Update on Sleep

As you might remember, a couple of months ago I blogged about L being a terrible sleeper and how he still woke up every three hours at night. Quite a few people commented on my post, and all essentially said the same thing: we had to let him scream it out. It would just take a couple of days, and then all would be well.

I knew my readers were probably right, but I just didn’t have the heart for it. Miserable as I was at night, I just couldn’t stand to hear my baby cry without going to comfort him, so things remained much the same until we went toPuerto Ricoin December.

I’m not sure what it was – the hum of the air conditioner, the exhaustion of being in a new place surrounded by new people every day, the darkness of the room – but from the day we arrived in the island, L only woke up one time during the night.

I was in heaven. He wasn’t sleeping through the night, but he was sleeping better than he ever had in his entire life. One wake up/feeding a night wasn’t bad. I could do that. I only hoped the trend would continue once we returned home.

It didn’t, of course.

As soon as we arrived back inChicago, L fell back into the pattern of waking up every three hours. This time, though, I’d had enough. I knew he could sleep more hours than that – he had done it the entire month of December! So right around New Year’s Eve, we decided to take action and let him scream through the night.

It wasn’t that bad at all. After two days, L would sleep from 8 pm to 5 am with a minimal amount of screaming (no more than 30 minutes). It was great. We asked ourselves, why did we wait so long to do this? He was obviously ready.

That idyllic period lasted about two weeks. Then, about three days ago, we saw that L’s first tooth was coming in. Ever since that night, he’s waking up at 3 am - completely and absolutely AWAKE.  We try to leave him in his crib to see if he will fall asleep again, but inevitably the screaming begins. We try to let him cry himself to sleep, but we’ve discovered that after 45 minutes of L’s screaming, Dylan wakes up too. Then we have TWO screaming children at 4 am. Not happening.

I’ve ended up taking L downstairs with me and falling asleep with him on the couch. Not the ideal situation at all, but the baby books do say that sleeping patters change when baby is teething or reaching certain milestones, so I am trying to be patient and not beat myself up over this too much. I was hoping that when the tooth broke the surface of the gum, L would go back to his 8 pm – 5 am schedule.

However, last night L’s nose started getting a little runny. I think he’s coming down with a cold. Looks like there will be no sleeping through the night for a long time to come!




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  • Khadine, I feel that you are approaching this the right way. You definitely should not ignore L through the night when he is feeling sick and/or is in pain and discomfort. In fact, with my foster daughter, even when she did the screaming thing and I knew she was not sick, I would go to her when she cried - but would simply pat her gently and comfort her and tell her to go back to sleep, without picking her up and bringing her back to bed with me.

    But with L, right now, you are definitely doing the right thing! Hope he gets better soon :)

  • In reply to jiyer:

    Thank you, that makes me feel better! I did kind of feel like we were taking one giant step back with the sleep thing, but I couldn't stand the thought of leaving him there in discomfort. The good news is that the moment the tooth came out, he went right back to sleeping through the night, and did so all week until last night, when tooth #2 came out! I think we might be getting the hang of this sleep/teething combo :-)

  • This like the Mafia: once you think you are out, they keep pulling you back in. You have no idea how many times I thought we were in the clear with the sleeping thing and then boom, it was all over. Que timing lo del teething, pro Dios. I feel for you my friend. Oye, y a riesgo de sonar como nuestros padres, baby tyleno pa los dientes??
    This too shall pass my friend.

  • In reply to Ana Belaval:

    Lol, Ana, you are so right! Like I mentioned above, though, it seems like whenever a tooth is about to break the surface he wakes up at 3 am. I don't think Tylenol would really help that much, he seems to just want a human touch, because he goes right back to sleep on top of me, poor little guy. But if he seemed to be in really great pain, I'd definitely consider it!

  • Sleep is such a touchy topic among the parenting group. There are lots of very strong opinions and if your philosophy doesn't match those opinions, there's something wrong with your parenting skills. Although I understand the cry it out philosophy, I never felt it was right for my child. It just didn't feel right. Until they're able to talk, crying is the only form of communication they have. How could I ignore it? I also still sit with my son until he falls asleep (and he's 15 months old). You can imagine how many weird looks and judgy McJudgy opinions I've had to face. And that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. There are very few RIGHT answers when it comes to parenting - though, there are countless RIGHT FOR MY FAMILY answers.

    Food for thought - babies tend to get runny noses when they're teething. Hopefully L's runny nose is related to teething and not a cold (then again, it is winter - colds happen!). Also? Consider Hyland's Teething Tablets. They were pulled from the shelves for a short time last year, so you'll want to do some research into them. But, all my crunchy mama friends swear by them. We just started using them and they really seem to help. (See, more unsolicited advice - hopefully, though, it's not judgmental!)

  • Thanks for your comment, Nilsa. I do agree that there are many strong opinions out there about how to get a baby to sleep through the night, and that ultimately you have to do what feels right and works best for your family. I've also done the sit (well, stand in my case) still thing and must admit that it seems to provide comfort.

    Thanks also for the advice on the teething tablets (not judgemental OR unsolicited at all - I'll take all the advice I can get!), but he really doesn't seem THAT uncomfortable - really the only difference is that he wakes up at night - so I think I'll hold off on giving him anything yet. Again, thanks for your comment!

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