During the early weeks of Nora’s life, I was very hesitant to talk to anyone about her nighttime sleep. The truth was that she was a GREAT sleeper. Like, freakishly great. My newborn daughter was super kind to me. I feared that if I dared speak about it out loud, she would change. I was superstitious about it! I also knew that a lot of my friends and family had not had that same experience with their kids, and I honestly did not want it to seem like I was bragging.
From Day 1, Vivienne was also a good sleeper. I don’t think it has been at the same level that Nora was, but still, I wasn’t doing any complaining. I was counting blessings. And I also wasn’t all that superstitious about it like I was last time, so I even mentioned it in my blog post last week. But I said, “Vivi’s a good sleeper” and then went on to add the caveat “So far.” I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, I suppose.
And then she turned three weeks old and it did. Something changed.
Vivienne is still sleeping just fine, for the most part. But I am not.
How is this possible? you might ask. Well, it is because Vivienne is now quite possibly the LOUDEST NEWBORN ON THE PLANET.
The grunting, people. The newborn grunting. I cannot for the life of me figure out how she can grunt—nearly constantly—in her sleep for hours straight.
It started on Friday night. She slept quietly for the first stretch of the night, but after I fed her around 2 a.m., she proceeded to make noise for the remaining five hours until we gave up and got up at 7 a.m. with Nora. In the beginning, I thought she was awake. Fussy. I kept leaning over the side of the bed and stuffing the pacifier into her mouth. The way she was grunting/straining, it sounded like she was trying to poop. So I thought—if she can just get that poop out, we’ll be good. But no. It wasn’t about poop. I wondered if she was gassy. I wondered if she has reflux (she’s also been spitting up… sometimes A LOT, and sometimes projectile). I wondered if she was suddenly hating the swaddle.
And maybe she is one of those things. I don’t know, but I had a lot of time to think about the possibilities as I lied awake in bed, tossing and turning for FIVE HOURS while I silently begged this little angel to be quiet so mommy could get some sleep.
By early Saturday morning, I was Googling because I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed answers. And come to find out, apparently “noisy sleeper newborns” are a thing. And IT’S NORMAL. Which—on the one hand—thank God it’s normal, but on the other—holy hell, there’s nothing we can do?? Apparently some babies are just very noisy during their “active sleep” stages of their sleep cycles, and it’s very common for them to have more “active sleep” in the wee hours of the morning. Thank you, Dr. Sears. But HELP.ME.
I was still hoping that it was a fluke night—she had kept me awake with grunting for a few hours one night earlier last week, but then proceeded to go back to her “normal,” quiet self the next night. But Saturday night was no better. In fact, it was worse. I “woke up” (HA!) yesterday morning feeling like a zombie.
I should note that I do not do well with sleep deprivation. At all. I can handle a few wake-ups to feed her, of course, but being up ALL NIGHT is another thing altogether.
Last night? More of the same. She actually grunted the WHOLE night, not just during the second half of it. And I actually slept better than Friday and Saturday nights, because I had a pillow over my head for the entire night. I’m not even kidding—the entire night with my head sandwiched between pillows. Surprisingly, even that is not enough to drown her out completely, so my sleep was still very broken, but at least I got a little bit of shut-eye. But I must still be in the negative as far as the sleep bank goes, because I feel no better today than I did on Saturday and Sunday.
I just don’t know what to do. The logical solution seems to be to move her to her nursery, but I just… can’t. At least I don’t think I can, not yet. She’s only three weeks old, and I’m too paranoid about SIDS. If we were to move her into her nursery, in order to feel comfortable, I’d have to have the monitor up loud enough to hear the Snuza alarm if it went off, and in that case—I’d still be able to hear the grunting. So how is that helpful?
For now, I’m trying to stick it out. From what I’ve read, the noisiness usually passes—but it could be weeks, or months. So it’s just a matter of how long I can handle this level of sleep deprivation, really.
Add this to the list of things I did not know about babies, even as a second-time mom. I had no idea that I needed to worry about her keeping me awake with her would-be-funny-and/or-sweet little newborn noises… if they were during the day.
Has anyone else dealt with a “noisy newborn”? How long did this last?
And better yet, how did you survive?
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 31 and have been married to Michael for five years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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