Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dream a little dream of you

*start depressing post*

I haven't posted much this week - it's been kind of crazy busy. But despite being really busy with Apples'n'Oranges, visiting with my new mom friend, and cleaning for the cleaning people ;) I also have been wanting to blog about a topic I'm having a hard time blogging about.

Kiernan doesn't sleep well. We get him dead asleep before we put him down. He wakes up a lot. He is hard to get dead enough asleep to put down. He often ends up sleeping on our bed - both when we're there and when we aren't.

I'm not happy with how hard it is to get him down and how frustrating it can get for both Eric and I. And I feel judged by others for 'letting him get away with it'.

Now, I'm not sure I AM being judged, but I really FEEL judged. A lot of the questions I get I'm fairly sure are meant to be helpful "have you tried just leaving him in the crib awake to see what happens?" "have you tried letter him cry for awhile?" "have you tried letting him cry longer?" "have you tried blah blah blah blah blah". And it's not like I necessarily want people to stop offering suggestions because maybe they'll make one that makes sense to me, but so far... nothing feels right.

I've read a couple of books on the topic and so far don't really feel comfortable with any of the options. And I feel like things are getting a lot better for us. Kiernan is sleeping longer (4-5 hour stretches most nights, may not sound like much to you... but to us... it's pretty good. Sometimes he even goes 7!) and sometimes is quite easy to get down. But we're always battling something: a new food that didn't go over well, mommy making a mistake and eating something that hurts his tummy, teething (god, will it ever take a break??), a cold, etc.

We've tried to just leave him crying in the crib, but never for more than 15-20 minutes. He gets louder and louder and angrier and angrier and never takes a break. The babies I know who successfully learned from being left in the crib never reacted that way and I personally don't believe its the right route for us.

I would be happy to rock him to sleep every night until he was a bit older if only it were that easy, but if often isn't.

(See why I said I was having a hard time writing this post? It's so disconnected. I don't compose, rewrite, edit my posts you I hope you guys can muddle through my thought process here.)

So I'm in this land of frustration that is making me a really crusty wife and mother. And I don't know what to do anymore. Oh, and to boot, we had to move K's crib down (because he was about to fall out of it now that he can pull himself up) and that by itself has made me terribly sad. He's so far down in the crib, and I guess it's just a really big sign that he's getting older.

How does attachment parenting dictate you deal with babies who don't sleep? Maybe that's what I'll go research that, because I somehow thing that in the end, that is more my parenting philosophy than a lot of the others...

*end depressing post*


Vicky said...

I can totally see how you would feel like people are judging you, and I'm sorry you feel that way. But until they are in your shoes, doing what you have had to do for months on end, they can't fully comprehend how much of a challenge you have to deal with. So comments like 'have you just tried fill-in-the-blank' are really us trying to come up with something -anything at all - that will magically work to get Kiernan to sleep, and give you a much needed break, regardless if you've tried it and had it not work, or don't want to try it. I'm sorry there haven't been any solutions that feel right for you yet. Let's just hope that once Kiernan starts going to daycare, a magical sleeping potion will appear in his crib and let you get a full 8 hours of rest before going to work.

Jenn said...

Sorry your having such a rough time with Kiernan and sleep. Jacob still only gets 8-9 hours sleep tops. And it took us a long time to get to that point. It sucks to feel like you're being judged. :( Vicky is right. Nobody really knows what you are going through except you! You have done so much for your little guy! Much more than most mommies would do! Much more than I would do! I have so much respect for you and how you have converted your eating habits so that K-man can nurse. That is amazing!

crazy working mom said...

Bless your heart. I know how you feel. Mine will be two next month and he sleeps in his own bed but still wakes up most nights.

Here's a technique that I was given, tried and it works.

Lay him down, when he cries, wait three minutes. Go comfort him less than a minute or two, whatever he likes (patting on the bottom, head rubbed, etc talk to him in a firm, voice letting him know that you will not pick him up and its' bedtime). When he begins to cry the next time wait 5 minutes before re-entry. Never stay in the room more than a couple of minutes at a time and DO NOT pick him up. Add five minutes to this time after every trip. 3, 5, 10, 15, etc. Each night you try this tactic your time will decrease because he will that you will not get him up.

It will get easier for you some day, he'll grow up and move out. *LOL*

Lara said...

Ya, we've tried something to that effect, and he doesn't quiet down unless you pick him up and hold him quite awhile. And then he starts crying again if you even go close to the crib!

Anonymous said...

i feel for you. my little guy didn't start sleeping through the night until he was 11 months old. Our son never went down easily and never slept in his crib. he would wake up the second we put him down and if we did somehow get him down and in his crib asleep he would wake up soon after.....and by soon I mean 15 min. We found that co-sleeping was the only thing that worked for us. we lie down with our son until he falls asleep in our bed and he will sleep there by himself for a few hours until we join him later yeah, it puts a damper on our love life but so does getting up 50 times a night to quiet an angry baby. Get a King size bed if you don't already have one and enjoy having your family in one cozy bed all night. Just do whatever works for you. i found that a lot of baby books push the whole crying it out thing. i would never, ever, let my son cry himself to sleep. i can't imagine anything more damaging to a parent-child relationship than fostering that kind of lack of trust. We found that our son started sleeping for longer stretches as he got older and took in more calories from solid food. We breastfed for a year as well. In my opinion the let them cry it out types are also the formula pushers. Keep the faith. Sleep will come. Just when you think that you will die from sleep deprivation the universe will hand you a sleepy baby.

Anonymous said...

Try reading Dr. Sears. Attachment Parenting or The Baby Book. Both have great solutions that don't involve letting your baby cry it out.

QOH said...

Aw... sounds really tough. Not getting enough sleep has to be one of the worst feelings ever. I hope you're able to tune out the pointless judgments of others cause really, it's your baby, not theirs.

QOH said...

Aw... sounds really tough. Not getting enough sleep has to be one of the worst feelings ever. I hope you're able to tune out the pointless judgments of others cause really, it's your baby, not theirs.

Doodle Bug said...

It sounds like you have the equivalent to my daughter! I had my daughter co-sleep with us, I found it worked best for both her and us. Everyone got some sleep that way. I was lucky in that she would fall asleep if I layed next to her and then I could get up if I wasn't ready to sleep yet and then just join her later. I hated the (dis-approving) looks I got from people and the pedatrician, but it worked for us and she finally out-grew it and she sleeps wonderfully now. And now it's nice because now if she's sick or having a hard night, she knows that she's welcome in our bed!