Archive for November, 2010

Sleep Training

November 27, 2010

I thought I’d write this up here, instead of on my public/family blog since I’m feeling kind of vulnerable about the whole thing.  As I told T. this morning, I feel like a bad mom no matter what I do.

So we were off to a good start with G’s sleep training until he got sick, and then had his 4-month vaccines, and then started working on cutting his first tooth.  The past week or two we ended up in a sort of hybrid pattern, where I’d do the Baby Whisperer method to put him to bed for the night, and then after that just nurse him back to sleep every time he woke up (almost invariably every 2 hours, sometimes more), on the assumption that he was legitimately hungry.  He acts hungry and eager to nurse at night, but I will admit that generally he doesn’t really empty the breast, and by 3 or 4 a.m. he’s all gassy and grumbly and restless through until we wake up for the day around 7.  So I started bringing him into bed with me at that point because it’s so exhausting to keep getting up and tending to him, and it wakes T. up every time, unnecessarily.  A couple times the co-sleeping resulted in better sleep for me during this period.

For naps, after a couple times of trying unsuccessfully to Baby Whisper him down I ended up with a “whatever works” approach and just rocked or nursed him down.

So, no matter what sleep camp you’re in, I’m obviously doing it all wrong.

And it’s not working.  The trend has been that 1) ever since I started bringing him into bed with me, he’s been crying much longer at bedtime – back to 20-30 minutes instead of 5; and 2) naps have been getting harder and harder to manage, it takes him longer and longer to fall asleep and I have to rock him longer and longer once he’s asleep before I can lay him down in his crib (again up to 20 minutes or so).  If he were an only child that would be one thing, but V. has to wait for me until he’s asleep, and ends up watching way more E.lmo than I want her to while I’m in trying to get G. to fall asleep.  But even so, he’s getting so heavy that my back is killing me from rocking him in my arms all the time (no rocking chair here).  I just can’t keep doing this.  I need to be able to lay him down and walk away.

The trouble is getting there.  T and I had a council of war this morning and decided that our plan of attack is to do full-on BW for all naps and night waking.  He feels that G is ready for night weaning although I’m still kind of scared to go cold turkey.  I’d like to maintaing a feeding around 1 a.m. if I can.  It’s kind of frustrating cause all my gear is stuck in a shipment that won’t get here until Dec. 8 at the earliest – the breast pump, bottles, and bags for freezing milk – and until that gets here it’s all straight from the source.

The other complication is that T left this afternoon for a week-long work trip and so I’m solo with the kids for the next 8 days.  I’ve kind of decided though that I cannot wait until he gets back to start the training because I’m starting to lose all my patience and joy in life.  Friday, for example, I was so tired and dispirited that we just stayed home all day and I barely even played with the kids, it felt like keeping them clothed, fed, and in clean diapers was about all I could manage.  I felt like we did nothing creative or interesting all day.  I need more sleep, and I need G. to go to sleep on his own for naps.

Every time I rock him to sleep I feel like I’m being a bad mom.  Every time I nurse him down I feel like a bad mom.  Every time I hear him crying in his crib I feel like a bad mom.  But this afternoon I stuck with the BW method for his nap, and after 25 very long minutes (while V cried in the next room, unable to fall asleep herself for his crying) he fell asleep in the crib on his own.

See, 25 minutes really isn’t that long.  It just feels like it in the moment.

It feels good to have a plan and a method that I trust and believe in.  And I DO think that he will catch on more quickly than V did (personality plus starting earlier).  I just fear that for some reason it won’t work, and that I will have subjected both my children to unnecessary heartache.

Am I doing the best I can?  I’d like to believe so.  But I wish my best was better than what I’ve got at the moment.

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happy happy happy

November 12, 2010

We’ve been watching waaaaay too much E.lmo over here.

Anyway, my obsession with V’s “spectrummy”-ness has pretty much died down over the past few weeks, I’m not sure why.  I’m sure it will come back.  We’re trying out some sleep training with G (4 months old) – T and I worked out a compromise as he has been pushing for this for a month and I managed to put it off until now – and he wanted total night weaning, and I wanted to keep at least 1 night feeding in, maybe 2.  But the goal is more sleep all around.  It’s coming along well enough – crying for 5-10 minutes instead of 40 minutes – and G’s been soothing himself to sleep at the end of the waily-waily.  We had a brief interruption the past 2 nights as he had a fever for about 36 hours.  That was no fun.

But I keep finding myself ambushed by happiness – it’s the strangest thing.  Moments of pure joy.  It’s really nice.

As for V., she made 3 big leaps in the past couple of weeks that I’m so glad about – she is making sentences, she is referring to herself by name, AND today she actually played with a baby doll!  She pretended to feed it a bottle and also (at my suggestion) to breastfeed it – TOO cute.  Her sentences are pretty basic: “Mama sit!  V-V fall!  Monkey swing tree!” but it’s fun to hear what she comes up with.  She’s getting really comfortable with her future babysitter/nanny – this woman (“Hope”) comes 3x a week to help me with G. and other random stuff, I wanted to allow plenty of time for V. to get to know her before leaving both kids with her when I go to start writing my dissertation.  V includes Hope in her family litany right after Mama and before G when she lists off what everybody is doing, for example.

Anyway, tonight another minor miracle occurred and both kids fell asleep at exactly the same time: 7:30 p.m.  So I’ve been reading blogs and catching up on celebrity gossip.  But I really should go to bed.

Hope and happiness – good things.

A year ago

November 9, 2010

A year ago today I thought I got my period and chalked up October as another wash.  It was December 17 before I POAS, and when I went in for my ultrasound 10 days later – thinking I was about 7 weeks – I was shocked to see a 11-week-old fetus on the u/s screen.  That was our Gabriel.

We’re in the midst of sleep training and I had a fever all day but holy cow I am so thankful for this little dude.  He is a blessing and he is blessed.