Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ah...sleep...what's that?

Well, Chase is nearly 10 months old as I type this first installment. My husband moved to the guest room because Chase is too distruptive to his sleep. He is working on his MBA and really can't lose so much sleep anymore. Last night Chase and I slept alone in our king sized bed and I fell asleep wondering...is this really best for everyone involved? Chase woke and nursed 3 or 4 times in the 3 hours between when I put him down for the night and when I finally gave up and stayed in bed with him...he insists that I must be in bed with him. This is difficult...when the kids get off to sleep, it's my only time all day that I can just sit. Just. Sit. Because I parent with little help at this point while my husband works full time and goes to school, it's an important time to me. It is always interrupted, however. My sleep is also interrupted all night long...and I'm tired. My nearly 3 year old is a spirited child, Aiden is a special sort of stubborn and high energy kid. He needs a lot from me right now, a lot of patience, a lot of love, a lot of time, and again a lot more patience. He's having some behavior problems and I think it comes from my lack of energy to really engage him positively. I spend an enormous amount of time with Chase...putting him to sleep (he still often takes 3 naps a day), entertaining him (he won't let me out of his sight), and taking care of the home, etc. I have little patience. I'm very very tired. So no, I don't think the current arrangement is in everyone's best interest anymore...not even Chase, who is waking so frequently at night, largely I'm sure, because he's right next to the milkies all night. I'd be waking up a lot too.

I want Chase to sleep in his own bed...I don't care if it's in our room, or in another room, but he needs to sleep in his own bed and cut back on the nursing at night. So I devised a plan...one that hopefully respects his need for reassurance, love, and parental presence, as well as meeting my need for some more damn sleep.

During the day I'm going to start nursing him while holding/snuggling a little security blanket, something he can have in his crib. I will nurse Chase right before he goes to bed, sing him some songs and give him snuggles. Then my husband (B) will rock and snuggle Chase to sleep, just like he is used to, and put him in his crib. This is where it is going to get crazy...Chase firmly believes, rightly so, that my bed IS his bed, so this is going to take a little while to get into the rhythm for him. Any and all wakings before 12am for the first week (until B's classes start up again on the 7th) B will handle by going in and rocking Chase, putting him back in his crib. After midnight, I'm on shift and will attempt to soothe and rock him in ways other than nursing if possible. During the day he will also sleep in his crib.

This will be tough because I have a tendency to wake, get the baby, nurse and fall asleep without realizing it ever happened...I am hoping that getting out of the bed will wake me up enough to think "I need to go sit in the rocking chair and stay awake while I do this..." LOL! I'm actually super nervous...I'm nervous about losing even more sleep in the early days, about him rebelling and going on a nursing strike, about him weaning early like his brother did. I don't want to night wean him at all, I just don't want to nurse him like he's a newborn all night long...I just want to get a 4 hour stretch of sleep. I haven't slept in a year...I need some sleep. Aiden needs me to sleep. My family needs to sleep!

So with any luck, the rest of this series will chronicle a slowly improving situation in my house...with any luck at all it will go smoother than we are expecting it to. Cross your fingers!

Today he napped in his crib, on his boppy pillow for over an hour...what a little miracle. Tonight I will try to put him to bed in his crib again and keep him there at least until I go to bed tonight. Tomorrow night we'll start taking me out of the equation during the first part of the night.

Wish me luck, readers, and stay tuned, I should be able to post an update after our first night on Saturday to let you know how it went, and I'll keep you posted along the way.

Groggily yours...

3 comments:

  1. I will definitely be following along with you. I am in a VERY similar situation - although we're struggling with naps instead of nighttime sleep. I have an almost-10-month-old who downright refuses to nap. FOR ME, anyway. When he's home alone with Dad he goes right to sleep. But my husband works 6 days a week which means those moments are rare. For me it's ATLEAST a 45 minute ordeal, which MAY end in a 30 minute nap if I'm lucky. By the end of the evening I'm exhausted and my house is a disaster. I'm currently spending HOURS each day lying down with him. While I'd love to have another baby I can't imagine how I would take care of him or her when baby #1 requires so much of my attention.

    Today was a particularly bad day so your post couldn't have come at a better time. I made up my mind that things need to change IMMEDIATELY so I'll be attempting to make the transition along with you. My biggest problem is right now I have no faith whatsoever that this is going to work. Ugh. Best of luck to you!!

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  2. oh do i sympathize. i've got through several attempts to get julia (now 17 months) to sleep in her own crib without resorting to cry it out. she still nurses 3-4 times a night, and i have the same problem of bringing her to bed and falling asleep myself. my latest set-up is a toddler bed wedged in between my bed and the wall. i can nurse her in the toddler bed by leaning over, and while not entirely comfortable, it is tolerable and gets me to move away sooner once she is asleep. she does pretty well most of the night but wakes often in the early morning to nurse. if i bring her beside me, we both sleep much longer with nurse and doze and nurse and doze. i want to transition her to her own room soon though, and i'm afraid of failure! I want her to sleep all night. i want to sleep all night. i want as few tears as possible too! I'm temporarily living with my family so I feel like I can't let her cry at all at night without disturbing everyone in the house. Soon though, I'll be in my own home again and perhaps then we will be able to work on weaning off night nursing.
    i'm actually kind of scared to have another child since she is still so nurse-needy at 17 months. I feel like two needy kids would just unravel me!

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  3. I used to spend HOURS putting my oldest to sleep. Now that I have the second, if he doesn't go down quickly, I just go back out of the room with him and have him play or do whatever for a while and try again later. I have enough trouble with my oldest, I don't want to fight with him!

    For a very long time we have had his crib with the front off pressed against our bed...he adamantly refused to sleep on the crib mattress...and I mean ADAMANTLY! LOL!

    Last night was kind of a mess, we decided to go ahead and give it an early start...it was all over the place...like the planets aligned and tried to collide. Both of the boys were a mess! I'll try to blog about it later. :)

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