The past couple weeks I have been dreading bedtime, more specifically the night ahead. We have been dealing with some serious, what I could only call, separation anxiety, and it is surely not on my end!
We have a pretty standard bedtime routine that happens at roughly the same time every night at 8pm. We started doing nightly bath (most nights), lotion massage (which is sometimes not as relaxing as it sounds because E hates it unless you jump around and make silly faces the whole time, but it’s necessary because she has been dealing with pretty bad excema), jammies, either a little quiet playtime or a story with daddy if it’s still early, sleep sack, and then she falls asleep nursing and I put her down in her crib by 9pm. In the past, she was sleeping really well! Until about 5 or 6 in the morning! And then she would wake up and nurse for a half hour and sleep until about 8:30 in her crib. Life was good.
Last week, she would be fast asleep, I would lay her down in her crib and she would instantly wake up and scream when I walked out of the room. Normally, we would let her cry for a few minutes and she would usually fall back asleep. Now, she pulls herself up to her feet and screams. So there goes that plan! As soon as I come back in, she will lay her head down and close her eyes. If I move, she pops up and “warns” me that I better not go anywhere. She will sleep completely fine as long as I am in that room. So one night I slept in the chair. One night I sat on the floor for an hour saying “mommy’s here” every time I heard her stir. That night I ended up crawling out of the room on my hands and knees to not make a sound! It worked! But I only got to lay down for an hour before she realized I was gone.
This week, she has been going to bed a bit better, but it is still not easy. She hasn’t been nursing to sleep and by that time of night I just don’t have any patience left and am desperately needing some alone time. The only saving grace is, she will finally fall asleep on daddy in the chair in her room and if he waits long enough, he can put her down without a peep! He’s got some sort of system going that has to do with the number of lullabies that play from the CD he turns on. Whatever works, I’m just glad it doesn’t involve me.
She will sleep for a couple hours(thank goodness) and has been waking up at 2am. I will usually bring her in the bed with us and she nurses and we fall asleep. I’m not opposed to co-sleeping, it’s how we survived in the beginning, but it is not very comfortable for me and E usually sleeps better on her own now. I don’t fully sleep when she is in there because she thinks it’s unlimited booby buffet. If I put her back into the crib, she does her screaming thing, and I just can’t deal at 3am. The last couple nights daddy has been getting up at 4am and redoing his routine and she will sleep in her crib until about 6, then she’s back in the bed with me for the rest of the morning, until we roll out of bed around 8:30.
I feel bad that my husband has to get up at 4am when he already has to get up early for work, but I am really starting to lose my mind and having melt downs in the middle of the night! I wake up feeling drained and not at all rested.
I am also stuck in this vicious cycle of giving up sleep in exchange for some quiet time without the baby. We have been staying up waaay too late because bedtime has been lasting around 2 and 1/2 hours and I need baby free time. We might have to start bedtime earlier, but we like the 8pm bedtime because that gives my husband a little more time with her and I don’t mind her sleeping later into the morning. He doesn’t get home until nearly 6 and by the time we eat dinner and such he would hardly have any time with her!
Also, because of this whole separation anxiety, I can’t even leave her in her room in the Rock N’ Play for naps during the day like I used to because she freaks out so bad she shakes! So she naps on me. I love the snuggles, but what I would do for just a little break during the day.
I am hoping this phase resolves its self soon! If not, Mommy might lose her mind! During the day she is as happy as can be and I’m like how many times have I warmed up this same cup of coffee?