Posted in Infant

Bawling Bedtime Brawl

I’m an insomniac.  I’ve been fighting to fall asleep ever since my early teens.  I’ve had some good periods, periods that have given me a shard of hope that I may have finally gotten over the insomnia.  But it was not to be.  In the days following the arrival of my son, I was so sleep-deprived and exhausted that I had no issues falling asleep.  But it did not last.  Gone are the days where I could fall asleep quickly when I went to bed and fall back asleep without issue after a middle of the night nursing session despite my “non-snoring” boyfriend”s seamless imitation of some type of motor.

As for my son, well, he does not fight to fall asleep.  No, he battles sleep.  He seems to do everything in his power to remain awake and, when my partner or I are finally able to help him fall asleep, it is only to have him wake up and fuss as soon as he hits the mattress of his crib.  I love the little bugger, but after two weeks of this, he is very quickly eroding any sanity and self-confidence I have left.

You might recall that I started my son on E.A.S.Y. when he turned seven weeks.  Simultaneously, I started swaddling him again.  I had a new baby, on that would give me three 90 minute naps and one 45 minute nap per day.  It was great!  He was in an awesome mood.  Both of our lives had become more predictable and I found it easier to manage motherhood with a three hour schedule.   Life was good.

And then, about two days before he turned three months old, all hell broke loose.  I’ve already posted on his three month growth spurt, so I won’t detail it again here.  Suffices to say, he didn’t sleep much.  I naively thought that when he would get back to normal when he finished his spurt; I had forgotten that my son made a point of changing things up each time I figured him out.  Well, now, he’s gone from being a great napper to being a crap-napper cat-napper. For the past week, I can consider that I’m having a good day when he naps for two hours total.

The E.A.S.Y. routine has worked so well that now he knows exactly when he’s going down for a nap or for bedtime.  As soon as he starts yawning and rubbing his eyes, I bring him to his room.  As soon as we are in his room, he starts crying his head off.  And we’re not talking about a small whimper cry.  Oh no!  We’re talking full-blown-red-faced-scream-myself-hoarse cry.  Of course, the same is true for bedtime.  He’ll go from fussy at the breast for his last nursing session, to calm and smiling while I undress him and his father runs his bath, to happy while he’s in the bath and then BAM as soon as his father takes him out of the tub, he starts screaming his head off.  Holy, am I glad to not be in an apartment building anymore; I’m sure the neighbors would call child services!

I don’t know what to think right now.  What I do know is that he seems to be going through a transition phase.  He is at a point where he cannot be swaddled anymore because he breaks out of it all the time.  He seems to want to learn to self-soothe because he is always spitting out his pacifier and sucking on his hands.  However, we need to put mitts on his hands when he goes to bed because otherwise he’ll scratch his face up pretty badly even though I trim and file down the darned things every other day.

What to do, what to do?


Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

8 thoughts on “Bawling Bedtime Brawl

  1. You may have told me previously, but are you on the Baby Whisperer message boards? If not, you SHOULD BE! You can run your situation (naps, self-soothing, etc) by lots of women, they’ll see it and you are highly likely to get responses. Here’s the Naps board: And, before posting, you can also check out the FAQ’s sections. 🙂
    And, take heart, ALL babies change things up once we’ve mastered the stage! 😉

    1. I actually had created an account on the Baby Whisperer board after you suggested it through another one of my posts, but haven’t revisited the board since. I’m usually on baby center but I really should go back to the Baby Whisperer. Thanks for the reminder, the link and the encouragement ;)!

      1. See? I FELT like I had talked to you about that before, but I couldn’t *really* remember! lol Sorry. Mommy brain at its finest! 😉

  2. After the week 12 growth spurt (which seemed to last all of week 13) my girl didn’t go back to what was her normal schedule either. She didn’t want to nap AT ALL! Thankfully we’re sort of getting back to naps now… every 2-2.5 hrs she’ll give me 30min-1hr at best. I’m psyched to get a whole hour (but the first 15 mins are in my arms of course… rocking in the lazyboy). I’m hoping she can get back up to 3 hours awake time meaning she’ll nap for over an hour each time… giving me more time to do house stuff… or nap too.
    I also lost my ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat… I miss that.

    1. How long did it take your daughter before she started to nap for longer periods? I’m actually pretty bummed because I used to be able to put him down sleepy and he’d fall asleep on his own, but now I have to make sure he’s asleep if I want him to nap for 30 minutes!

      1. The growth spurt eating/lack of naps started 2/18 and naps didn’t return until 2/28, but of course I jinxed myself saying how they are back and today my girl only gave me a break of 35 mins ALL DAY and that’s 3 separate naps (5 mins, 10 mins, and for the last one of 20 mins she cried and fought it for AN HOUR)!! Oy.

  3. Oh boy. My 13-week old has been doing so good so far with her naps and sleep though she has been resisting her naps a little more and is in the midst of a growth spurt (knock on wood, I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come).

    I’ve made a point though of never rocking her to sleep for naps and letting her cry it out for 5-10 minutes, as long as her cries were clearly “tired cries” – going down in notes and volume instead of increasing, I’ve only ever really had to go back once to give her a reminder that it was naptime. I also use EASY (it’s about the only thing I agree with in her book). She tends to have 2 one-hour naps in the morning, and 2 in the afternoon after being up for 1.5-2 hours at a time. Then it’s bedtime at 8ish. Do you use white noise in his room? It’s worked wonders for us. She has an iPod and stereo in her room loaded with white noise, womb noise, vacuums, etc. Every nap, I put her down in her crib, say “Have a good nap! Love you” and kiss her, turn off any light, and turn on the ceiling fan and white noise and close her door. I honestly think it helps cover any sound I make in the house while she sleeps – god knows that’s the only real time I get anything done anymore.

    Oh and for her nails, I keep a nail file in my living room and file them down regularly. Much easier and safer than the clipper and she doesn’t mind it at all. It even tickles her at times. I normally file her nails down during “happy time” – that sweet moment within the first 30 minutes after a nap when she’s all smiles.

    Good luck!!!

  4. Yeah, my son WAS a great napper, haha. I wouldn’t rock my son to sleep, I would only do so until he got sleepy, but I tried out what you do this morning. He started whining when we got in his room, but I put on his mits, closed his blinds, told him it was naptime, gave him a kiss and put him in his crib. I also turned on the white noise (which is usually something I only use at bedtime) but I chose a different track than his bedtime track and put his pacifier in. I let him whine for a few minutes before going back to him, reminding him that it was naptime, giving him another kiss and replacing his pacifier and, well, he fell asleep! Now, I’m hoping that it wasn’t just a fluke and that it will work again. Perhaps, it is his way of telling me that he doesn’t want to be rocked to sleep anymore.

    As for his nails, I had taken a habit of doing them when he was nursing, but I’d never thought of doing them when he’d just woken up and was in his happy mood. It is definitely worth a try!

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