Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crying it out

Jacob has been waking up every night since the beginning of the weekend, and it's been a tough run. Almost like clockwork, around 1 or 2am he'll wake up crying. When we go in to comfort him, he'll quiet down but will still whine a bit. Lately he's also been tossing and turning quite a bit when we go in. No matter how long we rock him or rub his back, inevitably when we stop, he starts right up again. This can go on for an hour or more. It's extra difficult when we have work the next day. For me, my 6am alarm looms all too close in the midst of those middle of the night disturbances. It's been a rough week at work, to say the least. Bad projects seem that much worse when you just can't focus. Most nights we've been bringing him into our bed to sleep on or next to us for at least a little while. When he seems to be deeply asleep, I'll take him back to his crib and he usually sleeps the rest of the night without an issue. I've said all along that that's a bad habit to get into--that it basically worsens the problem because he's already waking up hard to comfort...let alone when he gets used to sleeping with someone and needs that to sleep at all.

Last night he woke up again. Craig went in twice, I went in once. At one point we just decided to see if he would cry it out and fall asleep on his own. We'd pondered that other nights, but last night we really gave it a shot. Craig's second trip in was near the end of that process, but eventually he did go back to sleep without sleeping with us. While I'd love to think it will make a difference (some people swear that technique works right away when it's used at bedtime), I don't know if Jacob would have the cognitive ability while half-asleep at 3am to make whatever connection in his mind that cry-it-out success stories make when they become functional sleepers. Listening to him cry was hard, but honestly, I've been so tired and this whole situation has been so frustrating that sympathy was in short supply last night. I felt bad...but not bad enough to get up more than once. I guess the biggest issue is that there isn't anything visibly obvious as to why Jacob wakes up. If he was waking up sucking on his hands like a madman, obviously it would be teething and we'd grab the Tylenol. If he was sick, we'd do what we could to make him comfortable. But not knowing what's wrong, it's hard to know if there's a real reason or if he's just wanting some company. Maybe it's gas/constipation (trying Mylicon before bed and giving him prune juice again...no luck so far). Maybe it's his reflux...but we're doing everything we can to help him there already. But ultimately, whatever it is, the goal would be to help him be a functional sleeper in the midst of it. Sure, we want him to sleep so he's energetic, happy and healthy, but that shouldn't be at the expense of our sleep or accomplished in a way that makes him a less effective sleeper in the long run. So if we can work around the problem and help him sleep through it, that would be better for everyone. But I just don't know what it will take to get there since we don't know what the problem is. It's definitely frustrating but we're hoping he just grows out of this soon or we find a workable solution in the meantime.

In other news...crawling is coming along. He's still not exactly motoring around, but he's getting better and it's been fun to watch. It's nice to be able to put him on the floor and let him go get the toys he wants to play with. Last night he alternated between his newest moose (fresh from Craig's trip to Colorado), his peek-a-blocks, and his activity table that started this whole crawling thing. It's sort of a neat thing to see him be able to express himself like that. Instead of just being handed a toy and simply playing with it or dropping it, now when he drops it we know why...at least when he specifically goes after something else. I keep thinking how fun it will be for him at day care to be able to get around the room he's been in for so long, on his own terms. They've made it an interesting and safe room to crawl around, so I think it will be an enlightening experience for him. As it is he's the oldest full time kid in the room (one little girl keeps going back and forth because she's very attached to the one teacher but she's old enough for the next room), so he's getting some new experiences these days when he goes into the other room and hangs out with the "big kids". Yesterday he played with bubbles, and this morning when I left him there, he was getting to play with Cool Whip. All the kids were in high chairs getting dollops of Cool Whip on their trays, and being able to mush it around. At first I was a little concerned about the dairy element of it all (kids under 1 aren't supposed to get it), but was hoping he just wouldn't figure out to put it in his mouth (hasn't figured out Cheerios yet...why Cool Whip?)...but then I figured out that it's non-dairy. I hope he had fun and is enjoying his sensory experiences.

Anyway, wish us luck for tonight...

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