only was I getting no longer than 2 hour stretches of sleep at night but now all day long I had a baby chained to me and I felt like I couldn't get anything done.  I spent all day getting baby to sleep, trying to put baby down, baby wakes up screaming and repeat over and over again.  I WAS EXHAUSTED.

Something had to change.

After talking with my midwife about all of this we've decided on a few things.

The first thing we did is bedtime moved to 7pm.  No more waiting for him to wake up from his afternoon napping and then dealing with his meltdown for two hours.  If we can get him to bed BEFORE he melts down and becomes terror baby he sleeps through his witching hour.   If that means his afternoon nap immediately becomes bedtime, THAT'S GREAT.  Apparently Baby Jett was just overtired in the evening as this seems to work wonders with no more fussy baby in the evening.

We also are coming to the conclusion that Baby Jett may have a bit of reflux.  He cries when he burps or spits up like it hurts...and he spits up a lot.  And he despises being put down to sleep on his back.  So at the suggestion of my midwife I did something very taboo.


And it was like magic.


Do you know what this means?!  

This means I can do laundry.  This means I can cook dinner.  This means I can EAT.  This means I can take more than 2 seconds to get dressed in the morning.  IT MEANS I CAN BLOG AGAIN.

It's freedom.

After making this wonderful discovery yesterday I discovered something else too.

Basically ALL PARENTS END UP DOING THIS AT SOME POINT.  And no one talks about it because you're not "supposed to" do it.  

Well I'm here to tell you that ESPECIALLY if you have a reflux baby putting them to sleep on their belly works wonders and I wish someone would have let me in on this dirty little secret weeks ago!

As to the nighttime...we're still struggling...and no one has any brilliant suggestions for me that I haven't tried.  Some nights he'll give me 3 hour stretches, other nights, like last night, he'll give me one 2 hour stretch and then up every hour after that. 

Big sigh.

I can only hope that Baby Jett grows out of this soon because otherwise come 4 months or 14 pounds Baby Jett is going to end up in his nursery...and there might be lots of crying involved...both his and mine.  But I can't keep on like this.

Everyone cross your fingers that we start making some progress in the nighttime sleep department and that it improves just like the daytime sleeping.

Is there some other dirty little nighttime secret that no one is sharing with me because it's something else we're not "supposed to" do just like the belly sleeping?



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    Stella slept on her belly from time to time, but really didn't love it until recently (around 9 months). I'm glad you figured out that it works for you!!

  2. I've had a lot of friends who used belly sleeping & it works wonders. How long/ much is he napping during the day?

  3. OMG, I just got done googling last night when it's Ok for them to sleep on their bellies because he LOVES it too! I usually do it during the day but not at night. I don't know how people get their babies to sleep through the night we even read a couple books. Keep me posted

  4. I have heard that Rock n Plays can be a lifesaver for babes with reflux- and that many moms put their little ones to sleep in these at night. Might be worth a try!

  5. Gosh, i miss the good old days. I remember putting all babies i babysat to sleep in their bellies before all the research and back to sleep. They seemed to just love it. I wonder how many people do this and just dont talk about it. Sounds like its the right think for his poor acid reflux, so glad something is working and you're blogging again! Was just thinking of you!

  6. Have you tried the Nap Nanny? It worked wonders for our boys who have reflux. Hope you start getting more sleep soon!

  7. My dirty secret could help when you do eventually move Jett to his own room.. when we did that with Austin, I cut off the sleeve of my old ratty robe I had worn everyday while on my maternity leave (without washing it first) and put that in the crib with him. of course, its a HUGE no-no people say, to put any cloth in with your baby at night.. but he could smell me and it really helped him transition to sleeping in his own bed. he slept with that sleeve for months before he didn't really need it anymore, and he had it with him all day long when he started daycare. So that's my dirty secret... something that smells like Momma when they start sleeping alone.

  8. Seconding the Rock N Plays...I have friends who swear by them. No baby for me yet (5 more weeks to go) but I just finished reading The Happiest Baby on the Block which touts the 5 Ss for calming screaming babies...might be something to look into (there's a DVD too so if you don't have time to read--hello, who does?!)! Swaddling, sucking, side/stomach position, shushing sounds, and swinging.

  9. my son slept on his tummy... he survived. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the hype of what's ' the best ' that we forget that every child is different. Now that being said, I understand why they say to only put babies on their back, but what happens when that means NO ONE is getting any sleep?! Is it still the best!? Not in my opinion. You do what is best for your family. I did also find a very tight swaddle helped our son sleep. Like, Straight Jacket tight.

  10. Both my babies were refluxers...our first was the worst. I didn't do the tummy sleeping because he didn't really like it....but I did prop him on his side all swaddled up. That is apparently a no no too. But it worked. I also did that for my baby girl. I had two of those long bolster type pillows (shaped like tubes)...I just put one behind baby's back and propped himup there. Worked wonders. For my daughter...she wanted to feel like she was being held so I did the same thing...but then put another bolster on her front side...her he stuck out the top...I then took a blanket and layed it over both bolsters and tucked it really tight so the pillows closed in on her body. It made her feel like she was being held...just the swaddle was not enough. I did this with her until she was 6 months old. I broke all the rules...side sleeping, pillows in the bed and a a blanket. was all before she was mobile. She never moved out of it. Once she wanted to move around...everything came out of the crib and she rolled over onto her tummy herself and was very happy.