I hate mornings

This kid’s sleeping habits are driving me a little batty.  First of all, let me say that I got lucky with him. He’s always slept really well and has pretty much from the beginning.   He’s always napped well during the day and slept well throughout the night so I can’t really complain too much.  I guess he spoiled me.

The last couple months, he started waking up super early.  Some of it might have been because of teething, but lately, I don’t think that’s it.  When DH was away last week, he slept through from 7 to 6:30am.  Prior to that and since, he’s been waking anywhere between 3 and 5:00am.  He starts with a coo and a babble and works his way up to standing up in his crib bellowing and crying.

I tried to give him water instead of milk as per the pediatrician’s advice.  That worked precisely once.  Then he went from drinking the water grudgingly and kept crying until he got the milk. Then he would settle back down and go to sleep.   This would often take an hour. Not fun at  3am.  At that hour, I’m all business, no eye contact, no talking, just cuddling and not engaging in any sort of play.  And of course, he was soaked through and through when it was time to start the day.  Now I just get up, give him some watered down milk, rock him a bit, put him down and go back to bed.  This seems to work.

However, it occurs to me that this is now a habit.  Not sure how bad a habit it is, since he genuinely seems hungry and is satisfied with milk and a cuddle.  My question is, am I setting myself up for trouble? If I don’t get my REM sleep, I’m like a bear without coffee, but I don’t see a way out of it, since leaving him to cry and carry on only disturbs the neighbours and keeps us up anyway, so NOBODY is sleeping.  Even if I turn the monitor off, you can hear him through the walls and then of course, I imagine him with his leg trapped or something.  I always wait a bit to see if he will go back to sleep, but he never does.

I also have tried keeping him up later, but whether he goes to bed around 7, 8 or around 9, this does not change his predawn wake up habit.

This crying it out technique I can do in the day because then I have the stamina.  This sudden resistance to not having a nap is more about his development I think – he’d rather play and crawl about than sleep, but then he gets all cranky and whiney anyway. I’ve read that at his age – 10 months – he stills needs his naps and does ensure a good night’s sleep.

Any suggestions?  Experiences?  Am I just griping for no reason?  Should I just ride this out and stop resisting the predawn awakening or do I ignore his early morning yelling?

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6 thoughts on “I hate mornings

  1. Oh, do I feel your pain!

    A few things we have picked up from the experts:

    – an earlier bedtime may cause a LATER wake up time. I know, totally counterintuitive, but worth a shot.

    – if he’s genuinely hungry, maybe you can see about tweaking how much he gets during the day. We’re experimenting with three solid meals during the day with bottles to see how that works.

    – once you’ve started tweaking the daytime feedings, if he’s still waking up, I would try to ignore and see if he’ll go back down.

    Good luck!

  2. Oh lordy, I’m relieving my own situation reading this. Although, we had a child that NEVER slept through. I can barely remember what we did (probably because I was in such a daze) but I do know it went on for quite awhile.

    If memory serves me, we stopped the night feedings by getting MG to eat a bowl of oatmeal before bed. Of course, by then she was in the habit of waking up which proved difficult to curb. We got to the point where we would just holler out from our room “we love you MG, go back to sleep” LOL. Judge if you must but after over 2 yrs of no sleep, it was all we could muster!

  3. Mini wakes up evry night, and always has, literally, at 3:30. It’s just his sleep cycle. He gets milk and a snuggle, and drops rght back off. Our ped said if it doesn’t bother us, just ignore it and he’ll eventually grow out of it.

  4. All three of my boys started not sleeping at around 9 months. In fact, I have often said that the months between 9 and 18 months were my toughest. I have no idea why. Growing, hunger, teething, fear of the dark,separation anxiety, boredom, I honestly think all of them came into play.

    I don’t remember if Precious is on much food yet, but that seemed to help mine. A hearty “snack” before bed (oatmeal etc) seemed to work the best.

    It is hard to let them cry it out not knowing if it is a nothing cry or a something is actually wrong cry. (one of mine was famous for hanging both his chubby legs through the crib slats then couldn’t figure out how to get them back in). Our doc a the time freaked out when he heard I was still getting up.(he was an ass to begin with) but he did say something that stuck with me. “So, wouldn’t you like it if during the night someone brought you some food and cuddled and rocked you?” Hmmmmmm.

    Also having a couple of things in their bed to keep them company when they woke up.. board book, a safe toy…and yes, I let them use a pacifier–HORRORS. (though most of these things did end up being thrown on the floor, which told me they were either pissed or bored. Also, I had one that was always too warm, and one that was always cold…so there’s that too.

    In the light of day this all makes so much sense, but at 2, 3, 4 am…my adoration for them was really tested.

    Just know that eventually he will be a teenager and you will have to create an earthquake to get him up 🙂

  5. We have a ten month old and this is EXACTLY how he is.

    We have the same pattern every night. Somewhere between 3-5 baby wakes up screaming. My husband goes up and gets him while I make a bottle. Husband changes baby’s diaper. We all get into bed. I feed him a bottle and he goes to sleep with us.

    I know it’s bad. But, leaving him up there to cry is not an option. It doesn’t work. He gets hysterical.

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