Meg is still trying to convince us she doesn’t need to sleep, ever. “Don’t you dare put me there,” she practically says. We don’t know what to do. This morning she woke up at 5 and never went back to sleep. We rocked her and put her back in bed twice. Then Thomas gave her a bottle, rocked her, and put her to bed again. Didn’t work. Then it was 5:45, the time she gets up on weekdays, and she was wide awake, so I figured there was no point to leaving her screaming in her bed. I let her up and planned to doze on the couch while she played. She didn’t like that plan. She kept shoving books in my face and pulling my hair. At 6:45, Andrew got up and let me go back to bed.
We’re both completely exhausted. Actually, all three of us are exhausted. Meg needs more sleep. I’m thinking maybe we need to put her to bed earlier. Maybe the old “if you put her to bed earlier, she’ll sleep later” thing will work. Who knows. But I get home from work at 6:15, so getting her to bed by 7 would be difficult. 7:30 is the earliest we’ve managed.
This whole thing is particularly frustrating, because fuss-it-out has always worked for us. Meg has always been a tension releaser. Since the day she was born, she’s been a great car sleeper. But she has never, not once, fallen asleep in the car without crying. If we’re in the car and she starts crying, I guarantee you she’ll be asleep within 5 minutes. At home, she sometimes, but not always, cries a for a couple of minutes before falling asleep.
When Meg was 3 months old, she started sleeping with us, because I was back at work and that was the fastest way to put her to sleep. I think we both needed some co-sleeping as a transition between being home and going back to work – Meg and I missed eachother a lot and it helped us to be together at night. (Although, even in bed being comforted by us, she fussed for about 5 minutes every night before going to sleep)
By 4 months, Thomas started pushing to try cry it out. He hated co-sleeping. He claimed he never slept because he was worried about rolling over onto Meg. I didn’t want to do it. I can’t let my baby cry! Plus, I loved having her near me. But my mom and Thomas worked together to wear me down. When we finally tried it, it worked immediately. It was like she just wanted us to leave her alone. The first night, she cried for 30 minutes (we went in every 5 minutes and soothed her without picking her up), the second night for 15 minutes, and after that she started doing her 1-2 minute release (like she’d always done in the car), before falling asleep. All of us slept better. Much better.
She’s obviously had several transitions and periods of bad sleeping since she was 5 months old. We give her what she needs (Tylenol if she’s teething, lots and lots of soothing/rocking if she’s sick), but when she’s better, she sleeps wonderfully again. This anger at being put to bed is a totally new thing and we are truly at our wits end.
I’m thinking about taking her to the doctor, just to make sure she doesn’t have an ear infection or something. But I don’t think she does. Laying down doesn’t bother her if she’s laying on my lap. She isn’t tugging her ear at all (and she always has when she’s had an ear infection).
I’m just hoping it’s a phase, hopefully a short one, and will be over soon. We don’t know what else to do and we’re losing our minds from the lack of sleep.
We’re trying something new tonight. Thomas took his pillows and comforter* in her room and is laying on the floor, trying to get her to fall asleep next to him. I wanted to do it, but he refused to carry the futon mattress up from the basement. I think it would be much better than sleeping on the hardwood floor and don’t understand why the two of us can’t get it upstairs. Whatever. If he wants to sleep on the hardwood floor, he can. I pray this works.
*We have two comforters on our bed, one for each of us