E has always been a good sleeper. He was sleeping through the night around 3 months old and we've never had any problem getting him to sleep...until recently. The past week E's sleeping has been so off. He's up at 4am some days, taking long morning naps, not taking an afternoon nap or if he did it would be around 5pm and then not go to bed until 9pm and then still up between 4am and 5am. The poor kid was exhausted and you could tell by the way he was acting. He's wasn't my usual happy boy.
Mike and I tried forcing him into a sleeping pattern. We'd wake him up from naps so he wouldn't sleep so long in the day. We'd sit rocking him trying to get him to take a nap. None of it worked. It seemed the more we tried to get him into a sleeping pattern the worse it got. He would sit and cry and rub his eyes and my heart would ache because I didn't know what to do.
By yesterday, it was bad. When I got home from work, I took E so Mike could have a little a break. Books always seem to calm E down. So that's what we did, we just sat and read one of his favorite books over and over and over. He finally closed his eyes and when I put him down in his crib he was out. We decided we didn't care if it was only 5 in the evening, the kid needed sleep so we were just going to let him sleep. He slept all through the night waking up once around 12:30am. But a quick tuck-in did the trick and he was back asleep. He woke up at 5am the next morning. I was already at work by then so Mike texted me that E was back to his normal self.
E ended up taking an almost 3 hour nap this morning but no afternoon nap. It seemed to work for him though. When I got home from work tonight he was a different baby than Thursday night. He was his happy self playing with toys and being as sweet as ever. He ate a good dinner and went to bed easily at 7:45pm.
What I've learned from this past week is that I can't force things. E is his own person and I need to respect that even if he is only a baby. I can't be in control of everything and sometimes I just need to go with the flow. Part of that is also learning to trust that things will work out. I need to trust that E will sleep when he needs to sleep but it will be on his terms.