Things That Go Bump In The Night

We ended up doing away with the binkies in late February. It was time. He's 3. They were really getting to be too small for his mouth (he could put the whole thing - including the handle - in his mouth. And he did to try and be cute. And then he nearly choked.) and he wouldn't take them out and it was really messing up his speech. And so, for those reasons, the binkies went away. He seemed ok with it - we did it in such a way that it was basically his choice. And I expected that he'd have a few hard nights.

It's now nearly a month later and the hard nights just keep getting harder. What started off with just waking up and not getting back to sleep has morphed into terror (wigged out screaming - not just crying) that nothing seems to be able to ease. Unless I sleep in his room with him. Which is not, of course, a very good long term solution.

I really wish I knew what he was scared of. He can't really say - some nights it's the wall, or the book shelf, or the gate - and he has to pause for so long that I think he's just glomming on to the first thing he sees rather than really being able to communicate what has made him afraid. It breaks my heart.

It also leaves me exhausted.

My girlfriend asked why I was so tired. Then I explained that it's every 2 hours starting at around 10:30 until I give up and we get up at 6:30. She thought I was being a baby about him being up once a night. I'd love to go back to him just getting up once a night.

Thinking it through, he's never really been a great sleeper. There have been periods of a few months when he's slept all night consistently, but then there'll be a wind storm or he'll be sick and it'll be months before he's back in the habit of sleeping through the night again. Only for the cycle to start again at the next illness/wind storm/rain storm/random happening.

I almost gave him back the binkies last night, though I wonder if it would really do any good at this point...and I know you can't go back. Or at least you probably shouldn't.

I've been just trying to focus on praying for him and with him. So if you think of it, would you pray for the doodle at night? I can only think that's going to help more than anything else I can come up with to try (though suggestions of the BTDT variety are also welcome).


michellewillingham said...

I gave my son a substitute for the binky when he was little--he has a small sleep toy, his "puppy" that he holds at night. Maybe you could take him to pick one out if he doesn't have an animal already?

Also, this is the age for night terrors, when they're almost fully asleep and can wake up screaming. It's awful, isn't it? Hugs to you and J, and I'll keep you both in our prayers. This, too, shall pass.

Jen said...

Is he actually having nightmares or is he having night terrors? Jesse did the night terror thing for a while last year - he'd wake up screaming, but he wasn't really awake and it took some time for him to truly wake up. Wait, I typed that and then actually read Michelle's comment. Anyway, night terrors are awful for you but he doesn't remember them.

Do you have a white noise machine in his room? That might help with the little noises that wake him up.

Also, does he have something else he can use to soothe - a blanket or stuffed toy? It isn't too late for him to adopt something; Jesse got a stuffed bunny last Easter that is his go-to now.