We have been having sleep issues with Babyice that have become progressively worse of late. He is waking up constantly and was drinking up to two extra bottles a night, which he does not need. Around Sunday, Rudi had reached his limit and became very impatient with him (in the middle of the night). This resulted in some swearing and eventually with him bringing Babyice to bed to sleep with us. I then offered to take over baby duty as I have a lot more patience than Rudi does. The very next night I reached the same point. I too brought Babyice to bed to sleep with us.
I have nothing against co-sleeping and do not have a problem with parents that do so. In fact, when Babyice is sick I encourage it. It is, however, not for us. Despite us having a king size bed, it is not comfortable having Babyice in bed with us and at times I feel like there is literally a wall between Rudi and I. Since Babyice sleeps in the middle to ensure he does not roll off there is no snuggling or cuddling with Rudi, something we both enjoy. The fact that Rudi and I were at a point where neither of had any sense of humour or patience left was a very scary thought for me. We love Babyice more than anything in the world, there is no question…when you get to this point though, it will be easy to forget that even for a fraction of a second. Babyice had already been sworn at and I didn’t like the way we were acting towards him.
We were at our wits end. I tweeted a cry for help and @Gnat_J and @pauljacobson came to the rescue. They said that they had had similiar problems with their son and that their paediatrician had prescribed medication to help him sleep and to reset his sleeping patterns. I’m not the type of person who will call a doctor (especially for something we should supposedly be able to cope with on our own), but I was desperate enough to call our paeditrician. He said that he could hear how tired I was and prescribed the same medication (schedule 5!) Gina and Paul had referred to. He told me that we should use it for 5 nights or so to allow Rudi and myself to get some rest before we start sleep training again. The pediatrician said his wife used to lay her head on the pillow next to their daughter and sit with her until she went to sleep for the first while. This method of sleep training worked for them. He confirmed that Babyice’s sleep issues sounded behavioural and that we should not give him any bottles after 23:00.
Sleep training. Fark. We had Babyice sleep trained around 13 months. We could put him down in his cot and he would put himself to sleep and would sleep through most nights. Rudi then started rocking him to sleep again, despite my objections. Lindor had spoken some crap into his head about how you don’t love your child if you don’t let him sleep with you, etc or something to that effect.
Please drive straight over him if you see him in the street. Rocking him to sleep takes one of us between 30 and 45 minutes every night. Ridiculous. Now we are in a situation where Babyice is quite a lot older and a lot better at manipulating us. If he cries and we do not come to him, he starts upsetting himself to the point where he will vomit. That means we have to bath him again and change his bedding. Not an option.
The first night we gave him the medication he went to sleep wonderfully. Rudi had gone to visit Lindor. 45 minutes after he had fallen asleep he woke up. He started screaming/kicking/writhing and nothing I did would calm him down or console him. He wouldn’t take his dummy and no amount of shushing or rocking calmed him. 26 minutes or so into this tantrum/terror Rudi finally arrived home (late) and took over. After 40 minutes of constant yelling, he finally went back to sleep. He slept through for the rest of the night. The 40 minutes was traumatic though. It is very hard. I suspect it might have been a night terror, so the no TV in the evenings rule was implemented (unfortunately this rule also applies to my soapie, 7de Laan, since it is on from 18:30 – 19:00).
The next night Rudi went to darts and I feared having to cope with another 40 minute screaming session, but everything went well and he slept through the entire night. Bliss! Last night he woke up once. He started screaming again and I thought he might launch into another tirade. Rudi rocked him to sleep again, but when he put him down he started crying. Instead of picking him up again, Rudi shushed him and patted him and he went back to sleep! Apparently the medication helps calm them and if they do wake, it is easier to put them back to sleep. Confirmed.
I chatted to Gina and she said they put their son into a bed around the same age as what Babyice is now. I suspect Babyice might be uncomfortable in his cot. He has a camp cot and he sleeps really restlessly and we often find him with his head in a corner. We think he might be banging against the sides of the cot and that this might be contributing to his frequent wakings. We have decided to buy a bed for him. We will then also be able to follow the pediatrician’s advice and can attempt their sleep training method. I have a feeling it might work. I really hope so. The pediatrician has told us more than once that it is our responsibility as parents to teach our child to sleep and to soothe himself. He reinforced this sentiment when I called him. It is all about teaching. Having sleep trained before, I know it is worth it. It really is. We just have to tough it out and be consistent. This is harder for Rudi than it is for me. He can’t handle the crying, whereas I can withstand it for longer periods. He thinks I’m heartless. *sigh*. It hurts me as much as it hurts him.
We are going to get his bed this weekend and will probably start sleep training towards the end of the weekend once we have everything set up. Wish us luck. We are going to NEED it!