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.