Neverending Night Waking

Why do our kids rob us of so much sleep? With our first it was 9 months of hell every evening & night. Hours of drama. Hours of crying. Hours of up & down the stairs. Months of despair wondering if he would ever just sleep drama-free.

Then he started creche & literally that night he went to bed & slept. Just slept. Went to sleep, and stayed asleep. Heaven!

Then the second came along & for 6 months he was fairly easy going. Napped no problem, napped in his cot after a couple of months. Put himself to sleep most times. Drama-free. Heaven again!

But that was the end of that fairytale.

Over 2 years later I sit here on a Sunday morning feeling yet again like I’ve been hit by a bus. Another night of numerous wakings & DRAMA!

He has what I can only describe as tantrums by night. He goes to sleep fairly easily. Then 90mins later it starts. Whingeing, shouting, general angry behaviour. Never usually tears, just a lot of noise & a lot of determination to NOT return to sleep.

We have tried everything we can think of. Big dinner, small dinner, food before bed, no food, warm covers, no covers, warm PJs, cool PJs, lavender baths, naps, no naps… the list goes on. Sometimes milk resets his system & he settles, other times he just starts again once the bottle runs dry.

He doesn’t want to be snuggled or held, he won’t sleep in our bed. So that’s that approach out the window.

He has mostly been in his own room, we have had a couple of attempts at room sharing with his brother, which has never worked. They moved in together for the 3rd time about 6 weeks ago, and the night wakings have started to negatively affect Big Bro as well.

Last night, I was so broken by this non-stop grief that I decided, that’s it, he’s out. Moved everything back into his own bedroom. Gave him yet another bottle even though it was only 10.30pm, and in he went without a fuss.

Then 2.45am came & it started all over again.

I’ve tried nipping it in the bud when he wakes, going in for a backrub before he gets too worked up. I’ve painstakingly tried the tough love approach, which is tougher on me than on him. So every night I argue with myself about what to do.

Wait & see if he settles? I know he won’t settle. Go straight up to him? That never seems to be good enough either.

My husband tries. He isn’t any more successful than I am. I always hear him first, and I can never ignore it, regardless how many times I’ve already attended to him that night, or how exhausted I am.

So today I feel defeated. Defeated and broken and so bloody tired.

I don’t know what I’m looking for as regards advice. I feel like it’s a “tough it out” situation. Which doesn’t comfort me in any way!

I know I’m not alone in this. I know there are many parents in the same boat, and much more difficult boats. But I am just so done with this boat. I want to burn the bloody thing down.

I want a different boat. One where everybody sleeps when they need to & are supposed to. One where I don’t dread putting my child to bed. A boat where I don’t feel such resentment towards my lack of down-time every evening & night.

He starts playschool in September. Maybe that will sort his little brain out. Who knows.

In the meantime, I’m off to raid DoneDeal for boats…

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