Saturday, November 24, 2007

The All Screaming Sleep Solution

Last Saturday marked our third visit to the doctor for Nuala in less than a week.

Monday: ear infection. Kept me up enough of the night that I wanted to harm someone and hoped it would be me.

Tuesday: 6 month well baby check up. Baby is well. (Ears still red.) 13 lbs 10 oz.

Saturday: nothing wrong except my parenting. Ears no longer red. N weighs 13 lbs 14.5 oz. She kept me up enough of the night that I suspect I was going to harm someone and the most likely victim was the porcelain I was grinding off my teeth.

She’s biting me. BITING me. Hard. With no teeth. She is probably teething, but there’s nothing more traumatic at 2 am than trying to soothe an unhappy baby by nursing her and getting bit hard on the nipple.

So no more nursing for comfort for a while (ever?).

The kindly nurse also told me that at 6 months there were developmental milestones she was hitting and she was probably waking to practice, and waking to check on the location of her minions, and making sure they did her bidding at any moment. Well, okay, that’s my interpretation. Still. I am so unhappy with the quantity and quality of sleep I’ve gotten lately that I am about three inches from the end of my frayed rope.

When Q was just slightly older than this, we adapted a Ferber strategy and within a week he was not only sleeping through the night, falling asleep on his own, but cranked his bedtime back from 8:30 to 7:30. We barely knew what to do with the evening to ourselves. (We figured it out.) So it’s time to do this with kid 2. And if you think I’m cruel, I’ll call you up at 2:30 am next time she wakes and screams for an hour and you can talk me through my suicidal thoughts and call social services on the other line to protect this child.

So we're on Night 6 of the All Screaming Sleep Solution, and it's going alarmingly well. The first night was absolutely awful, but, in truth, it was not much worse than the nights when she'd simply start screaming at me for whatever reason that I could not determine at 3 am. At least I knew why she was upset. She screamed for approximately 5 hours (in shifts). Brutal.

Nights 2-4 saw approximately 30 minutes of screaming. Night 5 had less than 10 minutes. Tonight had about 30. She's been waking about 5:30 in the morning, but since she's already been asleep about 11 hours, how can I really blame her? I'm trying to coax her to sleep another 30 to 60 minutes... and maybe I'll get my way. Or maybe not.

(Photo is of N in an outfit selected by Q. J suggested Q get to pick out N's clothes for all future dates.)


Anonymous said...

things do get better... usually about the time they go off to college. At that point you will be looking around the house wondering why it's so quiet.

Allison said...

You don't know me but I googled baby screaming in sleep and got your blog, which I love by the way. That is EXACTLY how I feel when my baby screams bloody murder at midnight (so I feed her), 1, 2:20, and 3 (where I break down and feed her again). This is something new for us and I am literally dying and feeling just like you where I want to hurt someone and I hope some knocks me out so I can't be responsible so soothe this hysterical kid anymore. Kicker.. she wakes up at 6am smiling like nothing ever happened!! AHHH!