Sunday, June 29, 2008

I May Never Sleep Again

I know people say this all the time when you have kids. But Malaina wasn't that difficult in the sleep department. At about 3 or 4 months, she had a relatively consistent sleep schedule. 2 naps during the day, about an hour and a half each, and bedtime around 9pm until 8am. Totally do-able. But Justin is killing me. He naps for no more than 20 minutes a day, unless we happen to be driving. And it can take me a good hour and a half to get him settled down at night. I finally went to the library and checked out Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. It's a common sense book that stresses the importance of a schedule for the baby. And of course, this schedule should begin from Day One. I started reading the book last night after struggling to get him to sleep once again. A few things seem to be working, but I need to break his dependence on eating in the middle of the night. He doesn't really eat, just snacks & falls back asleep. It's twice as bad, as I am exhausted and fall asleep as soon as I get him snuggled up next to me. He wouldn't settle down last night, and I finally caved at 4 am when I knew he was hungry and wanted to eat. Of course that was also the first time I actually slept last night.

Nap time was nightmare-ish today. He fell asleep at church twice, but didn't sleep for more than 20 minutes each time. When we got home, I followed the book, and as soon as I saw him rubbing his eyes and staring into the distance, I cuddled him, patted him, and laid him in the crib. He went down like a dream, but 20 minutes later he was awake again. I tried soothing him, but nothing worked for more than a few minutes. Then he got MAD. I don't like the idea of 'crying it out', but nothing seemed to console him. I knew he wanted to eat for a few minutes, but I also knew he wasn't really hungry (I had fed him about an hour prior). I stayed strong, and just tried to soothe him by carrying him, rocking him, patting him, etc. No go. This was his first full blown tantrum, and it was hard to listen to (I'm a total sucker for crying, and always want to hold & comfort the kids). After a good half hour+, he settled down again and slept for another 30 minutes, but was then wide awake. Of course he later fell asleep in his Jumper (it's like Ambien for babies).

I'm not one of those moms who hover and race in at the slightest sound, but he seems to wind up really easily when it comes to sleep. I end up laying in bed, listening for him to start to whimper and end up just being really tense and not sleeping at all. I can't do this forever unless I can support a serious caffeine habit. And that wouldn't be healthy right now. I feel overwhelmed, as I know the issue is intertwined with sleep, crib, family bed, and nursing. I know I've given him bad habits, but just don't know how to go about breaking them (or where to start first). I am just so very very tired.


Chrissy Jo said...

Oh my Amy friend! I totally feel for you! Sleep is so important to me and I agree that a serious caffeine habit sometimes seems like the only answer... but probably isn't a good idea. From one sleep frusterated mother to another, I wish you luck in figuring out what will work best for you and your cute baby. :-)

perfect just like mommy said...

Oh Lordie, further reinforcement that I shall never want another child. I guess if my first child was a good sleeper like yours was, I might want another too. But unfortunately, my first child was an AWFUL sleeper. So it's those long nights, long days, and short naps that keep me from procreating.

No advice, sorry, except as you know, they grow out of it.