Though my son often wakes up during the night, he is usually just a bit fussy when he does. If I’m particularly tired and it takes me longer to hear him both through the adjoining wall and the monitor (my iPad, which is about a foot from my head), he might start to cry. If he’s actually hungry, he’ll stop crying as soon as I feed him. If he’s not, he’ll stop as soon as I pick him up. It’s not usually difficult.
The other night, though, (I just asked my husband and he also can’t remember whether it was Wednesday or Thursday…that’s how awesome our sleep has been) Baby Guy woke up screaming, and wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t time for him to eat, and he wasn’t acting hungry at all, so I just tried to rock him. Then I tried singing, even though it’s against my rules to sing to him at night because I want him to think night time is silent and boring. That didn’t work at all, and by then my husband was in the nursery, too, so we were both singing and changing baby’s diaper.
The diaper was barely wet, certainly not scream worthy, and though he had a bit of a diaper rash coming on, that didn’t seem to be the issue. I slathered some more coconut oil on his behind and inspected him for all of my worst nightmares, listed below in no particular order:
- One of my hairs wrapped around one of his appendages, cutting off all circulation and requiring surgical precision to safely remove
- Spider bites, because, you know, spiders are insidious.
- Some sort of horrible rash, or perhaps scarlet fever
- More spider bites (yes, that one was worth a double-check)
After screaming through the scrutiny, Baby Guy was pronounced free of rashes (well, except the remaining vestiges of eczema and that diaper rash I mentioned), spider bites, and hair-induced gangrene. So obviously I had to check his temperature. By this time, of course, the light was on, and pretending that night time is quiet and boring was out the window.
Side note: After the fact my husband confessed that while I inspected the boy, he’d been inspecting the crib. For spiders! I thought it was pretty great that we were both worried about spider bites without either of us mentioning it at the time.
Anyway, our son didn’t have a fever (scarlet or any other kind), and I don’t even know what made him stop yelling, but it was positively harrowing while it lasted. By the time he was calm, it actually was time to feed him, so I did. Then we all settled down to sleep.
We did just that. For about 45 minutes at a time. For the rest of the night.
Thankfully there was no more screaming, but it was a rough night, to say the least. And after Googling incessantly (on the floor by the crib…I can Google and shhhhhh simultaneously), I came to the conclusion that Baby Guy was teething. He had all the symptoms: coughing, little chin rash from drooling, excessive drooling, chewing on everything, disrupted sleep, and unexplained crankiness. He had to be teething.
Well, except that he’s been doing all of those things nonstop for 2 months (except for the crankiness). Oh, and there’s no tooth.
I still have no idea why he was so upset. I guess he’d just had a stressful day and needed to cry it out a little.
The nights (or maybe just one night?) haven’t been as bad since then, but it’s clear we still haven’t figured out what helps Baby Guy sleep best. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to which nights he does well and which nights he wakes constantly.
I’ll keep trying, and I’ll do my best to (have my husband) keep the nursery clear of vicious spiders. A mother’s work is never done.