For the past few months, Noah had been doing pretty well sleeping at night. He would go to bed around 7PM and sleep until around 4:30AM… snack and then fall back asleep until at least 6:30. We had even worked on getting him to take his 2 daytime naps in his crib, instead of on me. Sure there was the occasional night where he would be wide awake at 4:30 and we would end up going into his room to play it off before going back to bed, but those were not the norm and only happened every now and then.
Lately though a few short hours after going to bed, Noah stops being the sweet innocent little boy you see here:
and turns into this….
(picture was found here)
I have no clue what has been getting into him, but it started with him waking up at 1:30am the first night and refusing (aka screaming his lungs out) to go back to sleep. The next night was the same way. The 3rd night he woke at midnight… then at 11:30, then for two nights at 10:30 and then for the past two nights he has been doing the same thing right away when we put him to bed… at his normal time mind you, with no change in schedule. I’ve learned to stop the screaming sessions by calming him down in his crib and then I stand or sit there patting his head or hand until he falls asleep. Then I slowly and very, very quietly try to leave the room. Even though that’s something that is working (for now), it’s not the ideal solution and definitely not the way I would like to continue putting him to sleep.
We tried to figure out what was causing all of this… we thought maybe he was waking up because his diaper was leaking… so we switched to nighttime diapers in size 4 and though there are no more leaks, he’s still waking up. Then Ray thought he might be hungry… we gave him a bottle, but it still didn’t help. As soon as we would put him in his crib the screaming would start again. There were one or two times where I sat there and rocked him until he (we both) fell asleep and then I would transfer him back to his crib (when I woke up that is) only to have him wake up again within the hour. Other times he would just come into our bed and sleep there.
I have the feeling this is being brought on by separation anxiety… which may have been made worse than normal due to his recent weaning from being nursed (the well finally ran dry – it was bound to happen sometime during this pregnancy). The question is now… how do we get him to start going back to bed like he used to, all nice and calm, and how do we get him to stop waking up before 4:30 and screaming his head off? (No matter how often he wakes up in the middle of the night, he still gets up at 4:30, just like he always did, only unlike the other wakings he’s all kisses and sunshine at this time!)
If I weren’t pregnant I would suck it up and say that sleep is overrated, but I can’t do that. I am exhausted and can barely cope in the mornings. There are many many days where I look forward to nap time… because it means naps for both of us! I could deal with him waking up at 4:30, but this has just gotten out of control!
Have any of you dealt with this with your children? What did you do to get thing back to normal? Any and all tips are much appreciated!!!