Why Won’t My Baby Sleep?

Boobaby was up last night at 2:30, 3:30, 5:40, and 6:45. About 20 minutes of cuddling each time took care of it — these were not the tepid wake-ups that Boo recovers from on her own. These were white-hot, boil-over awakenings: Boo was sca-REAM-ing the instant her eyes fluttered open.

She’s had interrupted sleep for a week now, and, to be honest, she’s never done all that great overnight. Maybe she’s not sleeping well because she’s…

1. Hungry?

Horrible parents that we are, we let her con us into middle-of-the-night bottles. I held out for a while, but by the third awakening, I tried a bottle. She drank some, but seemed to suck more for comfort than for food, which made me wonder: is she having…

2. Nightmares?

According to our pediatrician, when babies wake up from a rocky dream transition, it’s often about an hour to 90 minutes after they go to sleep. Look at the spacing — an hour or so apart each time. But what made her uncomfortable enough to wake up in the first place? Maybe it was her…

3. Diaper?

She’s in an overnight diaper that wasn’t poopy, so I didn’t change it at first, but the second time she woke up, it seemed to need it. Her poop was drier than usual (there I go, talking about poop — I have arrived!). Does that mean she was…

4. Thirsty?

Boo hasn’t been drinking as much lately as she used to because she’s become fascinated by disassembling her sippy cups and bottles. A girl after my own heart — I used to take apart mechanical pencils, video cassettes, oh, pretty much anything I could. But it makes it hard to get any water into her these days!

The struggle, of course, is that the answer is almost certainly “some of the above, and more.” Tummyache from too much avocado? Too much daytime sleep? Post-nasal drip from mild allergies? Teething pain from the canines we haven’t seen yet? Any of those possible irritants might have slipped just under my parent radar.

Especially when I’m so bleary-eyed myself that it’s all I can do to stay upright on my way to the crib…