Sleep is for the weak (Sleepless for the week)

The running theme this week for Allie seems to be, ahem:

Sleep (and sometimes, milk) is for the weak.

Last night was probably the worst, even if I were to compare it with her newborn days.

She was up at 212am.

I almost couldn’t believe myself when I checked the clock.

Sometimes she stirs and goes back to sleep on her own after I mutter some unhelpful words like “Hey” or “Mummy’s here” so that was my first reaction last night.

Obviously it didn’t work because she continued slamming her legs onto her mattress – repeatedly – and grumbled louder and louder, until it almost became a full-fledged cry.

So I got up, turned her to one side and patted her bum gently until she drifted off to sleep again.

I went back to bed after making sure she was sound asleep.

And then I heard her grumbling loudly again.

I checked the clock.

3am

I really couldn’t get up so I did my voice thing again.. and it worked.

I heard her sucking her swaddle before she started snoring lightly again.

Yay.

But the victory was short-lived.

The next time I had to checked my phone for the time again, it was some 405am, and nothing worked.

Voice, nope. Patting, nope.

She started crying in frustration.

I picked her up and tried to rock her but she was just knocking her head on my chest and shoulder like a woodpecker. 😂

I put her in the sarong and rocked her while she continued grumbling. She eventually dozed off, but kept tossing and turning. Want to lohei is it?😅😂

So I was just rocking her with my arm extended while lying on my side, dozing off and waking up again to rock her whenever she made noise.

She was up again at 5am.

So by now, I finally realised, that her timer and alarm clock for the night was set to ring every hour.

I got up to make milk for her.

The reason why I didn’t give her milk after the first 3 alarms was because of her track record. She wouldn’t drink much before 5am anyway.

Changed her diaper, and sat down to feed her.

I was screaming with exhaustion inside, and tears were streaming down my face..

..because I couldn’t stop yawning and I didn’t have a free hand to wipe my tears away. 😂😂

Surprisingly she fell asleep quite easily after finishing her milk. I held her for 10 minutes before putting her down in her cot.

It was 615am by then.

I decided to get up to pump before Clarissa woke up.

And I realised that the joint on top of my right elbow was aching quite badly lol probably from rocking her.

Went back to sleep after Clarissa and the hubs left the house.. but woke up to loud chuckling less than an hour later.

I got up and this face greeted me:

Mummy, are you sleepy? I’m not! I’m! So! Happy!

Yep, it was like nothing had happened. 😂

She was happily talking to me, waving her arms and kicking her legs, smiling and chuckling.

I don’t know where she gets her energy from.

Sleep training?

I’m not sure if this is the infamous 4-month sleep regression, because I don’t remember anything like this with Clarissa.

Clarissa wasn’t sleep-trained. We used the sarong for her daytime naps, and to make her sleep around 8 / 9pm. And then we’d give her a dream feed around 11pm / 12am, and put her onto her cot bed where she’d sleep until 5 / 6am.

I think all these happened around the 4-5th month mark?

Somewhere down the line she started rejecting the dream feed but could sleep a decent 8-9 hours in one stretch.

She was an early riser – the 6am kind – and still is.. which is tiring but manageable.

We were quite dependent on the sarong to make her sleep, because I recall feeling a little worried before her first overseas trip to Sydney, at 10 months old. How to make her sleep without the sarong? 😂

But it turned out that she was so pooped by the end of each day she simply fell asleep.

Slightly past the 1-year-old mark she decided on her own she was too cool for the sarong and refused to get into it. She could fall asleep with some patting on her bum. 😂

With Allie, she’s been able to sleep 5-hour stretches quite early on, earlier than Clarissa in fact.

On an extremely good day, she’d be asleep by 8 / 9pm, sleep through 2 feeds at 11pm / 12am and 5 / 6am, and continue sleeping until 8 / 9am.

There’d be ‘off’ days when she wakes up before the first dream feed, or wakes up at 7am. But by and large at least one half of the 12-hour stretch would be fine.

And this little sweetheart seldom wails. Loud grumbling or whining, yes. Some crying, yes. But most of the time the hubs and the helper tell me they do not hear her cries in the middle of the night (even during the times when I thought she was louder than usual)? 🙄

Which was why I thought we could live with the cat naps during the daytime, and the 5-6 hour sleep nights from time to time.

But for the past two weeks, there has been no predictable pattern to her sleep schedule.

The only thing I know for sure, is that she is a textbook baby when it comes to the duration of awake time she can handle.

It’s definitely 90 minutes or less for 3-4 month-old babies as advised by experts.

So we try to make sure she’s asleep before the 90-minute mark. Of course sometimes we miss it and suffer for it later.

But as long as she is not over-tired during the day, she would sleep pretty ok at the 8 / 9pm mark. No witching hour whatsoever.

But beyond that I have not figured out her milk strikes, nor why she is waking up at 2am, 3am, 4am. Sometimes she doesn’t finish her feed, but wakes up after 5am. Sometimes she finishes her milk but wakes up at 4am.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a sleep program to sleep-train her. I’ve ruled out the ‘cry it out’ method because I can’t deal with it, but I’m wondering if I should try the other methods.

I’m already practising some of thr principles, eg not picking her up immediately, and she is actually able to self-soothe. But I also give up quite quickly and put her into the sarong because I don’t have the stamina to keep patting or rocking her in my arms, and I don’t want her to wake the household up.

I’m also starting to worry about life after returning to work. Can I go though rough nights like this at least 2-3 times a week (or every night this week), and still function at work?

Yet I’m feeling the inertia.. because, I don’t know what to expect. The best time to do this is probably in April when the hubs and bubs1 go on their father-daughter vacation.

It’d be such a feat if we were to succeed? A dream, even. Imagine putting the baby down into the cot and then she sleeps on her own? For naps and bedtime?

So I guess I have a few weeks to think about it and count the number of times I have to wake up in the wee hours of the night. 😂

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