Our sleep woes started after about 2 weeks of sleeping in pack n plays at my parents. By this point the boys had not seen their daddy in a month and had been in a different house, in a different bed and in the same room as mommy for 2 weeks. These were all shocking changes for them and, honestly, they adjusted surprisingly well to it all. Ayden started by just sleeping restlessly during the 11o'clock hour. This restlessness turned into waking up and easily being comforted and put back in bed after another week or two. He was always very easy to put back to bed. I simply picked him up and held him for a minute or two and put him back in bed. Every once in while he would cry within a few minutes of putting him down and I would simply do the same thing again. During this time Ashton rarely woke up - maybe once every 2-3 nights. Sometimes when he saw me with Ayden he would want to be picked up as well and I would just sit at the foot of the bed holding them both for a few minutes. Other times he looked at us and laid back down, or just sat in his crib and watched. By the time we left Grove Ayden was waking 2-3 times each night. Once this phase started Ayden only slept through the night a couple times while we were in Grove.
After arriving in St. Louis Ayden was not so easy to get back to sleep. We were hoping the opposite would occur since we were all reunited again! But, now he had yet another new room and mommy was not in the bed next to him. When Ayden woke now, he was upset and did not want to stay in his room. He would point to the door and mumble something we quickly understood to mean "Get me outta' here now!" He had only done this once or twice before now. I would walk around the living room with him or sit with him on the chair and then put him back down. For awhile I had to go back in every single time within 5 minutes of laying him down because he would start crying again. He was also waking up 2-3 times each night. The times were random for the most part. If there was anything close to a "pattern" I would say that his times for waking were around 11pm, 1:30am and 4am. We even had a few days of waking around 6am, one of which both boys woke up and stayed up! (Remember - these boys haven't woken before 7:30 in a long time, and it's usually 8!) Ashton continued to only wake up randomly, but it was really hard when they were both awake and wanting to be held at 4am! A couple weeks ago we had a phase where both boys would be awake for 1-2 hours at a time. Luckily (for me), this was usually before Jeff went to bed so I had some help! We would go in and out of their room calming them and leaving and repeating - it was draining! One night we actually let them play for 45 minutes or so before putting them back to bed! Somewhere along the way (I am so sleep deprived that I can't remember exactly when) Ayden picked up the sign for "mommy's milk" and would often give this sign in the middle of the night, as well as the sign for more. We have not night nursed in a lllooooonnnnnnngggggg time, so I really tried to discourage this so as not to start another habit. I did give in to him a few times, but it was obvious that this was not what he wanted and he did not go back to sleep.
During this time we have tried several different ideas to help Ayden sleep better - obviously nothing has helped! When my mom suggested a lavender scent in their room I thought "I am willing to try ANYTHING at this point!" I forgot that weekend when I went to the store but she reminded me later and I picked it up later in the week - Thursday Jan. 14th to be exact! It was a day I remember fondly because it was the first time in several weeks that Ayden actually slept through the night! Was it the lavender?! I don't know, but he did it again the very next night! So, I can tell you that I have NOT taken that plug-in out of their room and I don't intend to for awhile! Since then things have gone up and down a little, but overall Ayden has been sleeping MUCH better! The third night Ayden woke up once and one other night he woke up and was awake in our bed from 11:30 until 4am! Jeff and I dozed on and off, but I really don't know if Ayden slept the entire time. At 4am I couldn't take it anymore and took him upstairs and put him in his bed - not a peep was heard from him until 9:45am when Ashton woke him up throwing a stuffed animal in his bed! Also, during this week Nana bought the boys foam mattress toppers to put in their pack n plays in an effort to make them more comfortable - since that was one of our guesses for why Ayden was not sleeping well. We do think that this has made a difference and that they are more comfortable. Also, for comforts sake, I made the boys their very first pillows to sleep with. They are sort of a travel size and are made of a silky soft yellow velour on one side and a silky baby blue satin on the other. They both seem to enjoy their new pillows. On the downside this week - you knew this wasn't totally over, right?! Adyen has slept through the night more nights than not this week, but now the issue is actually GETTING to sleep! This, again, has not been an issue for sooooo long! The boys nurse before going to bed and Ayden is now trying to avoid bedtime so he thinks that if he doesn't unlatch he doesn't have to go to bed! If I force it he gets really upset and screams when we put him down - not because he wasn't done, just because he doesn't want to go to bed. This was really bad for two nights in a row. Normally they go to bed between 8 and 8:15. The first of these nights Ayden didn't go to sleep until around 10 and the second night was closer to 11. The nights following have all been different, sometimes we never have to go back in and other times we have to go in 5 times in the first 30 minutes to an hour. Regardless, this is progress!
So, due to this lack of sleep during the nighttime hours, the boys have begun sleeping in until around 9am- yes, that means, mama is sleeping until then too! ;) Also, nap time was 1-3pm before our sleep saga! Now, nap usually lasts until 4pm - No, mama doesn't get a nap! :(
Our strategy right now is to go in and calm Ayden down without getting him out of his crib. Ayden does better with Jeff with this new plan, so he has been doing a lot of the work this week! Ayden is getting very easy to reason with and that help's Daddy's patience too! He does sometimes get him out, but we do try to avoid it. We are hoping they do start sleeping well soon so that we can attempt to make our first "night away date". Jeff got me everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) for a great night out on the town for my 30th birthday last week. He has had this planned for while and didn't anticipate the sleep situation we currently have. So, we are planning a great date for (insert date the boys start sleeping through the night)!
We know that this all must be incredibly hard on our poor boys and we are very sympathetic to that! We know that this may very well continue until they are sleeping in their own cribs and we are settled into a new home - whenever that may be! We are making plans to go back home to pick up their cribs and set them up here in hopes that they will sleep better in their own cribs. Until then, we will take all the prayers, sleepy vibes, and sweet dreams that you have to offer!
ETA:Of course, as I am finishing the final sentences of this blog Ayden woke up screaming! Jeff is up comforting him now! One day we will have time to work, sleep, blog, sew, read........