We've regressed in the DeBoom household. Little Wilder is over 18 months old and for the past three or four months, she has been determined to wake up every night, crying, screaming, inconsolable, until she gets a bottle. In addition, I'm not sure she has slept past 5:30AM - ever. That means two things:
1. She is not getting enough sleep.
2. Her parents are not getting enough sleep!
Let me start by saying that my biggest fear of having a kid was that I would not be able to function with a serious lack of sleep. I've never been great with less than 7 or 8 hours each night. I was told that it would be hard at the beginning and then it would get better. I thought this would happen at 2 or 3 months. Ha!
There are people out there who literally say, "My baby slept through the night at 10 weeks."My first thought is "they're lying!"Is there any way that a baby sleeps through the night EVERY NIGHT from 10 weeks? Maybe, but she's not my baby!
I was doing an interview a few weeks ago and was asked the question, "What have you learned about being a mom?"I answered, "You can function at 90% of your ability on 50% less sleep."I still believe this, but at some point you hit your breaking point. I don't pride myself on being someone who doesn't need to sleep more than 4 or 5 hours a night. I love sleep and someday I want to remember what a good night of sleep feels like.
We are not afraid to "sleep train"Wilder. We started employing "cry it out"techniques when she was around six months old. But here's the problem. We haven't had a solid window of time for the sleep training to "take."
Over the past year, Wilder has been sick a zillion times (dang daycare!). Right when she gets better, we get sick, which means that the last thing we want to do stay up all night re-sleep-training her when we feel awful. We've resorted to just giving her the bottle to get her to go back to bed. I know – encourage the bad behavior. Without changing our technique we couldn't really expect Wilder to change hers.
Then she started suffering from some serious teething episodes. First it was the 1-year molars. I thought those seemed painful. Then the incisors hit. Her gums looked like little inflamed pink balls just waiting to burst. It went on for weeks. Advil and Tylenol were our best friends – every night. Believe me, I felt like I was doing something wrong, but she was in pain and through her, we were in pain!
So here we are. She is starting to become a Kid. No longer a Baby. What's happening is that I'm becoming a baby because I'm constantly running on empty!
I googled this phrase "my 18 month old is not sleeping through the night."To my relief, there are many people with the same issue. It always makes me feel better to know that I'm not alone.
This week we started our path to Better Sleep Forever. That's what we're calling it. It's been painful. I have an image seared into my brain of Wilder crying so hard, going ballistic actually, while I patted her back in the crib and told her, "It's okay. We're right next door. You can go back to sleep."It's been painful, especially during the aftermath of losing Tim's mom with all the heavy emotions in our household, but we have faith that one day Wilder will sleep through the night. And when she does, our mojo will return too.
Next time I hope to write "Sleep. Glorious Sleep Once Again."And then I'll go out to conquer the world – refreshed!