Sunday, May 2, 2010

I need help.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's been a week since my last post. I'm so frustrated. So many exciting things have happened! And I do have photos and video!

And they remain on my camera.


Anyhow, hopefully I will post some of the fun stuff in the next few days.

The truth is ... I am SO. STINKIN'. TIRED. And the irony is that Chloe is finally sleeping through the night. Oh my.

I haven't posted much of anything about this at all, but we have been having big time sleep issues with Carter. I am so tired of complaining about it that I just haven't even brought it up on my blog. I know I hate when my kids whine, so I'm trying to be an adult and suck it up... but I am going to go ahead and indulge in some whining here. Mostly because I am hoping SOMEONE out there has some advice for me or can shed some light on this.

So ... Carter, who formerly slept through the night with no problem, has been waking up almost every night for the past few months. Usually at least once or twice, but up to 4-5 times a night sometimes. (This is probably not theologically accurate but I think there is a special place in hell for the really bad people where they get to fall asleep, and then are awakened just after they fall asleep ... over and over and over and over again. Ha!)

Sometimes he is awake but often he is just really out of it. Sometimes even dreaming. I really don't think it's night terrors, because he isn't screaming and usually if he says anything it is something to the effect of "I want to go in the car too!" or "I want a turn on Audrey's scooter!" (I don't know, maybe being denied the opportunity to do something fun is terrifying to a 3 year old?) Anyhow, I've done a little reading and I don't think it's night terrors.

I did potty train him in the last few months. But we've tried taking him to the bathroom, and usually he doesn't have to go much at all. And he stays dry in the pull-up too.

He did give up napping for a time a few months back, but when he was having problems sleeping at night, I started insisting that he nap. And most days I can get him to nap now. His night waking does seem to be worse when he is really tired. The problem with his naps is that I often have to wake him from his nap to get to the bus stop for Audrey. But usually he has had at least an hour or so nap at that point.

I have tried letting him cry it out some, but honestly, that is a REALLY hard thing to implement. At best it means that we listen to his very loud and persistent crying, and at worst it means that he wakes up the baby too and then it is bad news all around. It is much easier to just go in, give him a pat and a little reassurance, and have him go right back to sleep. But it has been so bad some nights that I have considered putting a really loud fan in Chloe's room to block the noise, having Audrey sleep in our room on the floor, having Chad & I wear ear plugs, and letting him cry it out.

As I said, some nights he is just fine. But other nights are so bad that it's a wonder I can function the next day. I am SO TIRED of feeling like I am "surviving". I really just want to start feeling normal again!! I feel like I have been semi-human for the past year.

In any case, it is lucky that he is such a pleasant little guy during the day. He wakes up happy and sweet as can be. But at night? Oh boy. I am hoping this phase is over soon.

So. Any advice for me out there?? I groggily await your comments. :)


ErinOrtlund said...

No advice, just some sympathy. Will wakes up too, however, maybe once a night at this point. It is no big deal to me especially as it's gotten better, however, I think I would find it intolerable if I also had a baby! And you said Carter wakes up several times? Hope you find some solutions!

Jenny said...

Funny, my friend's girl is the same age and just went through this, too! To the point where they actually pulled her mattress into their room so she'd sleep. UGH! Evie's always been a good sleeper, and any time we've had a problem, there's been a solution. We've had too much light (turn out the nightlite), to little light (turn the nightlite back on), eating too late (or snack before bed - so eliminate snacking and eat dinner a little earlier), teething (Tylenol or Hylands teething tablets), messed up routine (incorporate another nightime ritual), something she ate (either caffiene ie chocolate or something that upset her tummy), uncomfortable (too hot, too cold, too cramped or not tucked in good enough), too excited (don't tell them plans for the next day;)), mind still racing (keep nightime ritual very regular and calm, sometimes even a bath before bedtime helps!).
These are all things we've tried at different times. I think my friend decided it was teething (3rd yr molars?) for her girl. For Evie, it was different each time, but they only lasted for a few nights (I REALLY don't do well with not enough sleep, so I WILL NOT put up with it!). Can you talk to him and tell him ahead of time what to do if he wakes up? A lot of times, if I can just give Evie simple instructions ahead of time, she can just quietly go back to sleep (to turn on her music again or turn on her Fisher Price Aquarium). In our house, I HAVE to use a white noise machine or she'll be waking up every time someone walks by her door. We've been using that since she was born (a mistake...maybe???).
Hope maybe some of this helps! You have my total and complete sympathy on this one. God gave me a kid that sleeps pretty well (once we got past the first 6 months anyway) because He knew I couldn't handle it otherwise!!!

Aimster said...

Parallel lives.
That's all I can say.
I, too, eagerly wait for the wisdom that will surely pour in to you.

nateandkatesmom said...

I wish I had some advice. We went through that with Kaitlyn, but I think hers were night terrors. We didn't know how to handle it and just suffered through the sleepless nights till the phase was over. Still happens every once in a while. Just last week it happened several times in one night. I couldn't pinpoint why, something she ate? something she watched? so I guess it is hard to avoid it. Hope you get some answers....and some sleep soon!

Nichole said...

Amy... i know this must have been difficult to share, but I'm so glad you did! I dealt with a similar situation when Spence was a toddler. So, here are some suggestions that worked out for me (don't worry this WILL pass sister), if you haven't done them yet, I will also PRAY for you:

-Try weaning out daytime naps only (1) a day - he'll be incredibly tired later on :)
-Set up a nightly routine, and stick with it, no matter how long he or baby protests - bath-time, reading together, dim lights, warm milk, if he'll take that etc.
-Try not to let him see or hear your frustration (easier said than done)but it does help and shows him that mommy is in control and he must obey.
-Tag team with hubby
-be FIRM with little Carter no matter what, when you check on him to tuck him back in etc, keep lights off and stick with consistency, he obviously needs some of that reassurance - could be an attention thing, so make sure he knows Mom and Dad are in charge and it IS night time, sleep time! - this was hardest for me, but this persistent behavior you show him, will eventually wear him down and he'll learn to sleep when everyone else is in bed.
-You could also make it a fun thing for him, telling him (i dislike the word, bribe, but) how happy God will be that he slept through the night like a big boy! and make him a special breakfast. (I would only suggest doing this once or twice) though.
-I've learned from my experience that if your child KNOWS you will get up every time, he will keep doing it. So, this is a power struggle (sounds like)
set up a nightly routine for him as best as you possibly can, he's the only boy, so he wants that extra attention possibly. Tell him how much he will grow if he makes it through the entire night etc... lol

Some of these worked for me, but you choose which is best - i'm sure you may find that your own mommy tricks can work, have FAITH in them!

Diet might also be an issue too, no sweets before bed, you know how goes :)

Remember, God IS near and don't neglect asking for help from Him, He can settle your little guy too!
Fill those days up with activities for him and you may see a drastic change in his sleeping patterns eventually. Don't give up Mama!!!!


Jenny said...

I was also just it possible he has allergies? This is a horrible time of year for them and if he's stuffy, that might also wake him up (hard to sleep laying down when your nose/head are stuffy). Let us know how it works out!

Mary Jo said...

Amy, I'm looking for answers here, too... So glad you posted! Sophie (now 4) still has some trouble sometimes in this area (Ella wakes once nightly for a bottle). When they're both doing it, it's miserable! Add to that, Adam and I both have sleep apnea and I struggle with hypothyroidism. So... sleep is paramount around here! Not that the little ones care about that! Oh, and as for the night terrors issue - we think Sophie and Ella both have that going on sometimes because of their extreme reaction to us when it's happening. Lately, tho, I've been testing Sophie on this by asking her 'do you want to watch tv?" and it tells me the real answer. :) Sounds like Carter is really out of it and in a weird sleep state at times. I doubt he has any control over that, but I would wonder about contacting a sleep specialist (or just the ped) to see if this may be something they see a lot and have some answers. Or, just keep researching it online! Does anything seem to fit his behaviors? Maybe it is a schedule thing, too. That's definitely a bit part of my girls' trouble when this happens! Good luck!!