Gia’s sleep in the past two months has completely deteriorated. Leap 8, or the cognitive surge that happens around a year old, or whatever you want to call it, hit our household like a devastating hurricane in mid-July – three nights in a row in which Gia was awake for 3-4 hours in the middle of the night, followed by a night later that week in which she was awake from 11pm – 3:30am. I waited for it to subside but it didn’t. 

Gia would have trouble going to sleep, then wake up a couple of hours later and no matter how much breast feeding, rocking, playing, feeding or CIO we did, she wouldn’t go back to sleep until the wee hours. Even bed sharing doesn’t work anymore – she just gets exited and babbles and does acrobatics. The worst was the couple of times we did let her cry for awhile out of sheer desperation, and she sobbed for so long that she fell asleep in a heap on top of her sea horse toy and we had to wake her up to move her, then be up with her for another two hours. 

I felt desperate and angry. I yelled in the middle of the night. It went on for weeks with only a couple of nights of relief here and there. It’s been chronic and the fallout has been humbling – issues at work, issues in my relationship, all in a haze of exhaustion. The feeling of waking up AGAIN to her cries is awful. It feels like I’m being burried alive or tortured (no disrespect to actual tortire, I know it can’t compare it’s just how I feel in the moment). I haven’t been excited to see Gia in the morning because I’ve been up with her all night. The last night I was up with her – four nights ago – ended with me taking her to bed with me, sobbing into my pillow while she nursed and flailed around for another hour. 

Our pediatrician said he didn’t think sleep training would work at this point – she’s too excitable. He also thought that when she started walking, she would start sleeping. Well, a couple of nights after that appointment, she did start sleeping – she slept COMPLETELY THROUGH THE NIGHT FROM 8pm – 6am for two nights in a row. It was the exact night she took her first real steps! Last night she was awake for an hour so we don’t know if it was an anomoly or if things are getting better for now. 

Either way, I decided to night wean her cold turkey. She doesn’t need to nurse all night anymore and it agitates her. J thinks she’s waking up to nurse and is willing to take care of her in the middle of the night and re-evaluate things in a week. For now, I’m not seeing her in the middle of the night at all – only J is going in because when she sees me she cries and fusses and wants to nurse for a long time. We will see what happens. 

And of course, now that she’s sleeping and the pressure of being up with her for hours has subsided, I miss her so much. She’s been hilarious and adorable these past few days. I wish I could go get her and cuddle with her all night. I hope that we can keep creating a healthy routine and setting limits with her so we will all start getting some sleep and feeling better.