So after considerable debate and endless internet searches, Bryan and I have decided that Penelope must be teething. The only other alternate theory was that she was trying to kill us.
For the last three nights her sleep has gotten progressively worse, and naps have become a Herculean struggle. I'm so exhausted that I'm calling in reinforcements, in the form of my mom. We're going over to my parent's house today so I can get a break - Granny K will take over on the front lines.
Other teething signs: increased drooling, irritability (my normally happy-go-lucky baby is moody!), almost constant sucking of fingers & cloth toys (she's not a fan of had plastic), and a bit of diarrhea.
Her gums don't seem particularly swollen, which is what threw us off-track; but all the other signs point to teething. Hopefully it doesn't take weeks for her first tooth to break through, because I will turn into a zombie if it does. Seriously. I have insomnia anyway, and waking up 4 time at night isn't going to help.
Some "sleep experts" recommended that we try CIO (cry-it-out) to help her get back to her normal once-waking sleep pattern. And while I'm not anti-CIO, I don't think it's appropriate for this situation - she's uncomfortable, and since she's still working on self-soothing then she needs mommy or daddy to help her fall back asleep. She generally falls back to sleep pretty quickly after the night-wakings, the 5am one is more difficult since that's pretty close to her normal up-for-the-day time. If it took longer to get her back to sleep then we'd have to try something else, but we're pretty lucky that she's falling asleep quickly after she gets up.
Granted, we've been doing this for three days, so I may re-evaluate our position if this is still happening a month from now. But for the time being, Bryan and I will switch off shifts and get up with her every time she wakes up at night.
And I'll use the Moby for naps for as long as I need to... which is possibly harder on me than the night-wakings. When she was super-little (like she ever was), it was pretty easy to get things done with her in the Moby. Now that she's longer than my torso, being productive becomes much more complicated. Oh well, at least she's sleeping. I did figure out the best way to sit & type while she's in the Moby, so at least I can surf the internet - ha.
My back is not going to like me very much today.
Ok, time to fix another cup of coffee and hope she sleeps at least an hour.
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