Once Could Be a Fluke, but Both Has to be a Personal Failing

When the mackerdoodle didn’t take naps it was cute.  She was an only child who came  to school with us.  Jonathan could walk the halls with her in the morning, I could entertain her and soothe her in the afternoon, and in the evenings we could take turns with her until she fell asleep.  It was also cute because once she did fall asleep in the evening she was asleep until morning.  Sure, she wanted to eat in the wee hours, but she woke just enough to let me know she was hungry and then went back to sleep immediately.  I could handle micro naps during the day because her night was just so . . . solid.

The last few nights it has not been so with the cheesedoodle.

His day time routine has been normal: a morning nap around 10, an afternoon nap around 2, bedtime around 7; but instead of being down for the night, as had been his routine before this bug hit him, the last few nights he has woken at 9:30 pm and not gone back to sleep until close to one.  Thursday night his antics woke his sister who didn’t go back to sleep until 2:30, meaning this mama got less than six hours of sleep before starting over again.

The thing is, the mackerdoodle’s sleep needs are at the bottom end of normal for a kid her age.  She had micro naps, but for the most part she woke happy and rested.  If she woke cranky, or gave any other indication of being tired, we would encourage her to go back to sleep, and often she would.  The cheesedoodle NEEDS his sleep, and the four hours at night are not happy ones, but he REFUSES to go back to sleep.

When it was just my mackerdoodle with sleep issues, I could shrug it off as a quirk in her biology.  “I guess she doesn’t need much sleep.”  I would say.  “I guess she’s just always going to be one of those kids.”  But now that her brother has developed sleep issues, I must draw the reasonable conclusion that there is a flaw in my sleep parenting.  I don’t have the first clue how to fix it, but in some way I am contributing to poor sleep habits for my children and resulting sleep deprivation for my husband.

I realize the problem has to be me, but at midnight, holding a squirming, cranky, over tired baby and trying to stop him from waking his sister (and sometimes the neighborhood) I can’t tell you what the problem is or how to fix it.  All I know is that I clearly love sleep more than both of my children.


About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

6 responses to “Once Could Be a Fluke, but Both Has to be a Personal Failing

  • a suburban housewife

    Two things you can’t force upon a baby: eating and sleeping. Things will probably right themselves once he is over all the germiness!

  • Roberta Taylor

    Here’s a big hug!

    I don’t think that there’s anything reasonable with the conclusion that your ‘sleep parenting’ is deficient. Firstly, it sounds like you are reaching this conclusion less than a week after the boy has recovered from a fairly serious illness. He’s probably still ‘off’ from this. Secondly, babies sleep needs tend to change fairly erratically as they grow, teeth, etc…

    Having had a babe who would not settle if left to cry, period- it never happened- I can relate to the nighttime frustration, layered with sleep deprivation. It’s not easy and I don’t envy you. My babe’s sleeping issues weren’t the same as yours, but a few things came to mind while reading your post (while awake far too early thanks to the arthritis- ack).

    If the little ones share a room, is there a way to get him out of there? Can he sleep in a playpen or something like in the living room? It sounds like this stage would be a lot easier on the nerves if big sister weren’t involved! Also, when Ben would fight sleep, we found that a walk with him immobilized but comfy in the snugli or baby sling often did the trick- but we had to make sure the couldn’t wave those little arms or kick the feet at all- I often zipped a coat up over the snugli to hold his legs still. The fresh air calmed me down, and he usually dozed off after 10 minutes. (He also slept in his infant car seat until he was too big for it, because he couldn’t breathe right due to tonsils if he lay flat- a trick that may or may not help if the little one gets all stuffy again).

    Mostly though, you need to take a deep breath, know that you are a fine mamma to your babes, and that for better or worse this stage will pass all too soon, new sleep parenting methods or not! (Oh, and my kids seemed to turn out fine even though I mothered in a haze due to lack of sleep Ben’s whole first year of life- not fun and I pray it’s not your story, but they weren’t ruined by it either)

  • Kristi-Anna

    I”ll agree with Roberta, Coralie. Nothing wrong with your parenting 🙂 We had sleep issues for a little whilewith JA. She LOVED her baths. She bathed every night before bed. She slept well. If she woke up in the night, and would not settle, we would fill the tub with a wee bit of warm water, some lavendar bath bubble stuff, let her lay in it for a couple of minutes, dry her, nurse her – ok, *I* did that part! LOL – and put her back to bed,and within in a very short time she was back to la la land! 🙂

    Lots of different tricks to try 🙂

  • Melinda

    oh Cor….first of all, nothing wrong with your parenting…second of all, are you SURE you aren’t writing about Ryan??? 6 months old and was up for hours last night…I can count on one hand the times we’ve slept longer than 4 hours uninterupted…he goes to sleep okay, but wakes for whatever reason and then REFUSES to go back to sleep…he gets extremely angry when I try and lay him back in there and could honestly cry for HOURS if I let him…I am wishing he’d suck his thumb like his brother because then maybe it would put him to sleep….and HE NEEDS HIS SLEEP, mister all smiley thru the day but angry the second I put him in the crib, and fussy if not getting enough sleep….sigh….this too shall pass….when you figure it out, let me know….wish we were closer…

  • Faith

    hey! I am SO in the same boat as you! My little 2 year old Josiah wakes up from about 2am to 3am EVERY night. Then he’s up at about 5-6am saying “down mommy!!” meaning let me get down from the bed. It’s so terribly exhausting. This is one area that I feel that I am less than brilliant as a parent. One book that helped me was “The No Cry Sleep Solution” there is one for infants and one for toddlers.
    Hang in there! Nothing (with kids) lasts forever.

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