Another Restless Night in the Nursery

Now that was a brutal night. And the last time I let a doctor’s advice trump my experience and observations.

The backgrounder; after the twins one year warranty check-up the doctor told us that the kids should be sleeping through the night. We were told that they have enough body weight to carry them through the night without a middle of the night bottle. Suuuure.

Last night at about 10:30pm I gave Baby A her usual top up before sleeping bottle. All good. She goes to sleep, her Momma goes to sleep and her sister goes to sleep. I even go to sleep.

Until 12:30am when it sounds like a devil banshee is in the nursery devouring Baby A. Screaming at a volume you might scream at if you were approached in an underground parking lot by a thug wearing a hoodie pulled low over his face. That was not the wake-up call I was anticipating.

Clamber out of my sleepy reverie and stagger into the nursery. Try to soothe the savage beast that has taken the place of Baby A before its mother and Baby B awake. Limited success, she goes back to sleep after a half hour of rocking in the chair.

Back to sleep until 2:30am when the screams threaten to wake the neighbours three doors down. Out of bed, to the nursery before the mother awakens. There is no soothing this savage thing. In a very low, almost growling voice Baby A speaks her first words; “Get me a bottle NOW.” And then reverts to screaming.

Down to the kitchen with her, bottle in the microwave for forty seconds all the while the savage beast I have carried downstairs is howling like a child possessed. Her mother comes down the stairs to demand why I have not made the microwave warm the bottle faster so that the beast could be fed. Somehow it is all my fault when things go awry in the middle of the night.

Back up to the nursery with the savage beast who now has a bottle in her mouth and is calming…somewhat. Finish the bottle, baby falls asleep again…for thirty minutes. Enough of this already. I can no longer see out of my right eye due to the throbbing in my head. Place the child in the bed beside me and tell her to go to sleep. She does for the rest of the night. In twenty minute intervals.

Every twenty minutes she wakes up, tries to crawl over my face and into the void at the head of the bed, screams a bit as I put her back in position to sleep. Falls asleep until 6:20am at which there is no more sleep to be had.

Stagger downstairs to find their mother, my coffee princess, already in the kitchen grinding the beans. And another day begins.





4 responses to “Another Restless Night in the Nursery”

  1. Wendy Avatar

    Oh no…. I hate that advice “they are old enough to do it now, force them to do it!”

    Maybe it works for some people, but not the way I parent. When my son stopped needing the night feed, he stopped waking up. That was my opinion. And it did happen that way…later perhaps than the doctors may have said, but on our terms!

    People keep telling me the girls are too chubby, and I should just cut out a night feed. Hello? Just leave them to scream for 3 hours perhaps? Will anyone in the house get any sleep in that case? No!

    Hope you get more sleep tonight!

  2. caitlyn James Avatar

    Now, Stacey, you and every other parent will do what they need to do so that no children are murdered. This is as it should be.

    One of my best parenting habits was always to ask myself, what are the longterm effects of this decision or action on my part? So that one thing I know, for sure, is that if you decide to do something you “must” (see above disclaimer) follow through because intermittent reinforcement is the hardest thing to undo.

    Therefore, when (if) you and your family are ready to go through the 3 days of waking & screaming go for it. But, if you are not absolutely going to follow through for however many days & hours it takes, don’t start – no matter what the doctor says.

    If you mess around trying it & then relenting, you will create a situation where your child will be able to outlast you – even if it takes 2 weeks. … And, quite frankly, I can’t see you (or many others) persevering through 2 weeks of bi-hourly screaming – at which time you will just make it even more of a persistent, impossible task by giving in.

    What are the longterm effects? A stubborn child that knows if she screams long & loud enough she’ll get what she wants. Parents, if you are going to “give in” (whatever your definition) do it fast. If you think you’re going to McDonald’s, against your better judgement, don’t make your kids beg – if they get what they want through begging & being annoying, you will live with a lot of begging. (Or was that the dog?)

  3. Tanya Smith Avatar
    Tanya Smith

    Ah, Stacey, you are deep into You Should Territory here. Many, many shoulds coming your way at this stage, with night time wakings being one of the should-iest. I juggled two multiple-wakers for much longer than anyone seemed to think reasonable, and while I was hard-pressed to string two thoughts together, I’m SOOO glad I did what felt right for me. Cue the “Hmm, I see”s, and the “Ah, yes, indeed”s, and then do whatever your gut is telling you is right for you…assuming you’re not too tired to hear what it’s saying 🙂

  4. stacey Avatar

    I always follow my gut, especially seeing as it is a couple inches in front of me anyway. The gut knows all.