02 April 2010

Baby Sleep 6: Bad and Worse, or Teething is a Nightmare

I have not written about sleep in nearly a month.  It is easier to discuss improvements and what is going right rather than spend time to examine what is going wrong and why.

Over the past month, we have tried reducing night feedings, then increasing them.  We tried helping teething pain with Hyland's teething tabs and gel (which works great for Jackson during the day), ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.  We tried a bit more clothing and a bit less.  I even covered the nursery window with foil to minimize light. 

Within a couple of weeks, we relaxed with the sleep learning process, and we ended up with Jackson in our bed most of the night (for safe co-sleeping information with references, see Mothering Magazine).  By sleeping with Jackson in our bed, we learned that he has only a couple of wakings, and he tends to refuse to eat during the night.  The biggest problem with this arrangement is that he still wakes up to play in our bed, even though we've never played with him at night.  When we ignore the happily playing baby, he falls back asleep without any help and generally without crying. 

As Jackson becomes more mobile, his nighttime antics are increasingly disturbing to our sleep, so I am, once again, motivated to work on teaching my baby to sleep in a supportive, responsive manner.  Last night, we agreed to do everything we could to help him sleep in his crib, and his best stretch of sleep was from 4:30 to 7:20.  I would like to write more as we renew our efforts, but that all seems to depend on how much rest I get.  I am certainly feeling less optimistic, but more determined, at this moment.