Wednesday, March 09, 2011

parenting advice please

my last post was evidence that my Xander is purely adorable in every way...

except for night time. Night time...the part I fear most of the day. I think about those night time hours and I start to get anxious...because I know I won't sleep.

Xander initially falls asleep on his own...well he's awake when I put him down- with a binky.

We usually put him to sleep for the night around 8. His wonderfully exhausting night schedule causes me to roll out of bed at 11, 3, and 5 am. For the first 4 months he slept with us- I loved it. He is warm and cuddly and would just nurse whenever he wanted to. Although I loved it and respected that much needed 4th trimester of love and cuddles, it was time to put him in his own crib and time for Mom to sleep better.

Not happening.

And I just don't have the strength to do it anymore. I'm a walking zombie all day with a short fuse. Chay waits for me to return to the paper route but I just can't hack it when I've been up 2-3 times a night feeding a baby. I really want to sign up for a class at the health club at 6am. That isn't going to happen until Xander is sleeping through the night.

I made up my mind and decided tonight was the night Xander would learn to sleep through the night. He cried bursts of tears for an hour and half. I went in every 10 minutes and rubbed his head...didn't matter. His sheets were wet from tears.

I caved after an hour and half. My heart was broken. I was so excited to pick him up, nurse him and cuddle. But then started to cry myself because I knew the situation was never going to improve. What am I supposed to do? I am so torn. I want to do what is right...And I want to take care of myself too...

Are moms supposed to not sleep? I mean, is it all apart of what we signed up for? Is this just a time in life to lose sleep and to just buck up and serve our kiddos the best we can? My mom always reminded me of the scripture Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go" and kept insisting that I need to train my children how to sleep and nursing them all night is not "training" them how to sleep. I would always argue with her how it seems so wrong to just let a sweet-learning-to-trust baby cry it out. And then of course Mom would shoot right back "well you turned out alright and I let you cry" of course, they always use that one. Plus, did I really turn out alright? That can be debatable.

But I'm at a breaking point in my life where letting Xander cry might be the only thing I can do to stay sane. I need advice!!! Help!!! Encouragement. anything.

I'm tired. I've never been able to figure it out with any of my babies. Julia was my best sleeping baby and she still woke up at night until she was 15 months old.

advice? I know a ton of mothers read this blog. Please help me...I'm looking for an answer to prayer here.

How do you or how did you get your babies to sleep through the night??? I want opinions too. I love opinions...I like to know the "why's" to people's choices. Please share.

11 comments:

Marne said...

I will stick my book in the mail to you that is FABULOUS. It's called The Baby Whisperer. That book really helped me with Logan when he had bad acid reflux and didn't sleep until he was 8 months old.

Just remember this: habits are hard to break. The older a baby gets the harder it takes to break a habit. If I take the binky away at 2 years that's a lot harder than if I take the binky away at 1 year. Same with sleeping. Keep doing what you are doing! He will catch on. I know its hard...I know. Being a sleep deprived mom is so hard.

I will mail that book today. It is awesome!

Mothership said...

Well, I'm not a great help because I would just pull him back into bed with me! (:

When I got desperate for sleep, like you are, I would put a big ol' box fan next to my bed and turn it on high. I could not hear the baby crying so I could sleep and they eventually figure it out. Having said that, though they always go to bed in their own beds, I almost always wake up with at least one child who has joined us at some point in the night.

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem which I solved by feeding my babies something solid before bed. It helped them sleep longer. JoAnne Maughan

Drama Queen said...

problems with raising children or children raising parents.
Believe me that you can let him cry himself to sleep. It will hurt for a bit but you shall get through it. It is either you take over or he shall. You let him howl for 10 minutes, he may have been asleep in 11 but your heart caved in. You must let him work it out himself. Each time you race in he is not going to learn. This will be something you will have to do throughout life so it is time to start now. Grab your hankies and you will be fine. My four (and I) did it.

Janna said...

Apey Scapey, You've made it through the worst night hopefully. If it were me I'd give it a couple more nights. They seem to catch on and realize it's a waste of time and energy to cry so long and then they just start to sleep. It's an amazing thing! You sleep. They sleep. Everyone wins. You can do it. I would feed him extra well before bed too. My doctor said they won't starve, they just are in a habit. Good luck. Keep us posted. He'll love the fact that he is getting a good night sleep as soon as he realizes how good it is.

The Heiser Clan said...

I'm no expert... but we followed baby wise for our 2 girlies. I think you kind of have to modify anything you do to fit your lifestyle... I don't think there is any one right way. Babywise is big on getting your babies on schedules. So when my kids were about 2 weeks old, I would start feeding them every 2 and a half to 3 hours, even if I had to wake them up to feed them. They claim if you do this, they will start sleeping through the night on their own. Both my girls slept through the night at exactly 8 weeks old without having to cry themselves to sleep. But, they do regress a little bit as they get older. So we have to do the whole crying it out thing.....My little Lola was relentless sometimes as well- it breaks my heart too, and sometimes I had to cave in. But I really think if you stay strong and maybe try it for a few days, I bet he'll catch on and start sleeping better for you. I think it makes for happier babies and Moms =) I don't know though?? I'm sure it's a lot easier said than done and I think that every child is different. Good luck April!! =)

Tracie said...

April,
I totally feel your pain. Your words were exactly what I was feeling 5 years ago! And I can't give you any advise because I failed miserably. My Carter who is 5 1/2 still wanders into my room at some point in the night... and to be honest I love it.

When he was a baby I didn't know he would be my only child but since he is, I do not regret one minute I have spent cuddling, hugging, feeding, and snuggling with him as I will likely never get to do that again. Eventually he slept through the night (it might be time for more solid foods??) And he is really good about falling asleep by himself in his own bed. But at some point he comes in and I don't even realize it until I wake up. In fact, I wake up more if I realize that he is not there. Sad, I know.

My advise is... you know what is right for you and him. If co-sleeping is right for both of you so you can sleep and be happy then do it! He will not sleep with you forever! Eventually the desire to be a big boy will kick in and he will be happy on his own. Listen to that motherly-instict that God gave you. Good luck in whatever you deciede and I hope you get some good rest soon!

Hollie said...

Oh April, I am so sorry. I used to dread night time too.
Unfortunately I am absolutely no help on this subject. None of my kids slept through the night until they were right around 1. Even then, Addison is the only one who just did it on her own. The other 2 were still getting up 2-3, or more, times a night.

Honestly, I still wasn't able to let them cry...other people did it for me. I would try initially, but after one or two hours of them not letting up I just couldn't handle it any more.

With Urban, for some reason my sister was over here watching the kids one night, and she put him down and just let him cry it out. She told me he cried for a long time but eventually fell asleep. It broke my heart but I was so glad I wasn't home to hear it...and he was just fine. Then the next night he cried again but it wasn't for hours on end so it was a little bit more bearable. Then with Delilah, I was working at the club for a couple of nights in a row so Jared just let her cry when I was gone and she finally got the hang of it. By the way, he hates letting them cry too but after 3 babies & absolutely no sleep & one cranky wife he was willing to give it a try. =)

So, after writing this very unhelpful novel, I guess all I can suggest is...don't ever take advice from me. Clearly I don't know what I'm doing! =)
Seriously though, I would offer to come over a couple of nights to help out but I can't really handle hearing other people's babies cry either. Although I do have a very understanding shoulder if you ever need to talk or cry. I also have a basement full of very girly toys that I know your girls love and they are welcome over here any time if you'd like to catch a nap.

lore said...

i feel what it worked for me might not work for you because every child is different. Just trust your "own instinct" and do what u and Xander feel comfortable with. I did let both of my kids cried when i decided it was time, and with Aj been the first was very hard, but it did worked! so then i did it with Ian and it was way easier 4 e 2 let him cry and it did work 2! so if u want to try this method u just have to stick with the method and never go back because they u will just create a confused baby and it will be way harder to restart over again and make it work
good luck!

Tiffani said...

Yes, just like Marne said that book answers this very problem. That is exactly what resource I was thinking of when I read this post.

I remember feeling this very same way. Is is that nursing babies wake up more often? I would dream of sleeping through the night. Why not have sound proof rooms that moms can rent so they can get some much needed rest!

Hang in there, with CONSISTENCY and time he will catch on (read the book).

Natalie Jane said...

Sounds like Lydia....for 18 months.

I would recommend putting him to bed earlier. Like 7 at the latest. Maybe even as early as 6. Our sleep specialist recommended it and that helped us a ton -

We did a cry it out thing on a weekend. I slept with ear plugs - Shane listened to the crying and did the comforting.

And do not start the paper route again. Join the gym class instead.