I’ve decided to stop announcing my signature “I go nigh-night now” when I’m off to bed at 7pm because the baby won’t go to sleep without me, and replace it with “I’m going to put myself to bed now.” Why? Because apparently that little talent is quite an EFFING feat. (Yeah, I quit cussing, but cuss is practically required here. I’m sleep deprived.) I don’t remember it, but apparently at some point I learned to soothe myself to sleep. I am amazing. Not everyone can just do that. My beautiful, intelligent, precious child sucks at it. I mean, he is great at night when I’m right there to whip out the boob and comfort him, except for the 5:30am wake up every single day. If I’m not there? HELL. LOOSE. I’m not even joking.
Now, Mr. H. and I fully believe that you can’t hold/comfort/spoil a baby too much under 6 months and up to 1 year. However, I am reaching the point where I just don’t know if I will ever have an adult bedtime again. I mean, I love nursing, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, BLW, amber necklace-hippie mama stuff, but when it gets to the point where my child is telling ME what to do? That is where I draw the line. Now, we aren’t there yet, but after last night I have a vision of my future, and that is where this post comes in.
Last night we had our dear friend (W’s godfather) over for dinner and I thought I would put W. down in his crib just until I went to bed. Yeah right. See, he is all good with napping in his crib, but I read somewhere that day sleep occupies a separate part of the brain than night sleep. I guess that is true, although after what happened last night, I am now unable to coerce him into sleeping in his crib for naps. He learned something last night. I tried to get him to go down. He cried. Mr. H. then took over and failed despite very impressive rocking efforts. It was a long time people. So rather than highjack Mr. H’s evening I just decided to get W. and take him to bed. Big mistake because he WAILED when I tried to put him down today. He finally went to sleep after much rocking, shhh-ing, a bit of nursing (although I know that is against the rules) and some other stuff. Then, he slept for 10 minutes. I just went in there and nursed a little, he pooped, I changed him, re-swaddled him, turned on his tranquil turtle and walked out here to blog my confusion away.
Thing is, I’m not confused. My gut tells me a few things.
-I should take that paci away before object permanence sets in.
-I should put him down awake so he learns to soothe himself.
-I should not allow him to learn lessons like the one from last night (I cry, she comes eventually and takes me to bed with those boobies-WORTH IT).
-I cannot allow all those detachment parents who judged me to say “I told you so” when my child is 10 years old and I am subject to his every whim.
So what now? My guy is just 6 months, so I really haven’t done anything wrong (In my opinion) until now. I love that he felt safe and comforted and that having him sleep with me allowed me (a nursing mother) to get some much needed sleep. I loved the idea that I could smoothly transition him to his crib just before he understood about object permanence. It’s just, now what do I do? I’m so tired (I haven’t gotten more than 2.5 maybe 3 hours sleep in a row in over 6 months). I just read a book called The No Cry Sleep Solution. I can’t tell if it’s just me or did that book say basically nothing? There is actually nothing in my brain after reading that entire book, except maybe a memory of charts to fill out documenting me and Dub’s exact schedule in the middle of the night with a pencil because a pencil is more reliable in the dark. I’m sorry Elizabeth Pantley, you seem very nice, I just don’t know what the eff you just said to me.
(Someone better and smarter may certainly benefit from that book. Someone who’s brain is firing on all cylinders.)
So, just now, I went back in because babbles turned into crying and so I picked him up, and laid down with him and let him nurse to sleep. I know that isn’t good, but I am weak and I need him to sleep. Just as he fell asleep my phone rang and although it’s on silent, it still stops my white noise app from making WHITE FREAKING NOISE and Dub’s eyes went OPEN! That was it. That was it. No more hope for sleep for him for another few hours, and no peace for me since he is overly tired.
My point in all of this? I feel alone even though I’m not and regardless of the stupid sleep books and Dr. Sears ideologies, and baby sleep help blogs I still may have to let baby Dub CIO. Cry. It. Out. Don’t wanna. Might have-tuh.
I know parenting will be a lifetime of heart-wrenching lessons and challenges (of course not equalling the good) but this one feels harder than the rest. That is not a funny pun. I know if feels harder because I haven’t felt the others yet, but I’m still saying it’s harder.
Maybe you don’t understand why I say we have sleep challenges? Here is our schedule:
Up 5:30am on the dot. There is NO convincing him otherwise.
Down at 8am for a 30 minute nap (yes I have tried soothing back down, ignoring, nursing back down etc., and yes I understand that this is just his first sleep cycle).
Up 8:30am to play, hang with mommy, be adorable.
Down about 10am, maybe 10:30am.
Up 30 minutes later (on the freaking dot, and yes I have tried going in a few minutes before and slightly waking him to re-start a sleep cycle. He still wakes at 30 minutes on the dot).
Down around 1pm for a 30 minuter.
Up 1:30pm until about 3:30pm for dog walk and play time and sometimes bath time.
Down around 3:30pm for one more 30 minute nap, but this one he fights big time, and sometimes we don’t get it.
Up until serious rubby eyes happens around 6:30pm and we have either a major cry battle to get him down or I just go to bed with him and he nurses to sleep and visions-of-my-future plums dance in my head.
Through the night he nurses every two hours or so, but only during one or two of those does he really eat.
I get that I have to just make a plan and do it. I get that I might need to let him CIO. I know that I can start to cut down the night feedings gently by slowly shortening their times. It’s just that I’m tired.
I feel like I have read it all. I don’t have a plan I like. I don’t want my baby to cry, but I would rather that than become a slave. I should pray really hard and then make a list. That always works.
I know you aren’t a vending machine, but I could really use a solid right now.