big bruise from head banging during sleep trainingDespite oh so much sleep training, last week the string of horrible nights since Christmas travels (yeah, this post was written awhile ago) finally felt like it had come to an end.

After consistently waking three to four times in frenzied desperation a night, Little Miss’ screaming fits had eased.

She had two two-wake up nights.

Then one one-wake up night.

And I had my first five hours of uninterrupted sleep in seventeen months!

I was ecstatic. I was incredulous. I woke, feeling like I could take on the world.

I was rested.

And then everything changed.

Change is constant with babies. It’s the only constant. I get it.

But this was a change I definitely wasn’t expecting.

Four nights ago, Little Miss didn’t just wake. She didn’t just scream. She gripped the crib rails, pulled her head back, and started flinging her precious little forehead against the railing.

I heard the first few bangs before I knew what was happening. Moaning from exhaustion, I clicked on the video monitor and witnessed the horror.

I’m sure you veteran moms are shaking your heads and smiling right now. A quick search on Google the next morning told me this was a common occurrence; I shouldn’t be concerned at all.

But my daughter was violently flinging her head against a wooden rail!

I leapt out of bed and was out the door before my equally groggy husband had a chance to ask what was wrong.

I picked up my girl, cuddled, kissed, then examined.

She’d done damage.

I can’t remember exactly what transpired the rest of that night. There were both successful and failed attempts to put Little Miss back to sleep. I didn’t sleep much at all.

Despite babycenter’s recommendation not to, I VERY securely fashioned a bumper on that top rail.

Like so many things with Little Miss, it worked … until it didn’t.

My baby’s no fool.

There are many other places to bang. None afford quite the flinging leverage of that first location, but she knows how to get the job done.

In line with this new banging habit is about a 70% refusal rate to stay asleep when I nurse her into dreamland or go to sleep when I put her down awake.

so sleep training leads to head bangingNeedless to say, this means we’re both beyond exhausted and my sweet little girl looks likes she’s been … banging her head against a crib-rail.

It’s enough to make me want to bang my head against the wall.


Only I’d want it to knock me out and let me spend some uninterrupted time in dreamland …

I’m not going to try it though.

Little Miss has made it evident that the whole getting whacked on the head and suddenly being rendered unconscious thing is a lot harder than it looks in the movies.

(Okay, I’m not being serious at all. Not only would I never do that, I don’t actually want to, but sometimes it feels like I want to.)

But, what’s a Mama to do?

My husband told me to follow the advice I found online and just leave her be.

I tried that.

Multiple times.

Once for as long as forty-five minutes, my whole body writhing to get her the entire time.

Last night I didn’t let the screaming and intermittent banging go on any longer than the time it took me to jump out of bed and throw on a robe.

As a result, for the second night in a row Little Miss spent the majority of the night in bed with me.

So long, the minimum improvements we’d seen from the tortuous days and nights of sleep training. Six weeks of it when the book ‘promised’ it shouldn’t take more than four, and that would be the extreme.

>>Sigh<< Who knows?

Maybe this is just a phase and my little sweetheart will stop the banging and go back to waking one or two times a night again soon.

Still not the ideal, but better than this torture.

Change is the only constant, right?

No moral of the story for today.

Merely, what’s a Mama to do?


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NOTE: The head banging completely stopped after a few weeks – seven months later and the one to two (sometimes three or four) wakings a night still persists …

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