Friends, I need help. We need help. Maggie used to be a great sleeper. We’d put her down in the crib, and she’d sleep for nine or ten hours, maybe waking once or twice in the night for a pacifier. Those days are gone.
It all started about two months ago when she got a cold. She caught her first real, slight fever, snotty nose, can’t breathe cold. Understandably she couldn’t sleep in her crib. So she slept in her car seat and woke up a lot. Then the cold went away. But she still isn’t sleeping. In fact, it’s getting worse.
Let me lay the scene for you:
Monday night: Maggie falls asleep in Atticus’ arms. Put down in crib. Sleeps for 1-2 hours. Wakes up. Takes pacifier. One hour later, wakes up. Wants out of crib. Move to car seat. Falls back to sleep. One hour later, wakes up. At 3:45 am, Atticus takes her out in the car, drives around until she falls asleep, then comes home. Sleeps in car seat until 8 am.
Tuesday night: Maggie falls asleep in car sear. Stays in car seat until morning, taking pacifier once.(sleeps nine hours)
Wednesday night: Maggie falls asleep in car seat. Wakes up two hours later, wants out. Rocked to sleep. Put in crib. Repeat every hour. Realize around 3 am that she will only sleep if someone is holding her. Sit/sleep in recliner until 7:30 am.
Thursday night: Maggie falls asleep in car seat. Sleeps for three hours. Wakes up, wants out. In sheer frustration, take Maggie to bed with us. She sleeps fitfully, tossing and turning, keeping everyone awake. Finally settles at 4 am. Sleeps until 7:30.
Friday night: Maggie falls asleep in Atticus’ arms. Placed in crib. Sleeps two hours. Wakes up, takes pacifier. Wakes up again in an hour. Moved to car seat. Sleeps 7 hours.
And so on. Her sleep is so unpredictable it’s impossible to know what to do to make it better. One night she’ll sleep in the car seat for eight hours, the next night she won’t sleep unless someone is holding her.
We have a bedtime routine. She gets a bath, jammies, some quiet play time in her dim room, a story, a bottle, and a lullaby CD. Then more rocking, and either placing her in the crib or car seat. Some nights she lasts a few hours or all night (though never all night in the crib), other nights only two or three hours, then she wants to be held for the rest of the night.
Even taking her into bed isn’t great because she sort of sinks down into the mattress, which seems to make it difficult for her to be comfortable. Then Atticus won’t sleep in bed with me if Maggie is in bed, and I’m not choosing between my husband and child. I made vows to Atticus, but not to Maggie. The marriage bed is for us. I feel very strongly about this. A night (or part of one) every once in a while (especially if sick) is fine, but I’m not willing to do every night co-sleeping. Anyway, she doesn’t seem to sleep much better in bed with us than anywhere else.
Really, she wants to sleep curled up in someone’s arms. In fact, during the day she won’t sleep anywhere else for any length of time. It’s been over a month since she has napped during the day anywhere but in my lap. It’s getting old.
Our pediatrician told us to try cry-it-out or some variation thereof if we felt comfortable with it. That was several weeks ago, and we hesitated because she does have two teeth coming in. But now, those teeth are most of the way in, and really, it’s not teething pain because we give her a small dose of baby advil every night before bed. We’re open to the possibility of sleep training, though I am not excited about it.
I’d love some suggestions on how you’ve dealt with sleep issues in the past (or present!) and any ideas that have worked for you. I know every baby is different, but I’m sure there have got to be things that work for lots of people. Don’t hold out on me here! Thanks in advance for the advice.
PS: If you’re going to leave a comment telling me I’m a bad parent for (a) not co-sleeping or (b) considering the possibility of CIO, save your breath. What I really need is help, not judgement.