May came and went within the blink of an eye.
On top of me starting a new job, Baby turned ONE! What?!?! I know, I feel the same way. May was so insane with the onset of summer-like weather, celebrating little man’s birthday, house projects, weekend family fun days, and lots of time with friends. And here we are, already in June.
I think one of the main reasons that May flew by is that I didn’t sleep. In all honesty, I haven’t slept for almost two years. You may have already figured out that baby still isn’t sleeping through the night. But, I also had insomnia while pregnant, so while the house was sleeping the night away, I would be laying awake thinking about nothing in particular.
If you have been reading up on our life for some time, you may recall that this is not the first time we have dealt with sleep issues with a baby. J was not a fan. At all. It’s almost like I am in some sort of twisted time warp. Although baby L is different from J in a LOT of ways, there are some unfortunate similarities. One of the reasons I started this blog was so that I could write my feelings and document the life we were living. It has proved to be in invaluable resource because just when I need some advice, I go back, read, and see that I’ve done this before. I’ve come out the other side. It is possible. But holy hell, it doesn’t feel like it right now.
On top of May being full of work and family, it was also a major transitional time for me and Baby. I stopped pumping shortly after he turned one…having weaned him to whole milk. This was a major victory. I hated pumping with J and I still hated doing it with L.
Second victory: made it past the one year mark with nursing. J pushed me away one week before he had his first birthday. I was so heartbroken. L just turned 13-months over the weekend. I was only nursing before bed and first thing in the morning.
Now, we are at a crossroads. L is eating solids. He is having whole milk during the day and a great combo of snacks and meals full of all the goodness that should aid him in having a restful night sleep. On top of a healthy diet, he is majorly active. And yet, night after night, he is still waking up 1,000 times. Yes, I realize that this is an exaggeration, but it sure feels like it.
And this sleeplessness is affecting us. He is just as happy as can be during the day (until he gets to his tired stage). It is making me snappy. Snappy at the big kids, snappy at Husband, even snappy at the pets. Baby is staying in our room until he can sleep through the night, and at this point, it seems like that will never happen.
He will eventually be sharing a room with J, but don’t want to move him in there until he has this sleep thing under control…the last thing we need is two boys awake in the night.
I don’t like who I am right now. I don’t like that Husband and I are so tired that we are zombies to our other kids. Barking at them, barking at each other, and not even getting to have any time to ourselves after all the kids are accounted for in their beds because we are falling asleep shortly thereafter.
So, I’ve had enough. I cannot wait until I am at the very last itty bit of my rope….I’m throwing in the towel. I bought a new book over the weekend that helped outline a plan. Yes, I knew what I needed to do, but liked having a plan written out that also helped with how to overcome the hurdles that I knew we would encounter.
Last night was night one. The plan: getting him to fall asleep without being held, getting him to stay asleep, be done with nursing, AND, no more binkie. You may feel (as I do) that this is a lot all at once. But, aren’t I just delaying the inevitable? I feel that he wasn’t really getting enough from nursing anymore to be full. Switching to a bottle before bed would help with that.
This is what I did:
6:20p: into jammies and read two stories
6:30p: up the stairs with bottle in tow
6:40p: bottle done, he was visibly tired after our very busy day…put into the crib awake (and NO binkie).
After trying to get him to lay down 5 or 6 times, and he kept standing up, I just sat on the bed…literally 10 inches from his crib. He wasn’t crying at first, but started exploring his freedom of moving around in his space. Nights past, Husband or I would keep laying him back down, even when it was the last thing he wanted to do. My new-found knowledge educated me that he needs to be the one to lay down, forcing him doesn’t help anyone. After he realized that I was sitting there and not picking him back up, he started to squawk. Every 5 to 10 minutes, I would pat the crib to encourage him to lay back down. He would sit and cry, rubbing his eyes. I would help him lay down, he would lay for a minute, eyes closed, then push himself back up.
We repeated this, while I would sit on the bed, saying softly about it being time for bed, patting the crib after 5-10 minutes and so on.
And what do you know, after 44 minutes, he was asleep…on his own accord, with no binkie. This is different from when I sleep trained J….we let him keep the binkie. But from what I’m reading, this could actually be what is making him wake so many times…he loses it in the night. And, it will be easier to wean him from it now, then when he’s three (like his two big siblings).
He woke just before eight (after only have been asleep for 30 minutes). I waited about 5 minutes before going to him to see if he would settle himself. He was sitting up, so I helped him lay back down, and he was out again.
Didn’t hear from him again until just before 1 a.m.! THIS IS A HUGE IMPROVEMENT. (I also realize that this is probably a fluke). Did the same thing: waiting a few minutes before assisting, then helping him lay back down and he was out (a total time from his first squawk to asleep: 10 mins). If you are doing the math, that was about 5 straight hours. What is this voodoo?
Then, quiet again until 5 a.m. Here’s where the real work will be….trying to get him to gradually sleep later than 5. But hey, it’s a start. And it’s without nursing, without being held, and no binkie.
As I learned the last time doing this….consistency is key.