Thursday, March 17, 2011


Things are a little crazy over here.

Clara went to the pediatrician today so the doctor could fill out a form for our adoption finalization and the doctor immediately was concerned with her breathing. She thinks that Clara did, in fact, have RSV, or a similar respiratory virus, and now has swollen airways in the wake of the virus. She was very concerned with the grunting sound she makes upon exhaling.

Incidentally, it's the same grunting sound she made last Tuesday that concerned a nurse, and the same grunting sound she was making when I called last Thursday to see if I needed to bring her back in. What a waste of time it was seeing whatever doctor was available last week (always the newest one with the fewest regular patients, it seems)!

Our regular doctor today said that a new pediatrician might admit her to the hospital based on her symptoms today (well, apparently not all young pediatricians would, as evidenced by our doc last week) but that she was going to try a round of steroids, an antibiotic and continued breathing treatments and singular (our days now revolve around giving medications and battling her on many of them).

She also wants to see Luke since I told her he is having a terrible time sleeping at night (which means we all are) and did have a stuffy nose last week. She wants to listen to his chest to see if he has any residual affects from a virus, possibly RSV, as well.

I feel terrible for Clara and am praying she gets better fast. It's amazing though - you wouldn't even know she was sick except for her cough and runny (really runny) nose. She is a ball of energy. Which may be why the degree of her illness wasn't initially obvious.

Back to Luke's lack of sleeping... That's the other reason why we're going crazy over here. About three weeks ago he totally reverted back to his first couple weeks of life and just stopped sleeping at night.

Our problems are two-fold. One - we can't get him to sleep. We have tried everything. I'm not kidding. I still find myself googling for new answers and I just have to laugh at what all these experts say to try. Oh really? "Shhh" him? Rock him? Let him cry for a few minutes and then go in and reassure him? Play ambient sound, music, heartbeat, or whales talking? Swaddle him? Nurse him to sleep? We've tried it all. They make it sound so simple. Ha.

Two - once he does fall asleep, he wakes up after one to two hours. (During the day he sometimes naps for two to three hours and even goes down awake! But not at night. Sometimes he does sleep for 4-6 hours, but it's definitely not the norm.) And after I get up and nurse him, he will not go back down. Even if he falls asleep nursing, he will wake up when I put him in the bassinet.

We've tried different sleeping locations as well. He did great in the crib in his nursery about a month ago, but that only lasted about a week. We are now using the bassinet in our room and while that, too, worked at first, it's not working any more (although, again, he seems to like it during the day).

For a second I thought that maybe he just was so used to our eat, play, sleep schedule that he wanted to play at night. But no, he's frantic. Definitely not in the mood to play even if I wanted him to.

Other important information for any kind souls wanting to give me some much-needed advice - we swaddle him in a miracle blanket; he takes a pacifier when falling asleep but it falls out once he enters a deep sleep and doesn't need it replaced (and when he does wake up, replacing it does not help); we vibrate the bassinet when we're desperate; I sing to him while putting my hand on his chest and gently rocking him in his crib or bassinet (worked wonders for about a week); I walk around holding him sideways shushing him (he falls asleep in my arms and then wakes up once he's put down); putting him down awake works great during the day but not at night. We've also tried the swing, vibrating seat, his car seat, and whatever else you might be thinking right now. It all worked at some point, but not anymore. He's also on medication for reflux and it seems to be working (although he does spit up a great deal still, but he doesn't seem to be in pain).

And his schedule (this is very roughly speaking) is to wake up around 7:30 a.m., eat, play, take a morning nap sometime around 10 a.m., wake after an hour or two, eat, play, take an afternoon nap around 2 p.m., wake around 3ish, eat, play, and then that's where things seem to go off track. He then won't go down again after that, so it becomes eat, play, eat, play, then fuss, eat, fuss, eat, and then he finally falls asleep some time between about 10 (on good nights) and midnight (on okay nights). And sometimes (like tonight), he's wide awake at one a.m. He then wakes up a couple hours later, and that's when it takes another one to two hours to get him to sleep again.

If anyone is still reading this, thank you! I'm about to go take over for my husband right now and try nursing him again. I hate to do this because I know the excessive feeding could be causing him tummy aches and leading to this cyclical problem, but what choice do we have? We're desperate. Nothing works.

And how is he not more tired? How is he wide awake right now while we're exhausted?

Maybe it is the virus. I don't want him to have had RSV, but at least that might be a reason for this and breathing treatments might get him back to normal.

I feel bad talking about him behind his back! He really is a great baby. We love him dearly. Here's the little guy, to prove what an angel he is despite his lack of sleep:

He's lucky he's so darn cute! 

We'll sleep again some day, right?


  1. First, thank you so much for your kind comment and now I will return the favor ;)

    I am in the same boat sleep wise and sick wise. Although no RSV so I will be praying for your children that all is well and the breathing treatments will help. I will recommend a book called "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby" but it's not a cure. We tried this book and it worked for awhile but now we're back to scratching our heads because Michael still wakes up at night and plays in his crib for hours.

    The book recommends putting them down for their afternoon nap no later than 2 because it can create a bedtime battle. That said, every child is different and I don't know if there is a one cure fix it all which is so FRUSTRATING! I wonder if it's a boy thing lol. Hope things get better on the sleep front for you.

  2. TW - Thank you! I actually have that book and have so far only read the chapter on colic. But what I like about it is it kind of gave me permission to do whatever it takes. I was so worried I was doing the wrong things and was going to mess him up, but I remember it said to do what works to get him to sleep. So we did. But now those things aren't working as well as they once were. I need to read the rest of the book but there is never any time. Maybe this weekend when R is home. The late nap thing definitely sounds interesting, I hadn't heard that before.

  3. Oh, man, I got nothin'! So sorry the swaddle didn't do it!!

    He is so amazingly cute though!!

  4. Sounds like Maggs. Although she never slept during the day and her longest cat naps were at night. Since we were night owls it was the equivalent of her being awake all night for us. Anyway, once we figured out all that she was allergic to and got both of us off of those things (I say both of us since she's been supplemented with some kind of formula since around 3 weeks) then she finally started sleeping. I know you've removed dairy right? Maybe there's some other things that he's sensitive to?? Just a thought. Praying for you!

  5. K, sounds like you and Ryan are doing a great job. Hang in there. I have two thoughts--the first is that he might be transitioning out of needing a third nap during the day, but sometimes still needs it. For him to be up at 3pm and then not sleep again until bedtime is a long stretch for a little fella. Perhaps he's getting really overtired and then goes haywire for the rest of the night. Could you get him to rest in the 5pm range for 30 minutes? I know HSHHB might say that's too late for a nap, but he's also only 3 months. The rules don't quite apply yet...

    The second thought is that he may be starting to teeth. With this, he's going to be extra fussy--a little Tylenol in the evening might be the ticket.

    If it is RSV, though, you can throw this all out the window. God bless, sister. I'm so glad you're writing this down because in a few months you'll look back and realize how much improved things are!! God speed.

  6. So sorry you guys are having such a tough time right now!

    Sounds like you have tried EVERYTHING. Poor Lukie :(. When my niece is having a particularly rough night, my sister used to take a warm bath with her (the two of them together in the tub) and it did work pretty well to get her to calm down enough to go to sleep.
    How frustrating not to be able to figure out how to get him to sleep!
    p.s. when we were stuffed up as babies, my mom used to prop up one end of our crib mattress, and basically fasten us on our backs to the mattress by wrapping ace bandage or something else around so we couldn't slip down, haha. Parents have to get creative!

  7. well, my baby was the same way. his first birthday is next month and he STILL gets up all night long.
    none of my other kids did this, so this is killing me!
    The worst part is that hes figured out how to take a toy and rake it back and forth on the bars of his crib, as if he is in prison or something..not fun at 330 in the morning, or 530 for that matter.

  8. Yuck! I'm sorry you're battling with both your kiddos. Always at the same time, right?!

    I remember when Dominic went back to not sleeping at night. It's awful! Even though you're in the tunnel of awfulness right now, just know that it WILL go back to how it was.

    For us the biggest change has been switching him to formula. I know that sounds anti breastfeeding, and I'm so not, but Dominic needed larger feedings and fewer of them. So I pump and supplement so he still gets both. Just something you may want to try for a day or two and see if it helps.

    Also, that late nap is critical! At least it is for Dominic. He does the same nap times as Luke, but the we put him back down around 4 and he sleeps just a half hour or hour tops. Then it's back down around 7. I would say now that he's older I would keep his place of sleep very consistent, so he knows "this is my crib and it means sleep time". They're so much smarter than we think!

    I'm trying to think if there's anything else. I so feel your pain. Maybe seeing the pediatrician will clear things up. I hope! I pray! Hang in there!!!

  9. Ok this isn't really advice (more of a comment, sorry) because I'm not a mom yet. But I just finished reading "Happiest Baby on the Block" and it all seems very logical to me. But it sounds like you're doing those things and it's not working :( Anyway, my comment is that it's a FANTASTIC book for adoptive moms (of newborns) because philosophically, you get to be a part of the pregnancy experience, because caring for a 0-3mo is a lot like caring for an unborn baby! That comment probably sounds totally weird to someone who has never read it. Like I said, not really advice, but something I felt like verbalizing :) Good luck!

  10. I wish I could give you a hug right now-- that's what I needed a month or so ago when I was going through the same thing with Henry (16 months now). He basically gave up sleeping at night for about a week.

    I still am not 100% sure why he did it, but he started walking soon after, and also cut around 8 teeth at once. He'd only sleep (at night) if he was attached to my breast. I just kept telling myself, "He will not still be doing this when he's 18. He will not still be doing this when he's 18..." Or even 3. Somehow that helped me make it through.

    My MIL told me something that has always helped when I'm in the middle of a child-issue that seems like it will last forever. She said that no stage/complication/cold/sleeplessness lasts forever, and we as Moms just have to power through. In hindsight, each problem will seem like nothing, and we'll forget it soon after. Nothing else anyone has ever told me about being a mom has been more true.

    Good luck, and may Luke sleep soon! I used the time to watch old episodes of Monk on Netflix while I rocked Henry in the living room. Then, I didn't resent his sleeplessness (much...). :)

  11. oh man!!
    No real advice but praying Clara is not admitted to the hospital, and Luke begins a normal schedule again!


  12. Goodness! You've tried so much-I'm going to come back here and use this as a reference if/when we start having similar issues!

    That's strange that he'll nap in the bassinet but not sleep in at night. Could it be colder at night? I've heard a suggestion to warm the sheets up at night with a heating pad before you put him in it....

  13. Oh, yikes! I hope the treatment takes care of things.

    I second Kaitlin's idea about warming up the bassinet. And B-Mama's teething idea. Sarah started teething at three months (no teeth till five months, but she chewed on everything and drooled like crazy).

    OK, don't hate me for saying this, but have you tried co-sleeping with Luke? I was really resistant to the idea at first with Sarah (and I should have ended co-sleeping much sooner, when we hit the stage where none of us were actually sleeping), but if he won't continue sleeping when you put him down and will only sleep when latched on, it might get you all some sleep for a little while. The No-Cry Sleep Solution and have good safety guidelines.

    And, yes, he will sleep eventually, but it's really tough to go through this! I hope everyone's feeling better and sleeping SOON!

  14. Oh, girl, I am RIGHT there with you. I am so exhausted that I am delirious. I think I got 3 broken hours of sleep last night (and the many nights before that). Addy just won't sleep - anywhere. And if I nurse her to sleep, she wakes up the minute I put her down. I have no advice because clearly I have no clue myself. I can tell you I am inches away from supplementing, as someone here suggested. I have a feeling I am not letting down consistently and she is not getting fatty milk. I have never felt let down, so who knows. I will try anything, even if I have intense guilt over supplementing. I need to sleep, and soon.

    Anyway, good luck, hun, I will keep reading comments for advice for myself:). I really, really hope Clara is recovering and doesn't need to be admitted...take care...

  15. No advice, as I'm still carrying our first one, but I'm sending lots of prayers!

  16. Have you tried the vacuum cleaner? Or a hair drier? In a pinch- these are the only two things that work with A- even now at times. I'm so sorry! WILL sleep again!!!

  17. I wish I had some good advice for you all, but that would mean I would know how to get Jospeh to sleep well at night!

    I can understand your worry and frustration and am praying for you all! It is even harder when they are sick, I hope they are all better very soon!

  18. OMG. So. Cute! advice on the sleeping. Jack was always a massive sleeper.

    I feel so bad about all the RSV scares you're having!! Those poor babies!!! Praying they're better soon!

  19. First off, your kids are ADORABLE!!

    Is it possible he's over tired? I have a 5 month old that NEEDS multiple naps a day or she's a mess. What has worked for her (and us) is a nap an hour after waking in the morning, which might seem rediculous, but I know other babies who need a nap this soon as well, and then she is never awake for more than 1-2 hrs between naps. This sometimes means 4 (or 5) naps a day depending on how long each nap lasts, and she even naps around 5p in the evening & still easily goes down for bed at 7p. It seems like a lot of sleeping (believe me, I've worried about that too) but it works for her & she is much happier this way, plus she sleeps through the night, only waking occasionally & just needing her binky replaced.

    Sleep is a difficult battle to fight & win, but, like others have said, sleep WILL come. Hang in there!

  20. This, too, shall pass. :) I hope that both of them, and therefore you guys also, are all feeling much better very soon!! I have no advice but I will send prayers!

  21. Just a few thoughts...And yes - you have probably tried them all :)

    1. We have a Tucker Sling (find it at ) that helps with acid reflux, colic and congestion. It might helps him feel like he is being held, too.
    2. We also have a white noise machine (find it on amazon ) that we take everywhere! Right now our Christopher is napping with it on as loud as we can make it. Helps for all types of noises - cars, kids, barking dogs, etc..
    3. Change to one of those really expensive formulas. Similac Alimentum saved Christopher when he couldn't tolerate anything - not even breast milk.
    4. Has he gained since his last appt with his doc? He might have outgrown his dosage of Acid Reflux meds.
    5. Swaddle with one arm free? Give it a whirl. Some kiddos need a little freedom.
    6. We have a 7am - 7pm schedule when our babies are under a year. Wake at 7, up for two hours. Nap for 1-2 hours. Up for 3 hours. (Nap for 1 hour-ish?)Never nap past 4, back to bed at 7pm.
    7. Bedtime routine is crucial... Dinner, Bath, Books/Prayers, Bottle, Bed. Sleeps better with a nightlight or without? Blockout curtains? Oh and that white noise machine. Seriously.
    So sorry for the novel. I really hope you find some answers. When our Christopher had RSV he needed to be elevated and have the humidifier running. HUGS from this stranger!

  22. Didn't get to read all the comments, but it sounds like he's overtired. Haha, like you don't know that already right?

    The best advice I've ever heard to combat overtiredness is not ever let a baby under 6 months be awake for more than 2 hours. So that means, at a minimum, *start* getting him ready for a nap at 1:45 minutes after he last woke up.

    It sounds like a ton of sleep, but I did this with my second baby and she slept about three million times better than my first.

  23. Have you thought about it being something you are eating? My sister can't eat eggs or milk for ANY of her kids and my SIL can't have wheat, for one child it was the coconut oil she cooked with! With Bfeeding you have the trick of trying to figure out if or what you are eating is bothering them.

    I hope he starts sleeping better! Poor mommy!

  24. Addie is doing the same thing after a few weeks of great sleep. We are distraught and sleep deprived. She's also on reflux meds and we have realized that soy also upsets her like dairy does. One thing that at least brings her down when she is really wailing is doing the football hold (like you've been doing) but with her face down instead of on her side (also called colic hold). Other than that teeny bit of "hope it works for you" advice, that's what i've got. The comments are great to read so my thanks to you for this post.

  25. I am so sorry you aren't sleeping! I can't imagine that plus all the sickness and just having 2 little ones. Whew! God must really trust you a lot.
    This sounds like overtiredness to me.
    This forum really helped me understand sleep and come to terms with how much crying I could tolerate. The most helpful parts were the wake times and the types of cries. Good luck! Email me if you need anything!

  26. I bet it is medical. But then, AJ did his crazy turn around recently too. I think I made his worse by changing things to respond to him. Kids need consistency and routine, and so I just added in a bunch of new factors to muddy the water in figuring out the cause. In looking at the schedule, I think it looks good. If I changed anything it would be first nap a little earlier since they say they are rarely awake longer than two hours. I suppose it could be (just a thought since you are asking for ideas) that he is overtired by time he gets to bed time. I would def not try to keep him up so he sleeps better based on the two hour awake thing, he'd just get overtired. AJ can catnap starting at 5ish and still go down at 8. We either do that or just put him down about 6pm for the night. For us, I think AJ went through a growth spurt. Plus we spread his day feedings to three hours and so he was making up for them at night and then some. Now he still eats at night, but he did grow a ton in the last month per his appt, and I think he needs those feedings given he is wide awake for them, etc. I hope that btw all these brilliant ladies something helps-and soon. I know the feeling of being exhausted and you have so much on your plate. Praying!

  27. Would it help to know someone has similar issues:)?

    Nelson is 11 weeks old and hasn't had more than a 3 hour stretch of sleep yet. And that' sonly the beginning of the night. We bf exclusively and he refused a passy. I've tried them all.

    Basically, he nurses and is on my breast all. night. long. If he does fall off the breast, he immediately wakes. So after his only stretch of good sleep at the beginning of the night, he is in the bed nursing or attached to my boob the rest of the night.

    I have the same thought..."aren't you tired????" the daytime proves similar to night. he nap/nurses on my boob for 30 minutes or so a few times a day and it takes me so long to get him to sleep that Maggie has plenty of time to tear up the house or get in trouble. Then he only sleeps for 20 minutes!

    But as another commenter said, it will pass and the babes will be better. Eventually. Right? Right??:)

    I hope Clara can get back to good health soon and that LUke's issues resolve as well.

    Everyone keeps asking me about reflux, but Nelson hasn't spit up yet. He does, however, like to be up on my shoulder and sleeps about 3 hours of the night propped up on my husband on the couch. Can you have reflux without the excessive spit up?

  28. The only way I functioned as a human being with each of my six children is by sleeping WITH them...I know it can be difficult at first, but with a king size bed and nursing to sleep, I never (okay, very rarely) woke up tired. My sixth baby is 5 months old and nurses about 5-6 times through the night, each time falling asleep right where she is most comfortable and doesn't ever really become fully awake before her needs are attended to again. They are little for such a short time that I never minded the nightly interruptions...
    Blessings to you!

  29. Oh, so sorry you're going through this! It will get better! We went throught the same sleep issues with Carter when he was about 3 and half months. He would wake up everytime I put him down in the bassinet, and would basically not sleep at all unless he was nursing. I was working outside of the home more back then and was an exhausted wreck! You're probably more tired, as you have two babies you're taking care of! God bless you! I (don't worry--not advocating this! :) had to eventually let him cry it out but like I said, I'm not necessarily advocating that. I was just at wit's end and didn't know what to do. He is now 17 months old and sleeping about 12 hours a night (there are the occasional set-backs, though :) A lot of other posters have given great ideas, though! We used "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby", and like Tridentine Wife said, it's not a cure-all, but it did give me some great ideas. After reading the book, we realized Carter was over-tired, and we would put him down for a nap around 9, then (until he was six months--when he was older, he could handle being awake for 3 hrs or so, but not until then!), I would put him down about two to two and a half hours after he woke up from his last nap, then we would try an evening nap (somewhere between 4 and 5) and when he would sleep during the evening nap, it would maybe be about a half hour, then I nursed him around 7:30 p.m., and put him down after that. He would get up once a night to nurse until he was close to six months (I think I was lucky there, though--a lot of babies still need to nurse at least once a night longer than that). That seemed to work for us. I know you will find something that will work! It's a blessing that at least Luke goes down easily during the day! Carter didn't (sigh). And yes, you will sleep again! :) Like another commenter said, they will not still be doing this when they're 18 :) God bless!

  30. Have you ruled out all physical issues (reflux, bad gas, etc.)? Other than that, no idea. Some kids are just poor sleepers. My daughter slept in her swing for 5 months or so because it was the only way she'd sleep more than a few hours at a stretch.