Partum Me?! GO THE #$%& TO SLEEP… please?

By Laura |

Charlie – good at eating, bad at sleeping (for us, at least)

A few people have asked me offline to give an update about how the grain-free thing is going.  I’m down 12 lbs so I’d say it’s going okay!  There have been challenges – like the one I talk about here – but overall, I feel like my blood sugars must be more stabilized by eliminating grains because my energy is more consistent throughout the day.  Also, I no longer find myself feeling absolutely famished in the middle of the afternoon.  One cup of coffee now does the trick, while I was needing a venti black eye in the am and an afternoon cup to get through the day before.  Some lingering digestive issues are completely gone, too.  I will keep posting here when it’s relevant to Partum Me, but you can also get more of a blow by blow on my personal blog.

Eating for Charlie is also going quite well, as you can see above.  What’s not going well these days?  Sleeping.  Here’s the situation:  Charlie started off in a co-sleeper (an Arm’s Reach that was not attached to our bed but sits right next to it).  He slept quite well in there by himself in the early months, even when we were getting up in the night to nurse.  When he got too big for the co-sleeper but was still nursing, we switched him to a pack n play in our room.  That was all working out quite well until he got sick a few weeks ago.  He was in horrible pain with ear infections and coughs, so we let him sleep with us.  And before anyone shakes their finger at us, I should say that a) I fully support responsible bed sharing if it’s done safely and b) I am of the belief that co-sleeping and bed sharing do not create “bad habits.”  There are many, many ways to get a child the sleep he/she needs – no judging, here!

Anyway, we’ve been wanting to transition Charlie to his crib in his room for a while now because, before he got sick, he was quietly sleeping through the night.  We figured he was ready.  But ever since we transitioned him back to the pack-n-play in our room after he got better, he has woken up every night between 2 and 3 pm and cried…a lot.  At first we worried that letting him feed himself dinner was causing him to wake up hungry, so we beefed up his dinner meal and bottle routine.  Nope, not the problem.  We started bringing a bottle to bed with us to feed him when he woke up.  He loved it, but still cried when he was done.  We snuggled him until he fell back to sleep, but he was up like a periscope the second we put him back down.  And yes, we let him cry it out but man, that kid can really wail.  For looooooong periods of time!  The only thing that stopped the crying was bringing him into bed with us, the antithesis of what we want out of this situation.

We own a few books on the subject, namely Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child or whatever it’s called.  I plan to read the relevant chapters over the next few days.  (Who has time to actually read an ENTIRE book at once these days?!?!)  But I’d love to hear some practical, real advice from parents who have had a similar situation to ours.  What did you do?  How did you do it?  And how long did it take before a) you and your partner got your bed back and b) your little one was getting the good sleep that he/she so desperately needs at this stage of life?



Laura is mommy to Charlie, who was born in April 2011. If you are in Philadelphia and spot a woman on the bus who is balancing an active toddler and the largest canvas tote that L.L. Bean makes, you've probably spotted her. Always up for a challenge, Laura enjoys her day job as a fundraiser, cooking healthy meals at home for her family, and her new workout hobby - running.

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  1. 1.

    Unfortunately I don’t have any advice but I just want you to know you’re not alone! My 10 month old does not sleep and will cry and cry and cry, with no end in sight. She is in a crib side carred to my bed. I feel your pain and hope someone has good advice!

  2. 2.

    Oh lordy lordy. I feel your pain. Been there. All I can say is… it DOES pass. Suddenly some other developmental thing occurs (like, walking!) and suddenly he’s so tired he forgets to wake mommy every few hours.
    Be warned! We got Raffi to sleep in his crib all night for a while, but then at 18 months he figured out how to climb out and come running into our room at 3 in the morning!

  3. 3.

    Both of my kids slept through the night great until about 9-10 mos when they had a relapse to waking up. Both eventually out grew the phase and were sleeping through again about a month or two later.

    We did try putting them to sleep in their room but sitting next to the bed for 15 minutes. Then each night shortened the time and moved further away from the bed. This seemed to help my son put himself to sleep. My daughter on the other hand had horrible ear ifections ones and to this day falls asleep best in our bed and we move her once she’s asleep (she will be 4 years old next month)

  4. 4.

    We co-slept with our daughter for the first 6 weeks and she started sleeping really good for us. Then, she ended up sick with RSV and in the hospital. That completely ruined her sleep schedule. When I went back to work when she was 8 weeks old, I knew I had to put her in her crib at night or I’d be miserable since I work the 3p-11p shift. I don’t put her down until I know she is fast asleep and then I have to tiptoe and lay her down very gently. She has her good nights and her bad nights. Last night was a good night with 8 hours of sleep straight through. The night before, not so good.

    Can you try putting him in his crib for his naps so he gets used to it? Hang in there, Momma. That transition is the hardest thing. It was horrible with our son. And no sooner did he get used to being in the crib, my husband started working night shift and I didn’t like him being a room away from me when we were home alone overnight so he ended up sleeping back in bed with me again.

  5. 5.

    I am so not looking forward to this part of having a baby. My kids are just not good sleepers. (Maybe this one will be different?)

    In any case, I laughed at your comment about Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I remember getting it when my son was almost a year old and when I opened it I was so annoyed that there wasn’t a very simple step by step “How To Get Your Kid To Sleep Through The Night” section.

    My son co-slept with us and making the transition to his crib was a a process. We eventually did a modified cry it out kind of thing. (Actually, I did it while my husband was away!).

    I hope things get better soon. I know it stinks and can be SO frustrating.

  6. 6.

    As the mother of three, with her baby 24 years old, I have to tell you that this all passes very, very quickly.

    I remember those days and I didn’t believe people when they told me, but it happens almost overnight.

    My best advice, snuggle that baby, follow his lead and use your mommy gut to make sure his needs are met.

    AND also make sure you nurture your relationship with your partner by asking for help with the baby.

    I’m a fan of the family bed. I can’t tell other families what would work for them, do what works for you, and enjoy every second, even the hard ones.

  7. 7.

    Love Di’s advice :)

  8. 8.

    I’m with Di. Our LO did not sleep straight through the night until she was 14 months old. We transitioned her to her crib when she was 4 months old but she woke up every 2-3 hours until she was 9 months old and then at least once or twice a night until she was 14 months.

    When she cried, I went in her room, picked her up, sat and rocked her until she went to sleep (or breastfed her) and put her back in her crib.

    It’s exhausting but it did stop and now I miss those late night wakings when I could stare at her sleeping and hold her for a long time in my arms. I knew it would pass too quickly and it did but I will say it is nice to sleep a full 8 hours now :)

    Everyone always tells me “this too shall pass…” and they are right, all too quickly. I do know that it is so exhausting while you’re in the midst of it but just do what you think is best and cuddle him as long and as much as you can because soon he will be too big to cuddle and will be asking to go in his crib without cuddle time like my LO!

  9. 9.
    Mrs. Smitty

    My oldest had the same problem when she was about 8-10 months old. And now my 9 month old is acting the same way. It’s like once they hit mobility, they just don’t want to miss a moment of life and refuse to close their eyes. The biggest con to my girls learning to pull themselves up is that they’d refuse to lay down after that. Good luck!

  10. 10.

    Uggh! I feel your pain. Our daughter is only 7.5 months, but she’s crawling and pulling herself up in her crib (she’s been in her crib from day 1 – mostly). Once upon a time she slept through the night, but lately I’ve been getting up and feeding her 2x each night. I have to go to bed crazy early to be able to function. I’m enjoying all of the comments, but I’m not seeing the magic bullet. How sad for both of us. ;)

  11. 11.

    My 16 mos old daughter just went through a phase of waking up EVERY hour and crying! It lasted for about 6 week, but has finally started to pass, it does get better, one night it’s horrible and then comething clicks the next night and they will sleep fine!

  12. 12.

    We have tried cosleeping at times with 3 of our 4 children (when they were babies) and have found that while they sometimes slept betntuter, my Husband and I slept far worse. Our children’s noises and breathing and especially their movements woke us repeatedly, despite our queen sized bed.

    Eventually, they end up back in the portable or regular crib and that works best for us. Good naps, a bedtime snack, and a bedtime massage or bath and story seem to help transition them to bedtime. A fan for white noise helps as well.

  13. 13.
    Christy I

    I miss sleep! My son is getting better but it is so hard getting no sleep.

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