Friday, September 16, 2011

The Sleep Stealing Culprit

By the time my two older boys were the age Buggy is now (15 months) I was sleeping comfortably, at peace, and…this is the key….through the night. 

Buggy is on the same schedule that my other two boys were on when they were babies and has been sleeping through the night for months upon months but yet, I’m still waking up. 

I’ve been wracking my brain for the last few months wondering why… oh WHY sweet sleep gods/fairies am I not able to sleep through the night when Buggy is sleeping without issue during the night?

Other than the obvious reason….my husband’s snoring, I simply couldn’t figure it out.

Buggy isn’t waking up in the wee-small-hour-of-the-morning for a feeding, or night terrors, or just general “I want to be with you, where did you go?”

So what the heck is going on?!?!?!?

Then this morning, in the shower while I was trying to wake every ounce of my body with the warm water running over my head it finally came to me!! 

When Big T and Sweat Pea were babies, we were in a different house, our first home.  It was a rambler so there was no running up and down the stairs to check on the baby during the day.  All I had to do was go around the corner.  It was small so I could hear just about everything no matter what part of the house I was in.   The nursery was right next to our bedroom.  I didn’t have to try very hard to hear them.  All I had to do was put my ear to the wall and I could hear them breathing (it was an old home). 

Once we moved to our current home 4 years ago, which is two stories, Sweet Pea was still considered a baby, and he was still sleeping peacefully in his crib for naps and at nighttime.  In fact he was just about the age Buggy is now, 15 months old.  I used the monitor for naps during the day when I was downstairs, but didn’t need it at night because he was right across the hall. 

When Buggy was born, we decided to put the nursery down in the bedroom at the other end of the hall for a few reasons.  Both older boys go to school and we didn’t want to risk them waking up for 11pm, 2am, and 5am feedings when Buggy was an infant and as a result have them be tired at school and not be able to function.  On top of that, both boys have been used to having their own space and at this time in their lives they NEEDED space from each other.  And the room is simply a perfect size for a nursery!  It’s awesome! 

So Buggy isn’t across the hall like his brother was (and still is).  He isn’t in a place where I can hear him if he’s having a bad night.  Sure, I could hear him if he is hysterical, but I tend to not like letting my babies get that way, especially in the middle of the night.

So I have the monitor next to my bed, just in case.  Wait…

The monitor….the friggin MONITOR!  That’s it!! That’s the damn sleep stealing culprit!  I’ve finally caught it red handed!

Monitors are wonderful things!  Especially the ones they make now with video cameras…how friggin cool are those little babies?

But, they do have a downside.  Whenever he adjusts himself, groans, takes a deep breath…I hear it.  It wakes me up, makes me push the button to “see” if he will be able to get himself back to sleep or not or if he will need his mommy.  We are almost at 100% with the getting himself back to sleep (unless he’s sick). 

But yet it’s become a habit, to have that monitor right next to my head “just in case.”  Why?  Mostly because I want to make sure I hear him if he needs me.  That I can get to him quickly if there is really a problem.  That he knows his mommy is there. 

So is the monitor more for me?  Or for him? 

Heck I don’t know…I just figured out that it was THAT little piece of amazing technology that has been stealing my sleep for the last several, several months.  It will probably take another 15 months to figure out why I still feel the need to have it on.  And by that time I will be so sleep deprived it simply won’t matter!  OH, and if Buggy is anything like his brothers he will be able to scream “MOMMY” loud enough that I won’t need it anyway. 

Does something or someone steal your sleep?  Who or what is the culprit in your house?
Let's BEE Friends


joni said...

lately, because of jet lag, it is my youngest getting up at 5:30! even if Daddy is there, or course, it is me that he wants to come wake up to be with him. ugh, sometimes love is tough. i just want sleep...

Kate F. (@katefineske) said...

Too funny! I have been sleeping much better the last couple weeks - my "sleep stealing culprit" was my pillow. SNAP! New pillow! New uninterrupted sleep! It's amazing what a Good. Nights. Sleep. Can do for you.

That is ultimately they reason that (If I were you) I would totally nix the monitor. Your sleep is SO important to keep you a calm and happy mommy. I know this know that I am sleeping so much better ;)

Heather said...

I totally agree with you about the monitor. If you can't get rid of it totally I would put it across the room from you in your bedroom. At least then you won't hear every little noise in your ear!

Good Luck!!!

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

The first week after my son started sleeping in this own bed (after 18 months of co-sleeping), I woke up every 2 hours as I was so used to it, and I felt the need to go check on him. We then installed a camera in the room which feeds into my laptop. I sleep with the laptop on a bedside table next to me, so guess who wakes up at least twice a night to check on the little one? He's sleeping through the night but I'm not!

Jamie said...

We use a monitor for the twins but it's on VERY low and I cant usually hear them before I even notice the monitor. My husband calls them MOM ears. Ha! I've always been a light sleeper though so I think I'm just used to it.

indonesiatooverseas said...

Our home is so little, so we don't need a monitor. When our baby need us, we will know in short time.

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Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos said...

I did not stop using a monitor for my son until he was over the age of three. Finally when he started getting up in the morning and leaving his room instead of asking for help, we stopped.

We still have the monitor for Lil Diva.

I am the world's lightest sleeper, while my husband is much sounder. I sleep like crap when I am the only parent and "on duty" because each little noise will put me on mommy alert.

I typically sleep with ear plugs in, ear phones playing music on iPod, and a pillow over my head.

I am still sometimes the first parent to wake up to cries on the monitor.

If I don't do these things, I wake up every few hours. Or more.

And my children usually sleep through the night, minus nightmares/terrors or the occasional bought of teething, so I don't feel guilty about putting my husband "on duty".

Because he'll sleep through anything that isn't insistent. Unlike me.

Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

Yeah, the monitor steals my sleep. Mine bounces between the kids rooms every 15 seconds... so for 15 seconds I hear nothing, then for 15 seconds I hear Cole's humidifier... all night long. If I'm restless that's enough to wake me up or keep me from falling asleep.
That being said, I may never give up the kids' monitors. I love being able to see what they're up to (we have a video monitor too). I'm thinking that will be especially handy when they start having friends in their rooms. Yes?

Jessica said...

I've never really used a monitor because my kids slept with me when they were babies. Their rooms are also right across from mine. I hope you can eventually adjust to sleeping with the monitor. I know how difficult lack of sleep can be.

Anonymous said...

I used the monitor until my son was around 2. His room is next to mine, so I really didn't need was more for me. I think as moms (parents) you become light sleepers anyway and hear every little thing.
I really hope you can get your sleep back!! Hang in there mama!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Oh I can only imagine what it feels like with Jet Lag! UGH!!

I hope you back to peaceful sleep soon!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


OHH I need to get a new pillow ASAP! I've been waking up with horrible neck pains!

It's been so long since I've had a good nights sleep its hard to remember what it feels like.

I can't get rid of the monitor because his nursery is all the way down at the other end of the house. At least, not just yet.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Putting it on the other side of the room is an excellent idea! Will have to try that tonight. Thank you!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Isn't it that the way it goes? We spend so much time waking up in the beginning that it becomes a habit later on.


Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


I used to be able to sleep through earthquakes (true story) but ever since I became a mom, I've become the lightest sleeper in the house!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


That's how our first home was. I was able to hear the babies without the monitor from any room in the house!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Yeah, I'm thinking we will probably need to use it until he at least has the words to be able to call us and not just cry to get our attention.

I've become SUCH a light sleeper since becoming a mommy and I'm up almost every hour.

My husband? Yeah, he sleeps through anything! Jerk! LOL

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


OH I think the bouncing from one room to the next would definitely keep me up!!

I like being able to see Buggy too. I like to see if he's fussing if it is something that he will be able to resolve on his own, or if I need to go in there.

OH and I think keeping the monitors in their rooms when friends start coming over is a FANTASTIC idea!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


I don't miss much about our old house, but I do miss how close we had the nursery to our room.

Sleep will come right? Maybe it's several years away, but it will come.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Optimistic Mom,

I think you're exactly right. I used to sleep through just about anything and if you had to wake me up...forget about it!

But since having Big T 8 years ago, anything and everything will wake me up.

Bits of Bee said...

I've never used a monitor but I can definitely see how it would keep someone up at night! If it's not my toddler keeping me up at night, it's my busy, racing mind. After racing around with the kids to get them ready for bed, my mind starts racing about work, things that need to be done, and plans for upcoming weekends. Keeps me up all night!

angela said...

I gave up the monitor almost immediately with Abbey. She's next door to us, and she is loud!

I kept it longer with Dylan; he is on the first floor, which I HATE so much (we're on the second). Still, I stopped using it when I stopped nursing, and it is absolutely amazing how much you hear them when the house is quiet in the middle of the night.

Good luck!

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

The monitory really amplifies every tiny little noise and makes it seem louder than it really is. Donut is just down the hall from us and we have a small home so I'm able to hear her when she really wakes up and cries. But I also think a big part of it is that us mamas always sleep with one ear open--just in case!

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Oh my gosh, ours gives static for some reason! But Wee 'Burb is still right next door to us, so I can actually wear earplugs (thanks to hubs' snoring) and every mom instinct tells me when she wakes up. Or I have Scott nudge me. Though the middle of the night waking has more or less ceased, thankfully.

Carri said...

I couldn't sleep with the monitor, either. I usually sleep really deep but I was so full of anxiety when he was little.
I started sleeping with his door closed and mine open, and I still sleep that way! It's worked out well for me so maybe it will work for you?

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Bits of Bee,

Oh I can totally relate to that. If I'm able to fall asleep, and the monitor wakes me up, my mind immedately starts running. I wish I had an off switch sometimes.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


I really should try turning it off once over the weekend. I'm sure it is partly a control thing on my part. But he is all the way down on the other end of the house, and the walls are really thick. I don't believe I would hear him unless he was extremely upset.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


It really does amplify everything. Buggy also likes to move a TON in his crib, so I always want to make sure he hasn't covered his head with a blanket.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


My husband could sleep through a freight train running through our home so I can't rely on him to wake me up!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


We did that with our other boys because their rooms are right across the hallway from ours. But Buggy is down at the end of the hall on the other side of the house. I'm not confident that I would hear him.