Monday, July 15, 2013

this too shall pass

*after sitting in my drafts folder for months, this is updated to our present state of sleep but still had to share! sometimes as mamas we need to tell the internet to shut the hell up and go with our gut. amiright?

earlier last week i had a great conversation with my friend about sleep. because, robin hates when i get good solid sleep i guess. i was asking for advice and she kept telling me what i already knew - no book was going to solve my problems, i just needed to listen to my baby and those darn motherly instincts...

somewhere between four months and minnesota we got stuck in a routine of waking up at two and five. the rest of this story is all my fault, but i have to spill my heart out on this post anyway. i like sleep, so the second i hear robin stir, i am in his room with a boob in his face. he eats for half a minute and then he is back asleep, always at two and at five. then we are up for the day around six-thrity. in robin's defense, he is sleeping a solid eight hours before waking up at two, the bad news? i am obviously not on the same sleep schedule.

we thought we could battle this by changing his sleep routine as far as when he goes down - for awhile now, set in place by robin himself, he is in bed and asleep at six. recently we have tried everything to keep him up later - changing his nap schedule, holding him, bouncing him, feeding him, anything to distract from sleep. nothing works, he is out like a light at six where he stands. this notion isn't working.

i would feel more confident about his bedtime being the issue if at two he was wanting to play, or even again at five, but he isn't, he is quickly back asleep. so, obviously he is needing the full length of sleep, he has just gotten stuck in the routine of also needing those quick feedings in the dark of the night. i've tried sending tim in with no luck, i have tried having robin sleep in our room, then in our bed, hoping to provide him with a different level of comfort to solve this and nothing. a lot of babies, most babies, are creatures of routine. as parents part of our job is taking cues and from our little ones and teaching them when to go to sleep, when to eat, when to wake up, and even eventually things like when to go to the bathroom.

i brought up the idea of cio to my pediatrician. i wasn't wanting to by any means but i wanted to gage what she thought about our situation. she wondered about how it was when i laid him down at his bedtime, i of course assured her he puts himself right to sleep. her response was that if that was an issue for us, that he was fighting sleep and having to be rocked, nursed, etc that then she might suggest letting him fuss for a few minutes before caving but since he is sleeping eight hours that i should continue to go in and nurse him back to sleep at two am. ok.

i was hoping for more direction on how to go about training him out of the pattern, calmly and stress free but it looks like i'll just keep up our normal routine till he hopefully grows out of this.

fast forward...

i was so nervous when i sent robin off to the first set of relatives that would be watching him and stella while we stayed with rowan in the hospital. he put all my nerves to rest when he seamlessly slept through the night for everyone, maybe with a five am wake up to eat, then back to sleep again. i guess in a way i was able to catch up on the last seven months of lost sleep while i was hospital hopping with rowan but it was never good sleep so i looked forward to when we were home and in my own bed with robin sleeping through the night.

robin got a bad cold just before we came home so without question i kept him in our room for a bit and after the second or third night was back to waking up, a ton. i blamed it on the cold and did everything preventative i could to help his breathing through the night. we had stopped breastfeeding and i wasn't down with sleep-walking through bottle prep. eventually the cold subsided and i had just about enough of this waking up all night business and he moved back to his room. that night when he woke up at about one am i let him fuss. he never really cried or tossed or seamed upset, he just fussed. less then five minutes later he was back asleep and stayed that way till morning. then same things the next night and after that? sleeping all night again...

i guess moral of the story is, go with your gut. i am not a supporter of cio but i also don't see the harm in testing the waters of self soothing. robin never cried, i was just always so quick to throw a boob in his face before that i never learned this about his needs. for about a month now he has continully slept through the night, with the occasional fuss in the night, but i stick to my guns and wait at least five minutes, without him really crying, to go in and sooth him and it has worked like a charm.

i have been a parent for almost ten years now and i have probably dabbled in a different parenting style with every kid but i have always been a little more tough love. my kids are sweet and secure and nurturing and healthy and lovely so i can pat myself on the back for a job well done. sometimes you just have to tell the internets to shut the hell up and let you be a mom. 

i'll happily be the one to tell you that you're doing a good job, so cheers to you!


melissa rohr said...

amen sista. Parker's sleep habits are all across the board. I mostly just give her the boob bc I'm too impatient to let her CIO for more than 15 minutes. The sooner she's back to sleep the sooner I am.

melissa rohr said...

I always love your posts and feel like I could have written them myself. Ethan is my first, and I totally created a sleep monster. I was so nervous about everything that somehow I found ourselves at 16 months and still rocking him to sleep. If he woke up at 2 a.m., I'd get up in his room to rock him to sleep, even if it was a half a rock in the chair. He couldn't nap. He couldn't sleep in a stroller, the carseat, anywhere. I created this horrible nightmare sleep routine and it was getting to the point where it was exhausting. I didn't believe in CIO, either. I tried it one night and couldn't do it for longer than three minutes. The pediatrician told me to use my instincts, but it was wise that he could learn to self soothe, for both of us. So I came up with this weird thing of letting him whine/fuss/cry for three minutes, then walking in, rubbing his back, and telling him goodnight. After two long, sleepless nights of that -- he started sleeping on his own. And since then, naps have been back and he's been sleeping through the night. It's been great.

"sometimes you just have to tell the internets to shut the hell up and let you be a mom." - YES YES YES.

melissa rohr said...

i love being a kindred blog spirit with you lol! it is def about consistency! there have been a couple of nights where robin has woken up and "fussed" at 1 and it is so hard not to give in and give him a bottle but i know that will mean many night so of him doing that after so i have to stick to my guns haha

melissa rohr said...

it is just so random after three perfect sleepers having a non sleeper lol but he is the happiest guy all day so i can't really complain!