FrostedBaby’s sleep has been up and down a lot lately, especially since about 8 months. He started waking up more often in the early evenings and although he just needed to be snuggled back to sleep, it was a change from the odd awakening before. I figured it was partly separation anxiety and he just needed to be reassured that I was there. I’ve tried sending Husband in to soothe him and while he’ll stop screaming, he will not go to sleep and he screams when he tries to leave him. And then when I go in it takes me twice as long to get him down. At least I know if I go out and he wakes up, he won’t be hysterical the whole time like he was before. I don’t care if he stays up later on the odd night, I go out like one night a month at the absolute most and generally it’s much less than that and I don’t stay out very late anyway.
We had a couple of nights where his teeth were bugging him and he wouldn’t go back to sleep until we dosed him with some Ty.len.ol. But he wasn’t acting like his teeth were bugging him, he just couldn’t seem to go to sleep so I didn’t clue in until after an hour or so and I was desperate at that point because he seemed really tired, just wasn’t sleeping. So about a week and a half ago, FrostedBaby started taking forever to fall asleep, and then after not too long (half hour, hour, maybe two tops) he’d wake up and would not settle. He’d fuss and play and be acting sleepy but not being able to sleep. I couldn’t decide if it was gas or teeth or what. He’d get up and play for a few hours then I’d finally get him back to sleep with much struggling. And then half the time after an hour of rocking and he was finally asleep (like, slack mouthed paci falling out asleep) and I’d go to put him down and his eyes would pop open and he’d scream if I put him down. Totally not like my baby. He’d scream and get hysterical if I tried leaving him to CIO. (I know that if I just left him long enough he’d fall asleep, but in general my baby does not scream like that unless he needs me and with his separation anxiety I just don’t feel right leaving him like that unless I am absolutely at the end of my rope). The weird part is that at his early morning feedings and at naptimes he’d be like his old self and I could even put him down awake but dozy and he’d put himself to sleep. What gives, Mr. Baby? I put it down to teething or developmental stuff or something, but it really made not a lot of sense and I was exhausted from not having breaks from him and staying up late and getting up early and I swear fighting to get him to sleep all the time has to be one of the worst things parents deal with and I feel for all of you who have babies who have trouble sleeping.
After about a week of that, as I gave him his before bed dose of Ty.len.ol, I had a brainwave. His troubles sleeping started about a week before, and we had run out of the dye-free stuff that I’d been buying and I had sent Husband out to get another bottle and he picked up the red kind. I had specifically chosen the white kind because I’d heard that the red dye can make kids have trouble sleeping. Ohhhhhh….. It would totally explain why he has trouble at bedtime (when we dosed him since his teeth seem to hurt worse at night) and at the second bedtime, but was fine at his early morning feeds and at naptime, when I didn’t give him any. So after a horrible night of sleep that night which could have been avoided had I just clued in BEFORE I gave it to him, we stopped giving it to him. And he slept perfectly, just like his normal self. The next night he had trouble falling asleep, but I’ve noticed he’s been falling asleep later and this was earlier because he was rubbing his eyes so I thought he was tired enough and he went down with no problems when we tried later on. Last night we put him down later and it was back to normal and he only woke up once between 6pm and 6:45ish the next morning.
What a relief! It’s so nice to have our evenings back, not to be fighting with him to sleep, not dreading bedtime, etc. So my advice to anyone reading is to avoid the red Ty.l.enol. I know most babies aren’t affected by it and I didn’t expect mine to be since he’s had Tem.pra before and had no ill effects. I wonder if that means he’ll be bothered by dyes in foods when he’s eating such things.