Sunday, September 9, 2012

Go the F*ck to Sleep

(NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or a review of the book mentioned. Just the sleep-deprived ranting of a desperate mom.)

Someone is definitely getting this book for her birthday.

These past few days have been particularly frustrating for me and S.   It seems E has forgotten how to sleep.

E has never been what I would call a "good sleeper".  She slept through the night a handful of times when she was 8-10 weeks old, and never again since.  From the time she was 3 months old until about 6 months old, she was waking up every hour every.single.night.

After months of delirium from lack of sleep, we finally caved and tried sleep training.  I cannot stand the thought of leaving her alone to cry it out (CIO), so we tried The Sleep Lady's sleep shuffle method.  After just a few nights, E was putting herself to sleep without a fight and sleeping 2-3 hours in between wakings -- we considered that great success, given her history.

Long story short, E has continued to wake 1-3 times per night since then, which has been totally manageable.  Until this week.

The combination of teething (four new teeth in three weeks -- yikes) and recovering from a cold seem to have rendered her unable to sleep.  This entire past week, she has fought going down for bedtime, and then has been waking up multiple times per night, shrieking and screaming at the top of her lungs, inconsolable, and refusing to go back to sleep.  It has been so bad, I've been taking her either to the recliner in the living room or to the guest room to sleep, so that S can get some rest (he's in medical school and doing rotations right now, and has to be at the hospital at 4:00 a.m.).  Even then, she continues to scream, and nothing I do helps.  She refuses to eat, fights me when I try to hold her or rock her, and does not improve after a diaper change.  I even took her to the doctor to rule out an ear infection, and the doctor confirmed nothing was wrong other than a stuffy nose.

Thursday night, she screamed and cried for 1.5 hours non-stop, and I got all of three hours of sleep (and actually had to work the next day, awesome).  The past two nights, it has taken over two hours of her crying and fussing, and us soothing (and failing), just to get her to fall asleep at "bedtime"... only to have her wake up an hour later and refuse to go back to sleep.  Oh, and she does the same routine at nap time, and has literally taken like three naps all weekend.  S and I are losing our damn minds. 

I am so frustrated.  I feel like such a failure when I can't get E to sleep.  Last night I was in tears.  We tried feeding her, holding her, rocking her, laying with her, singing to her, leaving her to CIO... NOTHING WORKS.  I get so angry and frustrated with her that I just give up and leave her to CIO.  Then I feel guilty for getting angry, and feel like a shitty parent for letting her cry for so long.  Especially if she is sick or in pain from teething.  But then I think she HAS to learn to sleep on her own, and then I get frustrated all over again that everything we've tried for the past 6 months seems to now be useless.  I don't know why it is so hard for her to just close her eyes and freaking go to sleep.

And now I feel guilty again for just having written that.  She is only a baby!  I shouldn't feel this way.

Sigh.  I don't really know what the point of this post is.  Just ranting, I guess. 

If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.

Or just tell me I'm not a shit mom. 


  1. You're not a shit mom. Our babies are 1 day apart in age and Sully goes through this too. This sleep regression is a nightmare. Top if off with teething and it is too much. I hate CIO too, but I do this CIO lite thing where I will comfort him for a few minutes, then let him cry for 4 or so minutes, and keep doing that off an on. IT takes a while at first but, now Sully is a sleep champ. And I don't jump up right away when he cries in the middle of the night. I give him about 5 or so minutes to see if he is actually awake and crying or just having a nightmare or something.
    Hang in there!

  2. Thank you, I really appreciate it. We've been doing what you describe with the "CIO lite", but not much success yet. Hopefully she will figure it out soon.

    And how cool our little ones are only a day apart! :-) I'm glad your little guy finally became a sleep champ... You give me hope! lol

  3. Seriously, are you inside my head? I am going through the SAME EXACT THING! From the crying baby, to the tears (both mom and baby) to the anger and resentment. We would spend hours HOURS trying to get LK to sleep at night. I was terrified to let him CIO. He was unable to put himself to sleep. I would nurse him several times to sleep at the beginning of the night and every time he woke up. Like 3 or 4 times. Sometimes 5 or 6. We too would rejocie for a 2-3 straight stretch! Finally, my husband had an intervention with me (which I sorely resented at the time b/c I was the one doing the getting up at night and all the naps. How DARE he tell me anythign at thing point...) that we had to try something different b/c what we were doing wasn't working. We had tried the Baby Whisperer (hated her), No Cry Sleep Solution, etc. etc. Finally I talked to some friends and they all said one word: Ferber. I associated Ferber with CIO so I was resistant. But when I looked into it, it is a timed method of crying. I could go in and check on LK at intervals, which I was down with. The first night he cried for 52 minutes when we put him to bed and then woke up several times. The second night 12 minutes when he first went down and only two wake ups. The third night cried for a minute then only one wake up. I do still nurse him once during the night. But if he goes to sleep on his own at 7pm I can handle one wake up at 12 or 1am. I still struggle with getting him to nap. And its not perfect. Some nights he still cries for 10 or 15 minutes. But he is better about putting himself back to sleep when he wakes up rather than relying on my boob. If you want to email me ( feel free. Sleep (his and mine) is pretty much all I think about these days... :)

    1. Thank you for the comment! I will be emailing you here shortly. :-)