Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Demoralizing, Soul Sucking Torture

My baby still won't sleep at night. I can't stand it. It has been six months and he still wakes up repeatedly. Corey and I had what I thought was an acceptable system where I would diaper and feed him during one waking and Corey would do the next so we both could get a little bit of sleep.

Only now, Miles has changed the rules on us. He no longer goes back to sleep after eating and getting his ass wiped. And he's too damn heavy to march up and down the stairs anymore. His night wakings take a minimum of 75 minutes and usually include screaming and yelling from both frustrated parents. Ok, it's me doing the screaming and yelling. Corey just angrily gets back in bed and fluffs the covers over and over and over again, silently.

Miles makes me ache. Just when his sleep resistance shreds me into a writhing heap, he sticks out his little arm and holds my finger with all his strength. I just know he is equally devastated that he can't figure out how to fall asleep. He seems to be begging me to help him, but I have NO IDEA what else I can do for him.

We get two schools of support through this situation. One group of people tells us it's time to let Miles cry it out, that he needs to learn to self soothe and that enough is enough with this nighttime bullshit. Another group of people tells us that parenting is a 24-hr job, and that we should view his night wakings as nighttime parenting and just surrender to our hungry, high needs baby. This group reminds us how long it took us to get Miles gaining weight, that he really seems to need all the night time calories. Again and again and again.

It always seems like those are the options: martyrdom or Ferberizing.

My gut tells me not to let Miles cry it out. I can't bear it. Plus, when he becomes really upset he vomits. He vomits so much vomit that he smears it in his hair, in his ears, on the sheets, on the walls. When we leave the room, frustrated that he won't sleep, we inevitably come back 10 minutes later to a vomit whiteout. That doesn't feel like good parenting to me.

I just wish I could figure out what the hell this kid needs. There is still no consistency from one day to the next. A nap could be a half hour or 2.5. He could wake up for the day at 4am or 830. And so I stagger on, sleepless, filled with the high anxiety of never, ever knowing what will come next for this baby.

This, too, shall pass. That mantra has been the only consistency in my life since July. This, too, shall pass is all I have left. It seems those words will have to spell me a little bit longer.


Emily said...

I'm sorry katy :( If we lived closer we'd volunteer to hike stairs for a night. Good exercise! ha.

My boss was just telling us yesterday how his (now 4 yo) daughter would cry till she puked unless she slept with them. He now sleeps with 4 yr old feet under his back, as they haven't gotten around to moving her to her own bed. Apparently at 4 they can still cry that hard. eek.

Laura V said...

R. still wakes up, too, but at least he goes back to sleep. He no longer likes to go to sleep initially, though, so I have picked up a copy of "the no cry sleep solution". when I'm done with it, do you want to borrow it? I mean, at least it's not Ferberizing, and if it doesn't work you're no worse off.

Handpicked said...

When he wakes don't make it such a transition. Don't change his diaper. If he slept all night his diaper wouldn't be changed, he will survive! Don't talk with him. Keep it all about sleep. I am thinking leaving the room is probably too much of a transition also. Sure you'll hold him comfort him but don't go over board. The goal is sleep!