The nighttime dilemma (AKA God help us all)

Babies who don't sleep

And by “dilemma” I mean the fact that nighttime keeps coming back around every day… And I never know which baby I’m going to get: baby who sleeps for several hours at a time or baby who only sleeps in my arms and cries when she so much as touches her bassinet.

You know that feeling you get when your alarm goes off and you think, how is it time to get up already?! Man, the night flew by!

Well, I ever so vaguely remember those feelings and long for those days. Because when I get refuses-to-sleep-baby, the night feels like a never ending nightmare and I’d do anything for it to be 7am again.

I truly think my daughter can sense that feeling of accomplishment when we think we’ve successfully put her down to sleep. As soon as I start mentally congratulating myself for the Olympic feat I’ve just conquered, she stirs.

It’s like she knows.

So now I try to delay my excitement, as if she can actually read my mind. I know this is absolutely crazy, yet I can’t stop myself from doing it anyway. In fact, I’m writing this as I lie in bed – I just put her down – and when I realized my body started relaxing in triumph, I tensed back up. She can sense the relaxation!!!

Dang it. She’s awake again.

Related Post: Adeline’s Nursery

Related Post: Adeline’s Birth Story

Related Post: What you REALLY need for your new baby (a minimalist approach)

The Nighttime Dilemma - thoughts on bedtime with your baby

  • Kristen Kellough

    It’s so hard. For the first two months I had to hold my daughter while she slept, even at night. Have you tried a rock n play? That saved us! It’s a lot more cuddly than a crib or flat bassinet. Something we also did was roll towels and put them underneath the crib sheets and press them against her so it felt more snug. We also zip her up in a more fitted swaddle sack called a Woombie. It gets better! Hang in there momma!

    • We did the rock n play for a while – probably weeks 3-6?? And that helped a LOT! Then we transitioned back to the bassinet with the Halo Sleep Sack and the sleep sack helped us! It’s a little too heavy, though, for summer so I need to look into something a little lighter weight! I’ll check out the Wombie!! Thank you!!

  • Lauren Tomlinson

    Yep I remember those nights. We did the rock and play and finally we were so tired Nater just slept with us (it was the lactation nurses idea!).

    • We did the rock n play for a while, too! That got us through weeks 3-6 ish and was a LIFE SAVER for SURE!! She’s sleeping well in the bassinet now with the Halo Sleep Sack, but we definitely still have those random nights she doesn’t sleep as well. And around 5-7am I usually end up just putting her in bed with us 🙂

  • Hahaha I know that feeling so well…and will know it again soon! EEK. I feel like we’ve only just had a few months of proper sleep again and now we’ll have the newborn phase within a few weeks. I’m a little frightened. My first one only slept on me for 3 months so we ended up cosleeping (which I swore I’d never do lol). And the 2nd one slept in her bassinet but never for more than a couple hours at a time, until she was nearly 11 months…. Hopefully Adeline starts sleeping really well for you soon!! I’ve heard excellent things about the rock n play (enough so that I’m actually considering buying one this time even though I don’t technically *need* anything for this being the 3rd time around!)

    • EEK!!! Enjoy those last months of more solid sleep for SURE!!! 🙂 We used the rock n play for night sleeping for weeks 3-6ish and it literally SAVED US. Seriously. Soooo worth it! She’s been in the bassinet since then and honestly does okay most nights (as in the past two weeks or so). She has had a night here or there with the situation above (lol! and hence the reflection I needed to get out haha!), but in general she’s doing muuuuch better! So I’m trying to be grateful that we have many more good nights than bad ones!!!

  • I’m so sorry! I noticed Kristen recommended the Woombie, though, and my SIL loved them for her girls. It’s worth a try! I hope it gets better.

    • Good to know!! The sleep sack has DEFINITELY helped this – and, in general, this HAS gotten better since I first drafted this post (PRAISE GOD!!), but we still have some rough nights ;). Don’t be discouraged, though!!

  • Hahaha oh no!!! I’m so sorry. I’ll come hold your baby while you sleep!

  • Girl, I’m at this place myself and my son is only 2.5 months old. He’s a good kid and getting that nighttime routine down is definitely a hit or miss. Luckily he’s beginning to get into those routines and putting him down is more-so a success. We don’t swaddle him anymore as he fights the velcro on his sleep sack, which does the opposite of putting him to sleep. But, with each passing night things appear to get easier.

    One thing that just crapped out on us is a white noise machine. He loved either the subtle waves or heartbeat sound so maybe that will work for you guys?

    Found you through Robyn’s blog 🙂

  • Oh man. The first couple of months after Abe was born I would break down crying when 9 pm rolled around each night because, like you said, I never knew how she would sleep, and if I would get any rest. Those first few months are HARD.

  • Yes! This is so annoying. R is a bit older now, so we recently tried a bit of the “crying it out” method. I know some people don’t like doing that, but it has really been good for all of us! She goes back to sleep on her own now most times, which is nice!