It's getting worse, not better.
The sleeping, I mean.
Or should I say, the lack of sleeping.
I try not to complain about this (too much) because I know, or I HOPE!, that it's temporary, and I know how badly some parents would give anything in this world to trade places and have sleep issues be their biggest obstacle. I have met too many grieving parents this year whose hearts are broken and whose arms are now empty, and I know that my rough nights cannot even begin to compare with their loss.
That said, help.
No, really. Help!
Levi used a pacifier on occasion when he was teeny tiny but for months now, he plays with them and thinks they're just the neatest toy for biting and popping and generally making lots of noise with. So no drift-off-to-sleep aid there.
He loves pillows.
I mean, he really, really loves pillows. Big ones. He sleeps best with his face smooshed up against one of our pillows, or with his face completely buried underneath it, which is horrifying by the way. Of course the idea of putting a full sized pillow in his crib scares me to death and I can't do it. I'm tempted, but I can't.
So I made him a smaller one, but it doesn't seem to do the trick.
I also made him a bumper pad, mainly because I didn't want to pay the ridiculous price to buy one, but maybe I should? The one I made isn't working at all. He scoots his head and face up underneath it and then proceeds to bang his head against the rails, which upsets him to no end. Shocker. But he won't stop doing it! More recently, he has begun kicking the rails with all his might in the middle of the night, and this can go on for hours. Hours.
I'm tired, people.
So, so tired.
We consider it a successful night if we're only up four or five times.
We're lucky to get a two hour stretch throughout the night.
Every single night.
Back in November, he screamed every night when he put him in his crib. I tried gentle training, and it worked! I couldn't believe it! But within a few weeks, it got bad again.
In early January, we had six nearly all-night sleeps in a row.
I was ecstatic. I thought we'd fiiiinally made it through these terrible nights.
And then it was over.
We have learned that he can't tolerate a nap after 4 pm, so we don't do that, even if he refused one all afternoon. That makes for a rough end to the day, let me tell you. It's bad.
We try to get outside for fresh air but have been house bound for days now with ridiculous freezing weather. Coincidentally, we're in the early stages of a blizzard at this very moment. #awesome
The one thing that does help is his lovey blankie. It's really small, but he adores it. Of course he whips and flings it around these days, but it's his very favorite thing at bedtime and it does calm him - he runs his fingers up and down the soft material, and I can feel his entire body relax, so it does help. Levi goes to bed in his crib awake, and more often than not, he wants his lovey right up against his face. So there's that, he doesn't get put down already asleep.
And nap time.
I am not kidding when I say that the saddest day of our lives was when he outgrew his baby sleep cushion/pillow. He hasn't taken one nap in his crib since then, but he does get comfy in the middle of our bed, and strangely enough, mostly stays put. Maybe this is reinforcing bad habits? Maybe I should try to get him to nap in his crib?
He definitely prefers to sleep in our bed, which I don't really love, but I'm okay with it. I don't want it to create poor habits for the future, but...I guess one could say we are already in a cycle of poor habits, ha. The problem with co-sleeping, really, is that there is no room, and Bill ends up on the floor, which makes it all seem completely degenerate and just bad.
So here I am, a veteran Mom of five, and I'm at a total loss. It goes to show that every baby is so, so different. And I feel like I'm losing my mind. We need sleep!
So tell me, please, any advice you've got? I want to hear it all! Anything and everything!
I can't write this long, dramatic post without an adorable picture...