2 days shy of 18 months and my least favourite aunt is back in town 😦
i really thought i’d be lucky enough to not get my period again until after i stopped breastfeeding. my babe doesn’t eat much solid food in the day, she’s still up to feed through the night, she uses me as a soother and i carry her close a lot during the day.
ah well, it was fantastic while it lasted!
on wednesday i reached a very low piont. the lowest point i have reached since becoming a mother. i am not proud of how i was feeling. i am not proud of the things i thought to myself. i am proud, however, of the decision i have made and i am proud to be moving forward in a new direction.
on wednesday, after nights of terrible sleep training experiences, each night worse than the night before, i was tired and stressed to the max. my head hurt, my heart hurt. i knew something needed to change and at that point i was convinced it was my baby that need to be making that change.
on wednesday afternoon my baby girl had slept for 20 minutes over 6 hours. i had gone through multiple tries at putting her down in the crib to nap and hours of crying that went along with those attempts. in the end, out of complete frustration, i just picked her up and took her to the living room. “if you don’t want to sleep, fine! stop crying! you got what you wanted!” she sat there in the middle of living room, 18 lbs and 27 inches and looking like the tiniest, most vulnerable baby i’ve ever seen. she just sat there crying. in that moment my heart shattered into a million pieces.
on wednesday at 2 p.m. i scooped up my precious baby and made a promise to her that this would stop. sleep training was the biggest mistake i’d ever made for her and we were going to stop. i cried and cried and told her “i’m sorry” over and over. i took her back up to her nursery and cuddled her close to my chest. we rocked and rocked until we both fell asleep, which took all of about 10 minutes. we slept together this way for 2 and half hours. when we woke up my baby girl gave the most special koala cuddles we’ve ever shared. she sat up and murmured ma ma ma ma and then would lie back down to rest her head against my heart and in that moment we were back on track.
on wednesday i remembered when she was a new little baby and i gave her every single thing she needed, no second guessing, no hesitation. if she cried i was there in an instant. i made it better as fast as i could. just because she is bigger now and everyone is telling me “she’s got to just cry a few nights and she’ll sort it out” doesn’t mean that that method is meant for her. it may work for some parents and babies but clearly it was not working for us. i decided that if she can’t sleep in her crib at night and wants to nap in my arms in the day then that is what i’m going to do. for whatever reason she needs that right now. that is what works for her and i’m going to do it.
on wednesday i remembered that this may be my only baby. my only baby. i know at some point i will look back at this time and give anything, anything in the world, to have my little 8 month old cuddle monster back. the baby that loved my touch so much she wanted to sleep with me and cuddle with me all the time. i don’t want to look back on this time and remember that i squandered it with stress and tears and anxiety and frustration.
on wednesday night i told my husband about the change i needed to make and he was 100% on board. we put sleeping training “to bed”. we did our same initial routine for bedtime that night. my husband put her to bed with no tears at 8:30. at 9:30 she woke up at her usual transition time. she was soothed back to sleep and 20 minutes later when she woke up at her usual time again, the time when normally the crying and frustration would begin, we decided to try and see how she would do at night in bed with just my husband. we know that she is in love with boobs. she doesn’t take soother and if i’m within reach she will default to the boobs. so we took the boobs out of the equation. at 10 p.m. the pair went to bed in the spare room. i went to our bed. at 1:50 a.m. i heard my baby girl stirring and went to get her. she came back to bed with me and ate for 10 minutes. i took her back to bed with my husband and we all woke up at 7 a.m.
on thursday i went to the library and got a couple of books. i changed the batteries in my head lamp. i got a comfy blanket. i downloaded a meditation app. i decided to fully embrace this stage and look at from a totally different angle. i can hold my baby and give her what she needs and let go of the “stuff” i thought i needed to be doing instead of loving my baby the way she needs my loving.
on thursady because i didn’t attempt to put my baby girl in her crib to nap we didn’t have one tear. we had 3 naps totally 3 hours of nap time and i got a few chapters under my belt. we had happy play times and good eating. that night we went for a family swim and did our same bedtime routine. at 10 p.m. we all retired to our respective beds and at 4:20 a.m. my husband was bringing my baby girl to me to eat. at 6:30 we were all up and laughing over coffee and rice cereal.
a friend of mine shared a discussion that will be taking place on FB tomorrow evening. the discussion is being led by a sleep training consultant. i thought i’d give it whirl and take part tomorrow.
since trying to sleep train this past week we have more than a few questions we hope to get some input on. we have had some very successful nights and some very terrible nights this week. it’s a learning process for all involved but most of all us!
our biggest questions and worries are:
– do all babies need the same amount of sleep?
they say all babies are different and to not judge how fast they meet milestones. so why is the amount of sleep a baby needs so cut and dry. everything i read says, under no uncertain terms, that for her age maeve should sleep 3-3.5 hrs of napping and each nap should be at least an hour or an hour and half. then she should get 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. well my baby sleeps 1-2 hours a day. unless were in the car, then she’ll sleep longer. at least an hour long?! ya right! then at night she’s up, wide awake for at least 2 hours. at first we left her to CIO 5 minutes at a time. we would rock her. i would nurse her and she would not go back to sleep. then we were concerned because she would just not calm down. like not even close. then we realized that she was just wide awake. she is crying because she is just straight up not tired. so then that opens a whole new can of worms! do we stick to the training and just sit in her nursery in the dark? do we take her downstairs to play? is that setting it all back to zero? do we train the wakefulness of out of her? keep her in the crib and console her and encourage her to lie down over and over and over and over for hours while she screams?
– WHY is our baby wide awake for hours in the middle of the night?
is it because all babies do not need 3 hours of naps a day and 11 hours of sleep? are we putting her down too early? too late? are we missing “a window”? are we just doing all of this wrong?
– if we’re touching her and standing at the side of the crib while she’s falling asleep is that still effectively training?
my husband is like the baby whisperer. for initial put down and after waking at transition he can touch maeve’s chest and look into her eyes and she will mildly cry and will slowly fall back to sleep. this works for everyone and is the least stressful way of putting her to sleep but at the end of the day she’s not learning to sooth herself. so are we doing it all wrong?
– why does our baby wake 45 minutes after falling asleep? why can’t she transition? we go in and comfort her back to sleep at this time. is that completely failing at sleep training?
the only thing is, if we don’t go in at this transition time she will stand up at the side of the crib and cry until she’s gagging. she will not lie back down. she can not calm herself. she will cry for an hour. if my husband goes in and calms her, she’s back to sleep within minutes.
– our baby wakes up at 1-130 a.m.. every night. she can’t go back to sleep without help.
i nurse her at this time because by then she’s been 6 hours without food and i feel she still needs it. sometimes i can put her down and she goes to sleep other times she is wide awake with no chance in hell of her going back to sleep. why is she wide awake? even when we were weren’t sleep training and she was up to nurse 4+ times a night she wouldn’t just be awake in the middle of the night.
this is all i can remember right now. i think it’s a good start. now i just have to see how busy the discussion will be and how in depth the consultant will go with each person involved. looking forward to updating any answers i get.
the sleep struggle is the realest it’s ever been over at our house. this baby is the most stubborn thing i have ever encountered. at 8 months old she is harder today than she was as a brand new baby, as far as sleeping goes. she does not sleep more than two hours at a time through the night and will not go back to sleep unless i nurse her. with her 8 teeth now my nipples are sore and tired and i am on the verge of quitting breast feeding every other minute. cry it out isn’t even a thing. she will not stop until she gets what she wants. i have stood by the crib not touching her. i have stood by the crib touching her. i have picked up and put down. i have nursed to sleep. i have rocked to sleep. today i actually just straight up left her. do your thing. cry. my heart can take it now because my nipples can’t anymore. she cried for 20 minutes, full on screaming, until she almost puked (several times) and she would just not give up. if this is a phase, then i need to end. NOW. my husband and i have not had sex for probably 3 weeks because she is the biggest cock block on earth. honestly, we’re never alone. she makes damn sure of it.
there is a company that you can pay and they say you will get a “sleeping through the night” baby in 10 days or your money back. that said money is a lot though. i can’t afford it.
what is a gal to do?
maeve is 8 months (12 days) old 🙂
december flew by and was a HUGE month for maeve’s development. every single day i watched her learn something new. it was amazing.
- she can feed herself and she loves yogurt dots and puffs and cheese
- she can pull herself up on furniture and toys (but loves using fingers the most)
- she started crawling on New Year’s Day 🙂
- she loves the dog, the dog is still unsure
- she has stared to wave and loves it so much i will catch her practicing waving at her toys
- she is sorting out clapping. half way there with one hand open and one in a fist
- she has 8 teeth!
- she HATES her crib and will not sleep unless she’s cuddling with daddy, nursing on mommy or in the bed with us at night, all night
- she is determined (to say the least!)
- she is a ham
- she barely naps. like we’re talking 1 hour a day…
- regardless of how little she sleeps, she is THE HAPPIEST baby on the planet
- she LOVES people. she smiles and engages with every single person she encounters. even if they aren’t looking at her, she will smile and giggle to get their attention. a true social butterfly.
- she barely likes any of her toys all she wants is everything that she shouldn’t have and she knows you just put that coffee cup behind your back
- she thinks crazy breakfast dance parties and silly faces are hilarious
- she recognizes her nana and daddy on the phone and “talks” to them
- she hums when i hum
- she doesn’t get that my nipples have feelings and being bit is NOT A GOOD FEELING
- she thinks it is fun, i guess, to test her gag reflex… um gag
- she is so determined to get her way that she will almost make herself puke with crying if left in the crib to nap… after one minute of being left there. can we say DRAMA QUEEN!!!! this is the toughest “phase” we’ve gone through yet
- she’s starting to learn kisses and her kisses are always open mouthed…. yyyaaayyy 😉