18 Month Sleep Regression

I haven’t really talked much about how little my children sleep.  Other parents like to say kind things to us, like, “Oh I totally understand, Junior didn’t sleep through the night until he was five months old!”

And I cry.

We are on three and half years of precious little sleep.

Our fourth baby didn’t sleep through the night until two and a half.  He didn’t just not sleep, he screamed when awake.  We had everything checked out there is to check out, no physical issues that we found.  It turned out he was just an extraordinarily sensitive child, but not quite enough for a sensory disorder diagnosis.  Just enough to be bothered by every little thing possible, which would wake him up.  Too hot, too cold, jammies aren’t quite comfy enough, noises (oh god, no one put ice cubes in their drinks for years after bedtime), etc.   These things affected him.

We did all the things.  ALL THE THINGS.  Breathable fabrics, sound machine, transition to real mattress on the floor, co-sleeping/not co-sleeping (for clarity, I mean bed-sharing), nursing/not night nursing, all the methods in all the books and the internets done over periods of weeks, etc.  The things, we did them.

He just had to get old enough…old enough to do what exactly, I don’t know.  But old enough to sleep better and now, mostly he does.

So we totally had another baby!  Who sleeps better than his brother but not as good as other babies and nowhere near as good as the first three.   And we are in the throes of the 18 month sleep regression.  He’s averaging three to four hours of awake time every night, and on a miracle one night a week he sleeps through the night.

The difference between him and his brother is that while Simon is just awake and will cry at times, his brother was pissed off about it and screamed for the entirety of his wakefulness.  He was so overtired, it was a huge relief to all of us when he started sleeping, to him more than anyone else.  At least Simon follows somewhat of a pattern.  He sleeps well about 1/3 of the time.  I call sleeping well either sleeping through the night or waking up once to nurse and then going right back to sleep.  The other times he’s awake.  He doesn’t seem to know why he’s awake either and I can’t wait for him to be able to tell us.

For the mamas or papas going through an 18 month sleep regression, where your little one isn’t sleeping like they used to, I’m so sorry.  If you are like us and your kids have never really slept well and now you’re trapped in an overtired nightmare, I send you my deepest condolences.  I hope we all get some sleep soon!  And thankfully, I know at the end of this regression is usually some cool new baby tricks and a much, much better sleeping baby on the horizon.

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Tired Parents. Really, really, really tired parents.

Funny thing about blogging about being tired. When the babies stop sleeping, and you stop sleeping the few short hours you were previously sleeping, the writing stops.


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People, I am fried.  The baby is teething and has pretty much stopped sleeping.  I don’t mean to compare him to a baby who has merely stopped sleeping through the night.  No.  HOOBOY.  NO.  I mean, he never slept through the night and is now waking up more often for longer periods.

(Seriously, the three year old just NOW sleeps through the night most of the time.)

Simon, the 13 month old, is taking forever to fall asleep.  Then he sleeps for a few hours while I frantically work.  (I work from home.)  Then when I’m ready to try to sleep, he wakes up.  Forever and an hour later, he falls back asleep.  I lie down for 25 to 35 minutes until he wakes up.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m t.i.r.ed.

Sleep and sickness

When our kids are sick, we actually get more sleep.  I know, weird right?  But it’s due to them being exhausted and sometimes, like this time, due to medication.  Oliver is better and just fine.  The baby, Simon, is still battling a cold but hopefully it’s on its last dregs.  To help him breathe at night, we have a warm mist vaporizer in his room, his crib elevated, Olbas Oil on his chest, and yes, a dose of Benadryl.

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I do try to use non-medication tactics before giving meds to my kids.  Even for a fever, we try to let the body do its job before we pull out the medication to lower it.  We offer good nutrition, some sunshine each day, and lots of water.  But at night, when we are all already sleep deprived on a daily basis, I just want them to be able to sleep.  They can’t heal if they can’t sleep.

Annnnd Simon just presented with hives (strawberries from lunch? sickness?  grass from outside?).  Wish me luck.

The Littles Have a Cold

Oh the sadness that is a baby with a cold.

Cell phone 529Yes, that is a sick baby swaddled and propped up on a Ziggy pillowcase.

Both the little ones are sick, along with Daddy.  Head colds, for the lot of them.  Which means it is SNOT-TAY around here.  I don’t know when kids learn to wipe their nose on your shirt or hair, but even the one year old does it now.  The only saving grace is that they are tired and are allowed Benadryl.  Sweet, sweet benadryl.

I’m Not Going In There

The preschooler is napping.  Late for a normal day, but every Wednesday we have a standing lunch date with my family.  It’s beautiful to be able to eat lunch with my mom, her partner, my sister and her family, and my grandparents.  My sweet, sweet grandparents. But it makes the kids off schedule…and difficult.  But today, thankfully, the 3 year old naps while the baby is fighting.

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I can hear from time to time in his crib.  A chit chat here.  A little squawk there.  But I’m not going in there unless he’s full on crying because that child NEEDS HIS NAP.

 

Nightly Report

It’s 10pm.  Simon, the eleven month old, is still fighting sleep.  He’s just so busy these days, he can’t settle.  There are so many things to learn, you see.

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Last night he was up from 2:15 to 6:30am.  This mama is so very tired.  I have work to do (I work from home), a very cluttered and dirty house, dishes in the sink, and an exhausted husband trying to rock the baby so I can get something done so we can try for sleep ourselves.  And yet, I am grateful for the house, the baby, the husband, the dishes, and the work. 

I WOULD like to sleep tonight though.  For real.

1:55am

I’m writing this at 1:55am.  I am a mama of five, with two little ones with sleep problems.  I work from home, meaning that wayyyy too many nights, like tonight, I started work at 11:30pm.  I’m done with work for the night, because TIRED.  But you know, can’t just fall asleep because of the anticipation of when one of the two will wake me up.  Will it be ten minutes or two whole hours?  Which one will it be?

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This one.  It’s going to be this one.

If you are also a sleep-deprived parent, high five of solidarity to you tonight.