5 Months is Hard. Sleep Struggles and More

Both boys are napping (this doesn’t happen often enough anymore!!) so I figured I would use my downtime to pop in and say HI. A little Sunday blog action!

It’s a humid, gray day here and I’m also about to put together a meal plan and grocery list. Jeff is outside working on the shed he’s been building so things are blissfully quiet and I am soaking in every ounce of it.


I’ve been in a pretty stressed out mindset when it comes to Caleb’s lack of decent sleeping lately. I can’t help but feel like his naps are crappy and he’s waking up at night to nurse now and its my fault. I have this voice in the back of my head saying it’s because I nurse him and put him down in his bed asleep. I’ve read a lot of different advice on baby sleep in my 2.5 years of being a mom but pretty much one thing they all have in common is to “put your baby down while he or she is drowsy but awake.”

I don’t do this. In fact, I want to laugh in that sentence’s face.

For one thing, Julian as a baby would scream if I put him in his crib awake or he’d wake up from being out cold and scream the second I put him down until we finally did cry it out for bedtime and he learned it wasn’t going to be any other way.

Caleb doesn’t scream when I put him down while he’s awake or if he wakes up, he doesn’t mind being in his crib, but he just won’t go to sleep. He’ll look at me like what are you doing then roll around for a while until he gets bored and sad and I go get him. So I nurse him and put him down asleep and he naps for about 30-45 minutes and he’s up again. By 4 or 5pm I am exhausted. I’ve had no real break from him and he gets needier and crankier as the day goes on. We barely make it to a 730 bedtime amongst his crying and melting down. Throw in another child and trying to get dinner made and cleaned up into the mix and it’s a super stressful time of day.

What happened? What happened to my good baby who slept so easily and long for the first couple months? I pray this is just a stage, that once he cuts his first tooth, confidently can roll back and forth, learn to crawl or starts eating food that he’ll settle back down. But then part of me wonders if this is how its going to be now.

I remember feeling this way with Julian around this age only it was way worse because he was so angry and miserable all the time and woke up two to four times a night so I was never sleeping. I truly don’t know how I did it.

5 months is hard. Things didn’t get better until Julian was on two solid naps a day and was crawling around and starting to walk. I try to remind myself that even Julian, who was the most difficult baby in the world, fell into a routine of sorts eventually so there has to be hope for me and Caleb.

5 months is hard because I exclusively breastfeed because Caleb has refused all bottles since 3 months old. We haven’t started solids yet (I am waiting for his 6 month appointment). So I cannot leave him for more than 2 hours with anyone because who wants to watch a baby they can’t feed and is inevitably going to get hungry? I don’t even want to leave my husband in that situation let alone anyone else. And since I nurse him to sleep I have to be there to get him down at night.

I think back to when Caleb was sleeping amazing at 2 months old and I remember how not stressed I was. Things were manageable because I still had time to dedicate to the daily priorities around the house and spend some good one on one time with Julian. Now I feel like nothing gets done and I’m leaving Julian in front of the TV and to play on his own far too much so I can nurse Caleb and get him down for a measly 30 minutes. I have no time for anything!

I know its not always going to be like this and I really only have another 2 months to go before things *should* start getting better. But at this moment I feel like I am fighting to stay above water. I think of people who have kids who sleep 12 hrs at night and 3-4 hours during the day and I’m completely baffled. What I could do with all that free time! You/I so need that break from momming.

The other part of me is trying to not wish this away. Caleb could very well be my last baby and there are so many sweet moments I love pausing and taking in. I also look back and recognize that even though things were hard with Julian it wasn’t the be all end all. We made it through. He’s now just as lively and just as spirited as a two and a half year old only he’s happier. How many naps he took and where he took them (mainly in the car) don’t matter now. He grew beyond this and Caleb will too if I keep the end goal in mind

So I really shouldn’t beat myself up over nursing to sleep or if my morning coffee is keeping him from sleeping or some other minuscule matter. It just is what it is. And it’ll eventually not be this way and I’ll be looking back sweetly on these baby days.

xoxo Liz



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