Since I’m pretty sure the vast majority of you don’t want to read through all seventy something comments, I figured I’d update a little on how the last 2 nights went and on what our plan is.
First, there seems to be a consensus that he’s having night terrors, which sounds like a distinct possibility. I’ve noticed that when he falls asleep eating his bedtime bottle (which, I hate and try to discourage, but when this baby wants to fall asleep, he wants to fall asleep, damnit) and I put him in his crib mostly asleep, he tends to wake up more freaked out, so I’m wondering if it’s an object permanence thing sometimes too. I mean, if I fell asleep in the living room and woke up in bed with no idea of how I got from one place to the next, I might scream my head off too. So, my goal is to push bedtime up a little bit so he isn’t quite as sleepy and will fall asleep in his crib.
Once we moved him to a more reasonable position, he slept in the crib for 4 hours without waking up hysterical, just normal whiny/crying to eat. I even almost got him back to sleep in the crib, but he was fussing and fussing and it was a night before I had to work, so I took the lazy and bad habit way out and put him in his bunny bed after 15 minutes. It seems I am part of the problem.
Speaking of which, here’s my current plan, based on some of your wonderful ideas.
First, crib naps. We haven’t been doing them. I tried a few weeks ago, but it was just before he learned to crawl and basically he flipped over, got on his hands and knees and cried and cried, not out of a desire not to nap, but a frustrated cry. I decided he was just too frustrated with his mobility and that we should wait until after he’d met that milestone…which is now. So I need to lower his crib mattress again (I haven’t done it yet because I’m a terrible mother and I haven’t been worried about nighttime standing because he doesn’t sleep fight much at night) because he can pull to stand (though he almost never does) and once I do that, he’ll be crib napping. We’re going out of town this weekend, so the crib naps will probably start Monday or Tuesday, depending upon what time we get back from our trip.
The other thing, like I said, will be pushing bedtime earlier. Most nights he goes down between 8 and 8:30, but there are some nights (last night, especially) where I should’ve done it earlier. Sometimes it’s laziness, last night it was so he could spend a few minutes with his dad who was stuck at work until 7. I need to make a better effort to get him to bed before he’s so exhausted he can’t finish a bottle without falling asleep.
And of course not giving into the bunny bed so easily. He definitely settles down faster in the bunny bed, but I’m using it as a crutch, so when he’s not upset and is just taking extra time to settle back down, I need to let him sort it out in his crib. I am not saying let him scream his head off in favor of his crib, but fussing is fine and I need to be more patient and a little less selfish.
And lastly, I’m not going to fight with him anymore. He makes it clear when he is done with the crib and I think the best thing I can do is keep offering it. He’s not used to it yet, and I don’t expect him to sleep through the night in it, but I think the more he realizes that it’s fine and he can sleep comfortably there, the better. His sleep hours still suck hard (last night bed at 8:15, up at 10:30 and 3:15, up for the day at 7:30), but he’s going longer between the two wake ups so that’s a nice change. I’m hoping this is just a stage like many of you said and will be figuring itself out soon.
We also have a pediatrician appointment next week, so we’ll find out about the ears/reflux possibilities then. Nothing seems urgent enough to push the appointment sooner, the ear scratching has actually decreased in frequency and severity, so I’m hoping it was just a phase.
Thank you again for all the suggestions. We’re hardly at the end of our sleep journey, but I’m hoping that we’re headed in the right direction for now.