When our first son was born, Craig Ferguson, the nighttime TV host, gave me a book. I think the title was Happy Baby, Healthy Sleep Habits; something to that effect. (When he recently had his new baby, I gave him the book back, as a gift.) Our son Noah was a dream. It took about 4 months for him to begin sleeping through the night. He is still an amazing sleeper. He can fall asleep anywhere. On the bus, he has no problems with the movement or sounds heading down the road. He can pass out in the car, no problem. He can sleep during a movie. He is a sleeping champ. Our 8 month old is a totally different story. He has, NOT ONCE, slept through the night.
There is nothing worse than sleep deprivation. My mind is in a haze and I find myself falling asleep at stop lights. I saw a sitcom last week and one line that made me laugh out loud was “Whoever invented sleep deprivation as a means of torture must have had kids.” It’s true. When my body isn’t rested, it doesn’t function properly. I’ve had more colds this year since our son was born than all the other years of my life combined. This last “run” on the road, after about a week, my nanny had a taste of what my life has been life since the arrival of our son. She was having a hard time focusing. She would take naps while the baby slept and me or my husband would take our 3-year-old. Still, she was overcome by exhaustion. When it came time to ordering lunch our last day out she stared at the menu, unable to focus or decide on what to order.
I’ve talked to our sons’ doctor, who says, “Let him cry it out.” However, his cry is shrill. There’s no sleeping through it.
If he cries too long then he will wake up our 3-year-old, who needs to be rested for school. And honestly, the sound runs down my spine, forcing my limbs to move me out of bed to get him. I get up and give him a bottle and walk him around comforting him – whatever it takes to get him settled back to sleep. Last night he got up at 11PM, 2:30am, 4:30am and 6am. I’ve given him gripe water, teething tablets, he’s not running a fever. I’m at a loss on what to do to help him sleep through the night.
I met a fan this past week who explained that she totally understood how I was feeling. She said that after a while you become so desperate to get a full night’s sleep, you start taking advice that with a rested mind would seem ridiculous. “Hang the curtains upside down. That will help him sleep” or “Put jelly beans in his diaper before bedtime.” There’s also “Feed him rice before bed” and “try a warm bath at bedtime.” I’ve heard everything and I’ve tried it. This child will not sleep through the night. My best friend was the most comforting (note the sarcasm). She told me her first daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was three. THREE?! You mean I have another 2 1/4 yrs of this ? I almost jumped off the roof when she told me that.
So in desperation I am reaching out to the expert moms. If you have any suggestions, any advice, I’m open to hearing it. Nine months of not getting a full nights sleep is wearing me down. What do YOU think I should do ? Let me know your thoughts below or on twitter @jodeemessina #sleeplessadvice
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