In Need of Some Serious Sleep

Thankfully my eight month old son is an even tempered baby. He’s been happy and relaxed since the day of his birth. When I take him out with me he smiles and coos and even strangers remark on his calm and easy going personality. I feel unbelievably blessed to have him in my life.

With such an easy and thankfully healthy baby I know I shouldn’t complain, but at eight months his sleeping patterns seem worse than ever. Some nights he wakes only once or twice, but lately he’s been waking anywhere from three to six times and then waking tired between 5:00 and 5:30 am.

He’s NEVER been a good sleeper, but after eight months of sleeping for only a few hours at a time I am feeling quite exhausted. I recently got a cold and took nearly a week and a half to recover. I know sleeping only two to three hours at a time isn’t good for the body and I’m ready for longer stretches of sleep on a consistent basis.

My son is off the charts in terms of mobile activity and development. By seven months he could crawl (including up steps), pull himself to a standing position, give kisses, eat finger foods by himself and cruise. Most babies initially learn to stand by pulling up on furniture, but our little one can use anything to stand including walls and doors and if you hold his hands he can now take quite a few steps without tiring or falling.

Some people tell me babies don’t sleep well when they are learning new skills. I’d love to blame the problem on that, but I’m afraid our son just can’t seem to fall asleep on his own. I bought used copies of four leading baby books and tried nearly all the techniques, (other than cry it out), without any success. Most nights a 10 second pat puts him back to sleep, but that still means I need to wake up. walk over to the crib and pat him two or three times a night, plus wake once to feed him.

I’m considering buying a sleep package from one of these baby sites that promises to teach your child to sleep better. You email them the specific sleep patterns of your child and they create a customized plan. It seems crazy that I’m even considering this, but I’m feeling desperate to come up with a solution to this problem!

13 thoughts on “In Need of Some Serious Sleep”

  1. I wish I had some fantastic wisdom for you…. My son didn’t sleep through the night consistently until he was 15 months old, stopped napping at 2 years, and now (at nearly 14 years old) he still doesn’t sleep like he should. I was an absolute zombie for most of his first year and it was maddening to hear other people talk about how long their babies slept.

    All I can say is I feel your pain and I hope it gets better. I don’t blame you at all for thinking about the sleep package – let us know if you decide to get it and whether it works! Hope you get some rest soon.

    • Thanks for the sympathy! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who faced this battle, but I’m sad to hear your son still doesn’t sleep well.

  2. So sorry! I know it is hard when you are not getting enough sleep. My kids are in elementary school but I still remember. I had one guy who sounded similar to yours – very mellow but not much of a sleeper. His sleep got worse the more overtired he got so I always made sure he got his naps and that he wasn’t up too long at once.

    Waking once or twice a night until age 1 or so, doesn’t seem too unusual to me, but waking more than that is too much. You can’t function on that. How long has it been going on? A lot of things are just phases that come and go…

    Hang in there.

    • Hi Tamara – Unfortunately, this isn’t a new thing, though the number of times he’s waking has increased. Since he’s so active and strong I suddenly feel the urge to nip this in the bud now. As he gets bigger I’m sure it’ll be that much harder to break bad habits.

    • Oh and I’m not worried about waking to feed him once in the night. It’s more these short moments when I know he just can’t seem to fall back to sleep on his own.

  3. An honest conversation with your pediatrician might be in order. They should be able to give you some advice. If not, maybe you need to find someone else.

    I’ll be honest though, I have a 10 month old and as horrid as this might sound, I let her cry. If I got up every time she made a peep or tried to rock her to sleep every night, I would be an absolute zombie. She hates falling asleep. She is absolutely a joy all other times of the day. She just tends to wimpier or fuss a bit before falling asleep (and sometimes scream). She even does it if she falls asleep in her car seat when we’re driving long distances. As for when she wakes in the night, I typically give her 5 minutes to fuss (or how ever long it takes me to wake up) and then if she’s still going I’ll go rock her a few minutes. This tends to happen only when she’s got a tooth coming in. I no longer feed her at all during the night because I KNOW she’s getting enough calories during the day. If your doctor is worried that your little guy isn’t eating enough during the day and still needs that extra feeding that’s something different.

    I hope you find the relief you need. It’s so hard to know the exact right thing to do. But whatever you do, make sure it’s something that you’re comfortable with. Every parent knows their child and what they’ll tolerate.

    • We are considering a ‘fuss it out’ trial. We tried it the last two nights and it seems to have worked. In the past when if he woke and we let him cry he’d wake himself up and not want to go back to sleep for hours. The last two nights when he fussed we just left him alone for a few extra minutes and you know what he fell asleep! Thanks for the advice and for letting me know how you’ve handled the situation with your daughter. I’m not sure if it’s working better because he’s now 8 months or if it’s just a fluke these past two nights, but I sure hope we are turning a corner!

  4. I don’t want to sound dramatic, but letting him cry it out will be less traumatic than losing Mom. Lack of sleep will cause real health problems, and you already have one/some. Pay for the sleep study if nothing else works (it’s an investment in your health, after all), but don’t rule out letting him cry it out.

    • Hi Pam — Thanks for pointing that out. Sometimes it takes a long time reader to remind me of the obvious šŸ™‚ We are trying a fuss it out method with him and for the past two nights we’ve had success. As I mentioned in a comment above he used to wake up for hours if we left him to fuss it out on his own, the past two nights he fussed for just two or three minutes (not even a full on cry) and then fell back to sleep. I’m hopeful that now that he’s 8 months we’ll be more successful. You are correct. With my health issues I don’t want to add any other troubles to the mix! Thanks for reminding me!

      • Glad to hear it’s working better this time. I’m sure age is a factor. With little ones, it never hurts to try something that didn’t work at one point, because they change so darn fast!

  5. Ugh, I feel your pain. Wrangling my little one to sleep is a nightmare when she’s overstimulated by Papa or well-meaning visitors, and lately its been taking forever to unwind her for bed –which is maddening when she’s constantly waking, as well.

    Recently I’ve moved my ten month old’s bedtime to almost an hour later than usual, praying she’ll sleep better due to pure exhaustion. We’re on day four but so far, she still seems to be waking up at least twice a night. (Sometimes she will self-settle but mostly I need to soothe her for a few minutes or risk her waking up completely, which is a total nightmare.)

    Just want to extend a hug from another zombified Momma. I miss my sleep. šŸ™


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