That Time Our Son Stopped Sleeping

About a month and change ago, our son stopped sleeping. With the exception of a regression here or there and the dreaded time changes that left us out of sorts for a few days, William has slept through the night since he was a few months old. He’s always been an early to bed and early to rise kind of kid, but his early bird tendencies never bothered us since he usually goes down easily at 7:30pm each night, only to wake the next morning.

It started with a skipped nap on the weekend, then a rough bedtime, which coincided with the first time anyone other than family was over for dinner in ages. Next, it was a wakeup at 2am, then at midnight, and a few 5am wake-ups that made us miss our usual 6:15-30am wake-ups. Soon, a few nights of inconsistent sleep became a few weeks. Ian and I took turns sleeping in his room but often resigned to carrying him into our room for just a few hours of sleep.

I started writing down what was happening each night to try to uncover a pattern and took William to a pediatrician where we did learn he had an ear infection. But, after he completed antibiotics and the pediatrician confirmed the infection was gone, he still wasn’t sleeping and the lack of sleep was affecting all of us.

I initially blanched when a friend suggested a sleep consultant. Had it really come to that? Maybe it wasn’t that bad. Losing sleep is part of having kids right? Desperate one afternoon while trying to focus in a meeting and dreading the uncertainty of the night ahead, I reached out to a consultant. As I type we have had five nights of uninterrupted sleep. More than that, it turns out William isn’t such an early bird. He’s been waking up closer to 7am daily and I’ve noticed a difference in his temperament in the morning and that he isn’t as tired late morning. There is so much shame associated with needing extra help (and paying for it, which we are fortunate to be able to do), but I’m so happy we did.

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