Monday, November 21, 2011

Humble Pie



I used to be so smug about babies and sleep.  Princess Sparkle pants was a colicky baby who had some terrible sleep habits and underwent some serious sleep training.  But once we had it down...we had it down.  12-13 hours at night, plus naps like clockwork.  Once I tamed that baby I thought I could sleep train anything...colicky triplets with strep throat?  A baby bull with rabies?  Baby great white sharks in blood infused waters?  BAM!  Sleep trained!  3 hours of crying?  A'int no match for me.  Just darken the room a little, swaddle tight and get 'em to bed early with a dash of tears.  Done and done!  

I've officially let go.  Lamp is a complete maverick.  Well I shouldn't say complete, but her sleep patterns have no rhyme or reason.  She still goes to bed pretty early (knock on wood) but it's her wake up time that's killing me.  For a long time she woke between 5 and 6 to nurse and would then go back to sleep until around 7.  Well I was getting sick of that last feed...especially since she has a g-tube and gets fed at night!  (BTW, we're starting to ween her off her feeds...she's down to just a fraction of her typical amount).  Well once I messed with that, it's all gone to pot.  We let her cry it out in the morning.  And for about 2 months we were just torturing ourselves.  She also went through a 2 week bout of random waking up and crying at all hours of the night--sometimes being up for 1-2 hours at a time.  When we got through that I decided I would rather get up and feed her at 5 and get back to sleep than be up at 5 to listening to a baby cry.  Welllllll, she doesn't really want to go back to sleep now when that happens.  And even as I write this (Sunday night) she has started crying off and on for the past hour, which means we're probably in for a bumpy night.  

What I do feel like I've figured out is that Lamp is among what I imagine is a small percentage of babies that doesn't respond well to crying it out.  Although she did when she was younger, so go figure.  Also it's harder to be consistent when you've also got a 4 year old to think about, because if her sister is up at 5am crying, big sister wakes up too.  But still, I'm not so sure consistency is the problem.  Deep down, I really think she needs us in a different way than big sister did.  I remember at just a few weeks old on my father-in-law, aka the baby whisperer, stroking her foot while she fell asleep saying, she just likes to know you're there.  In a nutshell, that's Lamp.    

So here I am.  A newer, humbler more sleep deprived mama.  I've stopped thumbing though Healthy Sleep Habits and am now considering a book with a milder approach (although I still love HSH for it's many points of wisdom)--I hear good things about Good Night, Sleep Tight.  

But the point is, I used to think that in a head to head sleep battle I would win every time... now I know different.  In the process I have stopped resisting so much, I have stopped letting it control my life and my mood (mostly) and I have even stopped judging you other mothers I used to consider inferior sleep trainers.  Yep.  I said it.    We are now comrades in the war against a good nights sleep and now I can say... I get it.  Sometimes it's really not you, it's them.

 

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10 comments:

  1. Welcome to the dark side. ;) My kid's 2, and we still struggle. I feel your pain.

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  2. I combined good night sleep tight and secrets of the baby whisperer's methods and it worked...for one of my kids. The other one never really had a hard time sleeping. Knock on wood. So good luck with that :) I know you'll do great- you were meant to be her Mama. And by doing great- I mean you'll learn what you're supposed to regardless of if miss lamp starts sleeping through the night!!

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  3. I have 5 kids, 4 of which were fantastic sleepers from the get go. The other one, well, let's just say she came with her own idea of when to eat and sleep. Once I came to terms with that things got a whole lot better. Good Luck!

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  4. So well said! I love how you acknowledge the difference between babies...not just the difference in personalities, but how their very needs differ.

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  5. Anonymous9:31 AM

    "She still goes to bed pretty early (knock on wood)" . . . maybe this is the problem? Have you considered bumping bedtime until later in order to get a later wake up time? Our second just didn't need as much sleep as the first -- meant less time for Mom, but I preferred to give up that time in the evening over having to get up at an ungodly early hour.

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  6. Sleep is rough...we used the HSH for our twins...very colicky and literally not sleeping more than 20 minutes a day by 4 months...it did work for us...it worked great...but our son did have the habit of waking anywhere from 4:30-5:30 and not going back to sleep for years...he is now 5 years old...and finally sleeping until 6:30-7am most days...he also was waking in the night off and on. He has epilepsy among other things...turned out that it was the seizures waking him up. Tiny clusters of partial seizures (no outward physical shaking)...since we have found a medication that partly controls them...his sleeping has been sooooo much better. But wow, 5 years it took! Luckily I have a great husband who is an early riser...and most mornings...he would get up, change him and try to occupy him with something before getting ready for work. We moved into a 1-story house so that we didn't have to keep him locked in his room until 6-6:30(he isn't very safe with stairs, he falls often with the seizures) when I got up...and he was free to roam the house and play...then we got him a computer with a touch screen (his fine motor is very poor and he can't use a mouse, the touch screen has been AWESOME! He loves it.)...and now that is what he occupies himself with (Thank Heaven for the makers of Starfall.com), when he happens to wake up early. It has been a long process of learning...little tweaks here and there...but it works for us now :) Once lamp is in a toddler bed (maybe one that is even lower to the floor than normal) and can maneuver herself out of it...you can have some toys ready for her to play with if she wakes up early...letting her know that you will come in at 7am to get her. It could work...be a possibility of something to work toward.

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  7. Hi, Miggy! I have de-lurked before...to tell you that I read you and LOVE your blog. I found you from Reagan and I found Reagan from cjane...anyway...

    I LOVE the posts you are doing on Fridays. I recently stumbled across a blog because I was googling treatments for psoriasis. (My hands are a mess...but I digress...) I found this blog written by an amazing woman who has a son with a skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa. I just wanted to give you her blog address...I don't know her personally, but I have learned so much form her blog. I don't know how you select children to highlight for your Friday posts but I just thought I'd share this blog with you because she is doing such a great job to raise awareness for EB. Her blog address is ... http://lovingbabydaylon.blogspot.com/

    I love the way you wrote about the woes of sleep training...I got a good laugh at, "Baby great white sharks in blood infused waters?"

    We liked the book, "On Becoming Babywise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, M.D. It saved our lives, infact. ☺

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  8. Anonymous12:00 PM

    Amen, sister. Welcome to the world of "there is no ONE answer." :> I thought my third child would kill me (or I would kill her), but everything got better once I decided to roll with it. Even though I'm still not sure what "it" means. :> If you have zero expectations, you can never be disappointed! Hang in there.

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  9. I really liked Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution. It has a ton of methods and ideas to try to help your baby sleep independently. Good luck! Sleep is one of those things that is so confusing because you want it, they want it and yet some nights no one is actually sleeping!!!

    PS. I'm not sure Babywise would work for Lamp. It is a routine that strictly follows a feeding schedule and I'm not sure her medical needs would allow you to successfully follow the program and if you don't strictly follow the program, it doesn't work.

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  10. yeah, my lamp-age baby threw me for a loop, too. he still cries it out and it just doesn't really work. but we've tried for so long, that now rocking/soothing doesn't work either. funny how much i thought i knew when i had just one baby!
    good luck, and i can sympathise!

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