Ok, this might make me a terrible person, but I’m going to complain about my baby here for a minute.
Back before I got pregnant with Lucy, I used to joke that Catie had such horrible sleep habits as a baby, that God owed me a good sleeper on the second kid.
You know what? GOD STILL OWES ME. Only I don’t want more babies, so maybe He can make it up to me another way. A million dollars and a weekend spa retreat would be a good start.
Back in January, I let Lucy cry it out a few times, and it seemed to work. We had a few blissful months at the beginning of the year where Lucy slept great. We eventually settled into a pretty predictable routine – I’d put her down around 8 or 8:30, then she’d wake up around 10:30 or 11 for what I call her “bonus bottle” before she’d settle down to sleep for the night.
I’m not sure exactly when it all changed, but it was a couple of months ago. She started freaking out when I put her down and waking up several times a night. At the advice of our pediatrician (who gave me a good long lecture about how learning to self-soothe is a skill that has to be taught), I managed to bust out some CIO techniques again to get her to go to bed without screaming.
The problem is, she’ll go to sleep with no problem. But she wakes up every 3 hours or so, screaming, “Mama! BAH!!” (Translation: Bottle!). And I don’t know what to do about that. It’s not like she’s up for very long. She sucks down her bottle and goes straight back to sleep. But the sleep interruptions are KILLING me.
I’ve tried out a few different theories. Is she teething? I tried some baby Motrin at bedtime. Didn’t help. Is she waking up because she peed and it feels uncomfortable in her (cheap, Target generic) diapers? I invested in some expensive Huggies Overnights. While they do help with leaks, it hasn’t helped with her sleep at all.
A couple of nights ago, she woke up & started to fuss right as I was walking past her door. I crept in & saw that she had rolled over and banged into the railing of her crib. (Her crib doesn’t have a bumper – partly because the AAP says not to use them anymore, but mostly because the one from Catie’s bedding set ripped and I was too lazy to buy a replacement.) I rolled her back over and patted her until she went back to sleep.
So, I thought… Maybe the problem is that she’s just too big for her crib? It certainly makes sense, right? She’s only 16 months old, but she’s wearing a 2T (and a 3T in some things), so girlfriend is *big*.
I threw the question out on Facebook (is 16 months too young to move up to a regular bed?) and got lots of positive feedback from my friends & family. That helped me feel a little bit validated.
My parents had a spare twin-size bed in their attic, so yesterday, my dad and I got it down, hauled it to my house, disassembled the crib, and set up Lucy’s bed. (I’m not using the frame because I want it low enough where she can climb in & out herself. It’s just the mattress & box spring on the floor with a guard rail to keep her from falling out.)
When Lucy got home, she seemed to dig her new big-girl bed.
And she went down for the night with no problem at all.
So, I thought, oh see? This is just perfect. We will all sleep blissfully well through the night from now on! Huzzah!
Then Lucy woke up basically every hour on the hour last night. She never tried to climb out of the bed, she just sat up and screamed. Over and over. All night.
My guess (because, really, all I have are guesses when it comes to this kid) is that she woke up and everything looked unfamiliar, and that’s why she freaked out. So maybe tonight will be better? Because I’m not putting the crib back together. I’m not. I refuse. I hate the crib, I’m so done with it.
Hopefully this phase will pass quickly, for my own sanity if nothing else.
And if anyone has advice on what to do with a child that seems to wake up “needing” a bottle every few hours (and believe me, it’s not that she doesn’t eat enough during the day because OMG she can out-eat her big sister any day), please let me know.