Please, please learn to talk

Butter at 19 months has about 10 spoken words and maybe 75 ASL signs. So I generally have some idea what he’s saying. Some.

But the past three nights he’s cried in his sleep, off and on, from 11-12, then awoke, screaming at midnight. And nothing consoles him. He cries loud enough to wake Peanut, who really needs sleep lately. It’s not pain, I know from the cry and from his answers to questions.

Nothing I do gets Butter back to sleep. Quiet supportive presence? Nope. Cuddling and rocking? No. Bringing him to bed with me? Nothing but screaming and climbing and flopping around. Being close is my default during the day because of a de-light-ful separation anxiety phase.

nothing works until 2am when he gets tired of being incoherent.

And as always, he’s up at 4am to scream and wake his brother unless I nurse him and put him back down. And then he’s up for good at 6am.

We’re all dragging around here.

No ear infection. No teething. No freaking idea what this baby needs. But I really really hope he learns to say it soon so we can all sleep.

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11 thoughts on “Please, please learn to talk

  1. Sending support and empathy fr
    om another sleep deprived house. We went through something very similar with my son, now 25 months. Just when I thought we couldn’t take it anymore, it stopped. I don’t have the answer, but I’m sure it’s a phase. A horrible, uncomfortable, and havoc wreaking phase. Wishing you and your baby boy many sweet dreams.

  2. Thanks, all. I know it’s temporary, but damn.
    Ck and TKW he’s fully awake, answers questions, and responds to comfort. With rage. I remember your night terror posts and hope we never have those. [shudder]

  3. My son does the same thing, and we have determined that it is night terrors. Responding to your voice with more anger can still def. be a sign of them. Many people can respond to others while they are dreaming. Sometimes he even opens his eyes for minutes at a time.

    He still suffers from them, but more infrequently since he has gotten older (maybe one or two a month?). The only thing that has ever helped is taking him outside into the cold for a few minutes and letting him scream it out. But even THAT doesn’t always work. Sometimes I change his clothes, inside the house (while he RAGES) to try to get some type of a sensory reaction, and usually my calm affectionate voice is just aggravating so I try not to talk or ask questions unless we are transitioning into a different environment.

    Once, after 4 hours and 3 straight nights of sleeplessness, I smacked him to try and wake him up. I don’t recommend it. It doesn’t work. And made me feel like a complete asshole. And I started crying (Thank goodness he has no memory of it).

    Hang in there!

    • Oh, dirtdonthurt, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through that. Poor guy, poor mama. The only reason I’m clinging to the assumption that it’s not night terrors is that he’s also sweet and cuddly and silly when he gets what he wants in those hours. When he asks for the potty and I take him he’s quiet and attentive and hugs me. When he asks to go to my room and I bring him to the big bed he giggles and whispers and climbs all over me.

      I’m surprised you went 3 nights and 4 hours before trying to wake him. I used to smack myself to stay awake driving or studying, so why not assume surprising contact would help? Poor mama. Poor, poor mama. I hope he’s totally grown out of them. How terrible.

  4. This too shall pass… no sleep is hard, hang in there! I had a similar time with my oldest, at almost the same age. Same deal with communication, too: about 90 signs and not much speech until 24-25 months. She’s 8 years old now and has a huge vocabulary, and doesn’t remember the night wakings at all.

  5. yuck. does he need a midnight snack? sounds like he’s running himself ragged during the day. probably burning more calories than he can shovel down his gullet. a cookie? some honey toast? a spanking? kidding about the spanking. i like to joke about spankings.

  6. @Chickadee you remember, though, right? My first was a much worse sleeper. He slept through the night at 3.5 and has been ever since. Except for the nightmares. Thanks for the reminder that it’s short-lived. I decided the other day I’m not doing anyone any favors resenting how many times he wakes me.

    @julieg Anyone who can’t joke about the spankings is no friend of mine. He probably does need a snack, but too bad. If he’d quit boycotting dinner so he can run around, things might be different. I think it’s mostly separation anxiety, and the night weaning just jacked his sense of adrenaline around nighttime. Now if he wakes I tell him to sleep, and if he points to my room I tell him yes he can sleep with me but it’s just for cuddles. After about a week of freaking out at that phrase, now he gets it. He cuddles and falls asleep almost instantly. Until 5 or so. So, hey. I can take that.

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