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That’s what it’s all about

Note: As a fair warning, this post has been written after a night of very little sleep. I’m not making excuses, just stating the facts as they are. If it’s incomprehensible or confusing, consider yourself warned. If you are scared of reading something incomprehensible or confusing, perhaps you’d best skip this one. And every other one I write ;-)

 Cameron_1yrBaby boy is now 13 months old. He’s getting good at taking more than three steps at a time before flopping down on his diaper-padded tush. He’s starting to say more words, probably more than even I understand yet. And we’ve started that long, long process of weaning by eliminating night nursing. He actually took to sleeping through the night like a champ. However, after all the excitement of the holidays were done, and we started back to our weekly routine I think his world was a little rocked. Why do I think this? Well, it started at around 2:45 AM, the screaming. Before I looked at the clock I thought “wow, is it 6:45 already?” Nope. Maybe he’ll fall back asleep…

… 5 minutes later, still screaming. My darling dearest and I were wide awake. “what’s wrong with him?” he asks. “I don’t know…” I respond. In my head I think… he ate lots of dinner, so not likely hunger. He doesn’t seem to be sick or teething. He took care of all his bowel needs just before bed… so what could it be? Can 1 year olds have nightmares? (he sounded terrified!) Can he be getting another molar? Does he have a fever? Is his night light freaking him out? “I’ll go check on him…” says my darling dearest. *Whew* I think to myself. I’m trying to avoid going back to the nursing all night thing, and I’m afraid if I go to him, he’ll scream even LOUDER if I don’t nurse him.

I listen in… the screaming gets worse. My darling dearest is not having any luck calming him down. After 20 minutes he gives up . Just then, baby boy settles. The quiet is nearly deafening. My ears are ringing. “There was a smell in the room, and I didn’t check his diaper, maybe he had pooped?” my darling dearest says. “No, couldn’t be, he just did that before bed. It’s probably the diaper you smelled” I respond. But he must know, so he goes back in to check…  and in so doing, he wakes baby boy, who begins to wail again. My heart was breaking, but what could I do? Twenty minutes more passed, and my darling dearest gave up again. Five minutes more, and he still hadn’t settled…

I couldn’t take it anymore. It was my turn to go in. I had a plan, and it didn’t involve boobs. It involved the Hokey Pokey. So I picked him up, and he pushed away at me, trying to escape, it seemed. He wailed even louder but I hugged him close and started singing quietly in his ear “you put your right foot in, you put your right foot out…” doing a little dance to go along with it. By the time I got to the hands, he’d stopped screaming and was just sniffling a bit. By the time I got to the hips, he had settled his little head on my chest and relaxed completely. When I got to the head, his arms started to droop and his breathing settled a bit. Finally I just hummed the tune as I ran out of body parts. I gently placed him in his bed, which woke him a bit and set him screaming again, but he quickly settled in and I rubbed his back until he finally fell asleep. I snuck out very VERY slowly, careful not to set him off again. With all the silence I was able to enjoy a little thought to myself: “Maybe the Hokey Pokey *is* what it’s all about”…

I crept back into bed, wide awake.  Thirty minutes later: “WAHHHHHHHHHH” *sigh*


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Zzzzzzzzzz.seriously who cares?

anonmomwithrealconcerns, we all deserve kindness and compassion. I am sad to read your comment. I enjoy UrbanMamas because of our attempts to come together as a community of moms supporting each other as we weather the difficulties and celebrate the beauties of mamahood. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with whatever concerns you are dealing with.

As to the post, I am not in this phase now, but certainly remember it felt like the biggest deal in the world trying to get my son to sleep without feeding and then later without someone just being there. I think everyone who knew me knew about our lack of sleep.
Hang in there!

Oh, sleep is so hard. Our oldest, who is 7 nearly 8, old still wakes up at least once a night but thankfully settles quickly. Our youngest is probably our best sleeper. (knocking on wood) I feel for you.

It's so funny, but I find that the Hokey Pokey is pretty effective in a lot of tough kid situations. I use it to get my kids dressed most mornings! It's either that, or chase them and pin them down WWF-style.

I never thought to use it to rock a kid to sleep. Sleep deprivation is the mother of invention, I guess!

I don't know if you remember, but when my youngest was a small child I also suffered the nighttime wailing. and mine included anger, too -- so much so that it seemed useless to me to try and wean him. even WITH nursing at night, he would still wake once or twice every night just upset. with no language -- and he had somewhat late development in that department, too -- it was impossible to figure out what he wanted. it was small comfort when he got older, developed language, and STILL couldn't tell me what he wanted when he woke up in the night. to this day he wakes up almost every night around 11:30 or midnight, often crying, and rarely is he able to tell me what he wants until he calms down; sometimes a few minutes and sometimes 10 or 20.

I hope your baby boy will be able to do better -- probably :)

(I nursed Monroe during the night until he was 3 years and 1 month. the tortuous screaming was too much. and since I have started putting him in his own bed, every night between 11 and 2 a.m., he wakes and gets into my bed with me. having read many a more experienced mama saying that 'no child is still co-sleeping as a teenager,' I gave up on worrying about it years and years ago! I realize this probably won't work for you and your family but it's my own coping mechanism.)

p.s. anonmomwithrealconcerns I will remind you that comments that have no supportive or constructive value will be deleted in the future. for the time being, since you've been addressed by other commenters, I'm leaving this one -- next time I won't be so inclined.

ear infection by any chance? They used to come out of the blue for my boys and typically in the middle of the night. Hang in there!

Hurray to you for staying strong with trying something different. A lot of mothers give in to go back to nursing, or any night behavior, even though it feels wrong. You did the hard thing, and that deserves kudos!

I think they grow at night... growing seems to involve being sad/mad. For me, stopping night-nursing was not a fight I had any desire to take on. It did the trick, and sleep, however it could happen, was most important to us at that time. When he was finally ready to stop on his own, it went well; he's just never been one to do things before his time. You may or may not want to do it, but sometimes there can be regressions to new bedtime behaviors... I always think if they managed it once, they will get there again. So if you go back to nursing on a bad day, just try the stopping again when the time seems right.

My daughter started night-time upsets a little older than this, closer to two than one, I think. She'd wake in the middle of the night and just be fussy at first, and disoriented and not quite awake. And then it would escalate to an all out screaming fit. It didn't matter what we did or didn't do--we'd still hit the screams. This would happen maybe twice a month so it took awhile to figure out a way to cope. I'd take her out of her bedroom (because she shared it and was screaming loud enough to wake her brother) and put her on the floor of the living room. She would scream and thrash around for a good twenty minutes. Eventually, she'd thump her foot on the coffee table or her head on the floor and start crying instead of screaming. At that point, we could comfort her and tuck her back into bed.

The whole experience was bizarre and discomforting, and being sleep deprived doesn't help you figure it out, either. It wasn't night terrors, it wasn't nightmares, it was just plain weird. My mom says I did exactly the same thing at the same age. Eventually, she grew out of it and doesn't do it anymore--thank goodness.

Nice job with the Hokey Pokey and hang in there.

I wish I'd thought of the hokey pokey at that age! Up all night IS a real concern to almost everyone who has a baby.

sleep deprivation is, hands down, the hardest part of parenting for me so far. my babies are school-aged and sleeping soundly now - thank god. when i was there, i tried everything. i had one who woke me screaming several times each night for quite a while (angry, sad, scared, depending on the night). nothing helped but compassion from others who knew what it was like. i'm cheering for you and the hokey pokey. if i knew you, i'd try to take kids off your hands so you could take a nap.

Yep. That's life with a kid.* (*Obviously not all kids, but many of them.)

Sorry, not trying to be flip. As someone finally on the other side of the up-all-night party, I remember how much it sucks, and I totally feel for you. There's just not really much to say and before you'll know it you too will get to sleep again!

My kids always have these kind of nighttime screaming episodes when they are working on a developmental leap. Sometimes they will be up screaming 4-5 times a night - UGH!
Learning to walk was an especially bad time at our house. 2 weeks of all night crying but once they figured it out, sleep at last. Hang in there!!

jojo, I agree. Sleep-deprivation was the worst. Of course, I will have a teenager next year. But whatever the teen years entail, at least I know my kid will be sleeping through the night! And if he doesn't, he can stay up and read, and I won't have to be involved. So sorry, OP. It really is awful and it really does get better. Hang in there.

Hi! I am a fellow mom who helped my baby learn to sleep after many sleepless months (he was waking every 40 minutes for ten months and would only nurse to go back to sleep!) and then started helping countless other families. There is hope!

I started a sliding-scale sleep training consultation business after helping many families get the sleep they needed.

sweet dreams pdx offers in home consultations, followed with email and phone support. You are not alone!

sweet dreams pdx is here to support your family in reaching your sleep training goals.

Don't give up! Contact Mitzy at http://sweetdreamspdx.com/

I work with all types of families. I offer help with co-sleeping, night weaning, transitioning to crib, sleep training, re-training after sickness or traveling)

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