Crash and burn

I am never posting claiming I’ve got a sense of things again.

Two nights ago E. really resisted going to sleep, and then at the first night feeding wouldn’t go back down again for two hours (previously he would feed for thirty minutes and then happily go down in his crib awake and drift off). Q. hadn’t managed to get to sleep before E’s first feeding (around midnight), so he got very little rest, and I didn’t get much over five hours. So we were all feeling pretty fragile yesterday, and I worked really hard to keep E’s routine consistent and keep him up so that his naps weren’t too long.

Last night? Q. slept in the basement as he was a zombie and he has a major deadline looming that requires him to be able to function. And E. was up from 11.30 until 3, and then again from 4.45. I thought I was going to lose my mind. I am so tired today I can barely see straight.

I don’t think it’s a growth spurt as he really wasn’t all that interested in feeding- he just wanted to fuss and squawk and not go to sleep.

Last night was the first time I thought we’d made a mistake. Even though I knew it was probably just a phase, and that he is too little to expect him to be predictable, I just couldn’t muster the emotional resilience to ride it out. I didn’t cry, but boy did I come close.

So today we’re once again on a structured routine and I’m keeping his naps even a touch shorter. Really hoping to get my baby back tonight, and that this non-sleeping child is some strange imposter.



Filed under Baby, Emotions

8 responses to “Crash and burn

  1. you didn’t cry? damn. color me impressed. i’ve been known to sob loudly enough to wake sugar in the other room. through her ear plugs.

    sounds like you’re doing a great job.

  2. Heather

    Hang in there! Based on my experience, I’d say that now will likely be the hardest stretch with your new babe. During the first weeks, I think new parents get lulled into believing a new baby will just sleep all the time. And only cry when they’re hungry or wet/dirty. I know I did! And then, just when the new parents (aka me) feel they really can handle their new baby, and wow, it’s really not that hard, and gee, I think we have a routine that will really work out well… that’s when the baby starts acting like a real baby. (There’s a reason baby photographers often make it mandatory that newborn photo shoots be scheduled prior to baby turning two weeks old.) For us, it happened when baby turned two weeks old. The baby we knew and had figured out prior to that disappeared, and we were left with a fussy girl that would not sleep during the night, and we quickly because overwhelmed with sleep deprivation. And worry. Because we thought we must have done something wrong (e.g. we messed up the routine!) or something must be wrong with the baby (e.g. she must be sick!). But really, she was fine. And we just had to take some deep breaths and roll with it. It’s hard. It’s so hard. But hang in there! It will get better (eventually)! For real. I wouldn’t lie. 🙂

  3. Heather

    P.S. One bit of assvice (I’m sorry! I know you must hear a ton of it! But just in case you haven’t heard this one thing, I’m going to mention it just in case it might help…): With newborns, the sayings go “sleep begets sleep” and “never wake a sleeping baby”. And I really think they’re true. I think we suffered the most when we didn’t let baby sleep during the day when she wanted to sleep. I think we cut daytime naps off if they lasted 4 hours, but other than that, baby needed a lot of sleep. We only seemed to make the nights harder with lots of fussing and frustration when we didn’t let her nap properly during the day.

  4. I lurk but I was going to say the same thing the previous commenter said about “sleep begets sleep”. It’s not a guarantee, but trying to keep your baby on a schedule is really hard (impossible?) and sometimes just going with your baby’s natural schedule is better for everyone getting sleep. I didn’t get my kid on a day time schedule until about 13 months, but he’s been sleeping at night on a schedule since 6 weeks (thank God). It’s tough, hang in there.

  5. O was a TERRIBLE sleeper. Seriously awful. He was one of those babies who got super overstimulated and just COULD.NOT.GO.TO.SLEEP. And when he DID sleep, it would be broken and he’d be inconsolable.

    And I can’t tell you how many nights I wondered if we made a mistake. I cried a lot, actually.

    What saved me was putting him to sleep many many MANY times a day. And like Heather said – never waking him up. I basically let him sleep as long as he wanted. Which was never long because he was a catnapper, but he had literally like 6-8 naps a day. It really helped us.

    Hugs hon. This part is really, really hard.


  6. Sarah

    Those two hour-long wakeful periods are rough aren’t they? I always keep our light off during night feedings and just have the light from our semi-closed bathroom door to feed Isaac by, but occasionally he just struggles going back to sleep. Strangely enough, the days when he sleeps well during the day usually are the days he does best at night too. Maybe that’s because he’s going through growth spurts and just needs extra? Who knows…
    It’s definitely hard when you and your hubby are both exhausted. Usually for us, it’s one or the other, thank goodness (so far anyway), so someone can get a break later on in the evening.

  7. Hang in there! Everything you’ve said is totally normal, I promise. You’ll think you’ve got the hang of it and then he will change again. And it’s hard to function or be coherent or rational when you are that tired. Give yourself a break and don’t worry about things like thinking you made a mistake (I actually said it out loud to my husband around day 3 at home when we had a night like yours). Totally normal.

    Everyone is different and you will find something that works for you but here is what worked for us: a) the Happiest Baby method — swaddle, shush/white noise, etc. and b) something called a Snuggle Nest. It is a controversial thing that lets you have the baby in bed with you. I swore I would never do that but we were desperate for sleep and knew he just wanted to be close to us.

  8. Mel

    Babies love to trick us! They wait until you start feeling a little bit confident and then they pull the rug out from underneath you. Human nature, I suppose. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember: this, too, shall pass. I had SO MANY moments of “WTF DID WE DO?!” when we first brought her home and wondering how my life would ever get back to any sense of normalcy or how I’d ever regain myself. It gets easier, I promise. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time.


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