Friday, 15 May 2009

Sleep, a new low

You're probably as bored of reading about Jake's sleep pattern as I am moaning about it but at 2.30am when he's screaming I start making up sentences for this blog which would go to waste unless I posted them.

So after 8 and half months, we're still taking 2 or 3 steps backwards for every 1 forward. A few weeks back I wrote that we were enjoying an almost perfect sleep cycle. Jake would go to bed, as he always has to be fair, at 7pm and then go through to at least 6am and sometimes 6.30am and on one glorious occasion, 8am. I remember writing that we were almost there and it wouldn't be long until he'd do 7-7. What a fool. As if.

So for the last week, he's woken at around midnight, but unlike when he used to wake, he now is inconsolable. A couple of times we left him to cry it out ('controlled crying' is the PC term) and it sometimes worked. It is very difficult to continue to do this when you live in a semi with thin walls. I don't much care for our neighbours but there's a limit. We'll leave him 10-15 minutes but after a while the desire to get back to sleep is greater than enduring the screaming in the hope it might help future nights. So, typically Clare will get up and a combination of shushing and humming Amazing Jake (Grace) which sometimes works so as he goes back to sleep for anything between 20 minutes and 5 hours. Lately he's been getting up at 5, we feed him and then he'll go back to sleep until after 8 - it even made me late for work once. This is actually acceptable as it's still possible to get 7 or even 8 hours sleep without having to go to bed at 9pm.

Last night however, represented a new standard even for Jake. Awake at 20 past midnight, controlled crying for 20 minutes, followed by apoplectic rage for a while, then Clare took him downstairs to watch TV. This calmed him down, however the rage returned when she tried to put him down again. Eventually she fed him and he started crying again. She changed his nappy, he went berserk. We got the hint when the neighbours started slamming doors at 2.15am! Eventually he dropped off around 3am. The problem with this prolonged screaming is that by the time he's fallen asleep, we're so awake and wired from sleep deprivation, we can't get back to sleep. When he woke up at 7, I felt like I'd woken up dead. Today is going to drag and I'm sending Clare to my sister's house tonight so she can get a full night's sleep. Although I'm awake through the night when he is, not having to get up and placate or feed him makes things easier for me. I have never done the overnight shift on my own before and it's about time but I will be having a word with him before he goes to bed and I suspect, our best friend Mr. Calpol will be involved!

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