Unknown territory

Zoe has always slept well. She started sleeping through at about 5 months and hasn’t stopped. Every now and then she might wake because she’s cold or needs the toilet but that literally takes just a few moments to pull her duvet over her (she’s even now starting to do this herself) or take her to the loo. She never woke when she was getting teeth or when she was sick, ever. She had baby measles or Roseola once and she was running a seriously high temperature and we had to set our alarm to wake up and go and give her a suppository and she just kept sleeping. She can even vomit in her sleep and not wake up. She also doesn’t mind where she sleeps, so if we go away or she sleeps at my folks, she still sleeps her 11-12 hours a night. Fantastic I know but, she is our “normal” and next exhibit is Ava. Who was a great sleeper, although never at the same level as her big sister. She refused a dummy, and yes, believe me we did try to get her to take one. So, when she’s tired she holds onto her taglet and sucks her thumb and goes off to sleep. The last few weeks she has taken to waking up at night at around 5am and then it can sometimes be a bit of a battle to get her to go back to sleep. I’ve mentioned all this before. All along, since her birth, there have been times when she has battled to get to sleep and we’ve had screaming matches, but she’s obviously tired and so she does eventually go to sleep. This had been much better for a while, but it has started happening again and this may be a trigger for the night wakings. We leave her to cry for about 5 minutes, then go in and pat her back and then leave again. You cannot force her to put her thumb in her mouth and when she’s like this she just throws her taglet away and won’t try and comfort herself.

Last night was the worst night we’ve ever had. She woke just after 3am, but soon settled herself, then at 3.20 she started shouting and after 5 minutes hadn’t settled, so Chris went in and calmed her (just patting), 3.40 she woke again and I went in and I was there for ages in the hope that she’d go back to sleep and not wake again, 4 am screaming again (about 2 minutes after I’d got back to bed). I then probably made a big mistake and lay down with her in the bed that’s in her room. After about 5 minutes I put her back in her cot and went back to bed. 15 minutes later, screaming again. We left her for about 10 minutes, as she does start to calm down and even stops crying but then starts with a vengeance again. By this stage Chris and I were arguing with each other out of frustration. I’m not sure where we’ve gone wrong, I really don’t. One thing I know is that I cannot handle listening to my child cry and it really doesn’t seem to help. I almost feel that if I’d gone to her quickly when she first woke up (at 3.20), we may not have had the night we did. If only I could have just gone and put a dummy in, but no, no such luck. What a nightmare. Eventually it was getting close to 5 and much to Chris’s horror I brought her to our bed. Naturally she went straight to sleep. He had to wake up soon after 6, get dressed and leave for work and she stirred slightly then took her taglet and started sucking her thumb!!!!! ARGHHHH. I eventually got up at 7.05am and went to wake Zoe who was still sleeping soundly.

I am at a complete loss. If we give her Stopayne or Ponstan, she sleeps all night without a peep but that’s clearly not a solution. How are we going to get her to comfort herself when she wakes at night? I just hope I haven’t completely ruined it all by bringing her to our bed. I will honestly not do that again, but after almost 2 hours of up, down, up, down and standing next to her freaking cot, I’d had enough.Not convinced it’s teeth as although her gums are swollen, they seem to have been like that for weeks and there isn’t any sign of any teeth. The problem is that we’ve been so spoilt by having them be such good sleepers, that this comes as a huge shock. We go to bed quite late (at about 11pm usually) and go out at night quite often, especially over weekends. This hasn’t been an issue before, as they’ve slept so ell that even if we get to bed late, we still get 7 or 8 hours of sleep. If this carries on it’s also going to start interfering with my running as I like to wake up just after 6am and go for a run then.

Oh I hope and pray that in a few weeks time I can look back on this post and smile that it is all a distant memory. We’ve got so much going on in the next few weeks – lots of soccer matches to attend, visitors coming to stay, weekends away, holiday away, Chris overseas for work, running races (so hopefully lots of training), etc. I could really do without a 1 year old developing sleep issues. Maybe we’ll have to consider cancelling her presents if it carries on. That should do the trick.

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