Going to Bed at 8 pm is Cool…Right?

So, if there’s one thing I learned from my post last week it’s that y’all thought I was lying about going to bed so early. Heh…that was no lie, folks. In fact, it’s 8:50 pm right now and I’m exhausted and want to be sleeping. Why am I awake then, you ask? Because “Cutthroat Kitchen” is on in nine minutes and the crazy chick from one of the past “The Food Network Star” is on this particular episode, and I really want to watch it.

But back to my pathetic awesome bedtime…

You know the phrase “sleep like a baby”? Well, my daughter really needs to get the memo that sleep is good. No, not good; sleep is the most marvelous thing in the entire world and should happen for much longer stretches at a time.

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A couple weeks before we left Italy (around four months) she started sleeping through the night. Life was fantastic and I was actually a little tired during the day because I was getting so much extra sleep; my body just wasn’t used getting more than a few hours rest each night. The first time it happened I woke up in the middle of the night freaked out that something was wrong, but once I knew she was still breathing, I went on in a sleepy haze and had the best pumping session ever. The good sleep streak lasted about a week and then came to an abrupt stop.

We chalked her restless nights up to the transatlantic flight to America. Getting used to the time change is rough on everyone, plus she had a lot of stimulation from seeing so many people during those first couple weeks, but then her frequent wake ups became the norm. We tried everything: supplemented more milk, gave her less milk, put her down earlier, put her down later, gave her a lovey, gave her a bath, rocked her, sang to her; you name it, we tried it.

I hear of other moms who get up once or twice a night to feed their babies (and maybe I’m wrong for assuming), but I’m wondering if their kids scream when they wake up or if they’re able to just gently wake them, feed them, and then they go back to bed easily. Julia cries and grunts and screams and then won’t go back to sleep at all. This happens about three times a night (11ish, 1ish and 3 or 4ish), which just makes me exhausted. During the day for nap times I usually sway/bounce her to sleep—I have that regime down to about 5 minutes (oh how I long for a rocking chair), but doing that at night when I’m half awake is next to impossible.

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imagine this face, with real baby tears, in the middle of the night.

Just when I think she’s asleep in my arms, I’ll put her down only to have her wake up a few seconds later, screaming her little baby head off. I know the situation is a little more unique since we’re in a hotel room and she’s literally two feet away from us (I don’t want to wake up whoever is on the other side of the wall with her crying), but add in the fact that I still try to pump in the middle of the night (I have a low supply and that’s when I get the most milk…post about that coming soon), and I feel like I never sleep.

We’ve actually moved to co-sleeping part of the night. She starts out in her pack ‘n
play and then after it’s obvious that I’m not getting her back to dream land, I move her into our bed. That’s where she at least stays quiet and still because she side nurses the rest of the night (aka treats me like a pacifier). Enter the reason why I typically try to go to bed at 8 pm: It’s where I’m almost guaranteed to get my longest stretch of sleep, a whopping three hours. I may go to bed at 8 pm, but I never said I sleep the whole night long!

I’ve started dreading the night, because I know I’m not going to get more than a couple hours of sleep. When I hear someone ask “Oh, is she sleeping through the night?” I basically want to punch them in the throat. Instead, I put a sleepy smile on my face and say, “No, not quite yet.” They never really know what to say after that.

I’m hoping that once we move into our house (19 more days), and into her crib in her own room, things may be better, maybe. Until then, I’ll keep my 8 pm bedtime.

11 Comments

  1. Are you waking her up to feed her? She might be growing out of a feeding or two… poor mama! I hope she sleeps soon for you 🙁

  2. I feel your pain. Abbie was EXACTLY like that. I swore up and down I would never co-sleep, until I had a kid that didn't sleep unless she was next to me. 6 weeks of sleeping in a chair holding her was enough for me. I brought her to bed with me and she'd sleep for 7 hours straight. I put her in her own bed and she's wake up every hour and scream for a LONG time. It was exhausting. I think it will be better when you get into your house and she has her own room. Sharing a room screwed Ben up when we were at SOS, and when we got back to Italy and put him in his own room, he slept like a champ. Fingers crossed for you!!!

  3. I have absolutely no advice about sleep because as you well know, we struggle with sleep issues, even now. It's gotten better, in the fact that she comes into our room herself and nurses to sleep and sleeps between us. But she still wakes up several times a night. I've gotten to the point when I don't fight it anymore. It is what it is.

  4. I WISH I could give you some awesome advice … but really, all I can do is say "I've been there … " and even now, at 20 months, am occasionally there, too. Both of my kids were/are horrible sleepers. When I was nursing L, he was awake every 1-2 hours … and that lasted until we weaned at 15 months. Then and only then did he sleep through the night for me. Lately, he's been up once or twice a night, and Im THINKING thats because of a couple molars coming in. I've become one of those crazy moms, though … who literally functions better now on 5 hours of sleep than on 7-9 hours. The more I sleep, the crankier I am!

  5. If we didn't bed share I'd never get any sleep! I don't mind having her snuggled in with me nursing though, I've learned to sleep through it pretty well 🙂 I hope you start to get some sort if stability back!

  6. Girl, I've so been there. My husband deployed when my daughter was about 3 months and 2 days after he left she stopped sleeping through the night. Fast-forward about 4 more months she finally started sleeping again. I went through all the what ifs, what shoud I dos, what am I doing wrongs, will she ever sleep agains. There are some stages of sleep regression too, and i wish i knew that beforehand because it would have helped prepare me! Good luck!

  7. Oh, man. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with her/sleep! I'm sure it's partially the hotel that's creating the issue… Do you use any kind of white noise? That is a life saver for us! Charlotte will sleep almost anywhere as long as we have it.

  8. 4 month sleep regression? I know that if my boy wakes and I feed him and if he doesn't go back to sleep I just bring him into bed with me. It will work itself out soon! but I loved the picture, sooo cute!!!

    Loving your blog – glad I found you through Scattered Seashells 🙂

    ~Victoria
    simplyanchoredblog.com

  9. We co-sleep so I could get my sleep! I'm a zombie and not a very nice person when I don't get enough. I hope she starts sleeping some more soon! And I wish I could go to bed at 8. I'm jealous:)

  10. I *hate* when people ask me about how my baby sleeps, because it's always depressing. Millie was like Julia. It's funny, because Walter technically sleeps well (usually goes right back to sleep after nursing) but he's up every 2 hours, so I still feel like a zombie.

  11. My little guy and I juuust went through this. We are stationed in Germany and the made the trip 2 months ago when he was 6 months. And coming home was… disastrous. It was like having a newborn again. Finally, at 7-months, when I could tell he was really just waking out of habit {he would only eat half an ounce or so when he woke} we finally did the dreaded cry it out. Really, it came out of my own desperation. And it only took 2 days actually. We're in Stairwell housing on Post so I was so scared of irritating our neighbors, but, for this mama, it literally had. to. be. done. We're now back to 7-6 or 7 respectively with one night feeding around 3AM in which he goes right back to sleep on his own. And yes, Charlie would wake up screaming like I was killing his puppy. No gentle, "Excuse me, Mommy, I think I might be hungry," here. Sca-ream-ing!! If you don't want to hear your little girl cry {which is SO legit!} then the only other suggestion I have that seemed to work for us a bit was LOADS of sunlight. We fed Charlie every meal in the sun for about 3 days, long walks in the sun… to help try to have his circadian rhythm regulate on its own. Good Luck, girl!

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