Emmett has never been a good sleeper. He goes to bed every night, like clockwork, between 6:30 and 7, and "sleeps" until 6 or 6:30. Or at least he did until this week. This week he's tired right on cue at 6:30, we do our normal bedtime routine- bath, lotion (we live in a desert, after all), prayers while I rock him and nurse him a little, and then lay him down with his pacifier while he's awake but sleepy. But then just when I think he's fallen asleep, he pops up again and plays in his crib for a few minutes before crying and crying until I go to check on him. I pick him up, give him a hug, he wants to nurse, so I sit down to rock him some more. Then he doesn't want to nurse, but wants to stand up and laugh and play. What is happening?!
He's never slept through the night. Never once. We've had a handful of nights where he only woke up once in the 12 hour night, but the usual is 2-4 wake ups. Okay the usual is 3-4 wake ups, but really usually 4 lately.
When he wakes up he won't go back to sleep until I pick him up, rock him and nurse him. Then he's out again in less than 5 minutes, easy peasy. If I don't go in and nurse him, or if Ray tries to go in and give him his pacifier and shush him back to sleep, Emmett will cry for an hour or (last night) two before I finally cave and go get him. Pick him up, give him the boob and then he's out within 2 minutes.
We've tried sleep training, we've tried letting him cry it out, we've tried it all. And it worked once, for about two weeks when he was 6 months old. He would still wake up 3 times a night, but he would let Ray go in and give him his pacifier and go right back to sleep. Then he started teething and became inconsolable unless I went in to nurse him back to sleep.
I'm not writing this because I want advice. I've come to realize that so many families have figured out ways to get their babies to sleep, but for us, I feel like it's too late. We missed the sleep training boat months ago, and now we're stuck with a terrible sleeper. My only hope is that one day (soon) our boy will just figure it out on his own, become less dependent on me to help him back to sleep, and he'll learn to go back to sleep on his own when he wakes during the night. Or not, and we'll continue to live on too little broken sleep. We've done it for almost a year now, so I guess we're pretty used to it, and it can't get much worse..... right?
The other part of all of this, and maybe the root cause of all of our sleep troubles, is separation anxiety. Emmett's and mine. We miss each other all day long, so when I'm home, baby boy just needs his mama. He takes really good naps every day, and puts himself to sleep for naps and for the night every day, so I know he can do it. But when he wakes up in the night, he just wants his mama. He wants me to hold him and comfort him. He just wants to know I'm there. I'm home. I haven't left him again.
It's heartbreaking. It's painful. It's hard. I'm so tired, so exhausted, so worn out, all the time. But I miss him just as much as he misses me, and I love the time we spend together in the night. Just the two of us, rocking and holding him tight.
We're getting even less sleep than normal this week, and I'm feeling like Emmett's separation anxiety is at it's peak. He seems desperate for attention from me when I'm home, so I'm doing my best to shower him with love and kisses and cuddles. I know he'll sleep better soon. We'll go from 4 wake ups to 3, then to 2, and one day he'll sleep through the night on his own. And then he won't be my little baby boy anymore, the one who needs his mama so much. He'll be big and strong and independent, and I'll miss these nights, hard as they are, so badly.
|Taking a walk at 6 this morning, after a LONG night and a 5:30 wake up call. But the hat! Oh the hat.|