My youngest son isn’t sleeping. He’s almost 9 months. He’s breastfed. He hasn’t slept through the night once since he was born. The most sleep I’ve had in one stretch is 6 hours, but it’s been 6 months since that happened. My first son didn’t sleep through the night until I weaned him at 13 months. I was so hopeful this time would be different.
Instead it’s much harder. Why? Because focusing on a baby and a preschooler is much harder than just focussing on a baby and I’m not doing a great job with either. I’m exhausted, done, finit, caput. I NEED sleep. I need a good stretch of it, several nights in a row. Even before I had children I was never good on less than 9 hours a night. It’s a family joke. If you call my place after 9:00 p.m. you’ll probably find I’m in bed.
But here’s the kicker. Even though my first son never slept through the night, I could always nurse him quickly back to sleep no matter the time. I was up lots, but it was short wake-up and then we’d be back to dreamland. This time around is very different. Not only is the baby up for long stretches of time in the middle of the night (no kidding, last night it was 1:00 – 3:30), but he isn’t interested in nursing when I try. He isn’t necessarily unhappy when he’s awake, he’s just awake, and calling, and talking and cranking. He keeps us all up. He’ll get quiet for 10 or 15 minutes and I’ll drift blissfully back to sleep and then he’ll ramp it up again.
I am not ashamed to admit it is wearing me down. So much so that when we are in the thick of it at night I feel close to going off the deep end. I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried just about everything. I’m at a loss. Letting him cry won’t work, because, well, he doesn’t cry. Consoling him doesn’t work because he just keeps calling. He won’t nurse. He just won’t sleep. It’s a nasty cycle, because he’s tired too. During the day he’s fussy, wants to be cuddled all the time, and naps for short intervals. By 5:30 he’s losing his mind with fatigue. He goes to bed without trouble and has a great nurse at around 9:00. And then bang, at around midnight the cycle starts again.
It’s not only affecting the two of us. I’m certain he’s waking my 3-year-old who also seems to be getting progressively more tired and cranky. And of course, my husband who might be able to sleep through the baby, but certainly can’t sleep through me crying in frustration.
If it would work I’d bring the baby to bed for a few nights just so we could return to some form of sanity. But when he’s in bed he wants to play, he doesn’t sleep. He pokes, prods, fusses, whines. It’s as if he’s saying “This is BORING, mommy“.
I could go on and on. I know the theory that sleep begets, sleep. I believe it to be true. But how do you beget sleep if there isn’t enough to start with? I have no idea what to do. I need to solve this and pronto for the sake of my entire family.