Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good night Light and the red balloon....

Remember last year, when Dooce talked about her sleep troubles with Leta?

I do. I even commented on it. And so did a lot of other people. Very angry people.

Now finding myself in the same position, with a baby who will not sleep through the night, I find myself torn. The first night I attempted to let her sleep on her own, I woke up in the middle of the night only to find her with her head stuck under the bumper pad!! I was horrified, and she slept with me after that.

I tried to let her sleep on her own again, and then she developed this chest cold, so how could I not let her sleep with me then? I certainly didn't want the Angry Mom Brigade tearing down my doors.

In the meantime, I am drinking enormous amounts of caffeine, even Britney Spears would be stunned at the amount of caffeine I've ingested. And caffeine usually has such ill effects on my system, right now, it's barely balancing out my tiredness.

(I just fell asleep for a few minutes while typing that last paragraph. Seriously. I'm TIRED).

What's a mom to do? Let her cry herself to sleep? Continue to sleep in her bedroom on the extra bed while my husband drifts easily to sleep in our bedroom, never again to share the same abode? Resorting only to quickies in the shower? (did I just say that outloud?) Do I buy book upon book to figure out what is abuse and what isn't??

I know about sleep problems. I have them. My mother would sing "You Give Your Hand to Me" and "500 Miles" every night to me while rubbing my head to go to sleep as a child. I truly believe that if someone would do that to me now, I'd have no more insomnia. (LP, ya listenin?) Aren't I doing Miss M a favor by not allowing her to expect me to sing her a song in hopes of her falling asleep? Isn't falling asleep on your own something that's a GOOD thing?

Help me out here. There is only so much Diet Dr. Pepper one person can drink. I'm going to have to resort to Red Bulls soon, and it's only a short hop skip away from shaving the head.


Lynanne said...

When my daughter was about 9 months old we (read: my husband) decided she had to start sleeping in her crib. Being self proclaimed experts after watching Super Nanny (or was it Nanny 911?) we decided to ferberize her. The problem? I forgot that you are supposed to go back in and check on them at set intervals. We thought that as long as she was screaming, she had to be breathing right?

Yes, I know your readers are going to be shaking their heads at me. It was a sad, sad, thing that we did. She did finally fall asleep with exhaustion. Don't ask how long it took because I've blocked that experience out of my mind. After 2 or 3 nights, I decided something must be very wrong with the Ferber method and read more about it. That's when I realized my mistake. On the 4th night, I laid my daughter in her crib all set on doing everything right. She wimpered but didn't scream. A few minutes later she was asleep.

Since then, she's fallen asleep on her own for naps and nighttime alike. Do I recommend my method? Absolutely not. I'd call the DHS on myself if I'd ever attempt that stunt again. I guess my point is that I feel for you. Sleep issues are the worst. I haven't found a way that doesn't involve a lot of tears (as many on my part as my daughters). I don't remember it being this difficult with my sons. I'm sure you'll find the light at the end of the tunnel (or the sweet darkness of a good night's sleep?) I hope you are able to find it sooner rather than later!

mrtl said...


Vajana said...

"Sweet darkness of a good night's sleep"...YES! Thank you for the advice, as a person who doesn't sleep much to begin with, losing this much sleep is verifiably insane!

Mrtl: Always can use those!!

The Kept Woman said...

If you haven't read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child buy it and read it. It was my Bible when dealing with Peanut's sleep issues. He suggests multiple methods which is nice b/c "crying it out" isn't for everyone.

tommiea said...

I have one good sleeper and one that needs to be consoled to sleep. Even at nearly 4 he gets in bed with me around 4AM every night. At first I was fighting it and walking him back to his room...NO ONE was getting any sleep. So I will deal with it in 6 months when DH gets back. For now I need some sleep!!

Kami said...

Well, she could be "going through a change." Who knows? We are big "rule breakers" in this house. Our kid still sleeps with us sometimes, and when he sleeps in his bed, we still lie with him until he falls asleep. I don't like CIO, but you have to have your sanity, no?

Good luck!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Baby has got to learn how to sleep sometime. Leave her to it.

Tomscockwhore said...

We all have our own thoughts and I think you have to try several things and find what works for her.

I have 2 kids, now 3 1/2 and 4 1/2, and both my kids were screamers. Screamed all the dang time. Didn't matter what I did, held them, rocked them, sang, prayed, beggged, ignored, pleaded, fed, breast fed, bounced, you get the idea!

My daughter was especially hateful early morning. 5 am like clock work. Up and screaming her head off, waking up her brother (who was still a baby too - they are just shy of a year apart). I tried the crying it out, and it didn't fly for her. I remember lying in bed listening to her, praying my son wouldn't wake up while she was screaming her head off, and crying my eyes out. I seem to recall several nights of crying with my boy as well, he holds the record for nearly 2 straight hours of screaming in his bassenette, while my husband snored and I was an emotional wreck.

But we lived through it, we all make mistakes. I used to think I was a horrible mother, however I look at my kids now and they have no re-collection of any of those activities, and they are both just regular kids now. No permanent damage for having me for a mother!

So hang in there, listen to all the advice, and then go with you gut. I cannot stand having kids in the bed with me, I hate animals in the bed with me even, so that was never an option for us. You will find your way with her, probably with a few bumps along the road.

Take heart - she won't remember. So DON'T write it in her baby book!!!

Good luck!