7.10--falls asleep in crib (nursing, rocking*)
7.40--wakes up crying**
8.10--falls asleep in crib (rocking)
9.15--wakes up crying
9.40--falls asleep in crib (nursing, rocking, shushing)
9.55--asleep in crib (rocking)
11.20--asleep in crib (rocking)
12.50--asleep in bed (nursing, diaper change)
4.05--asleep in bed (nursing)
5.35--asleep in bed (nursing)
* rocking entails holding him in my arms while bouncing in the poang chair, slowly standing up and swaying him while next to the crib and then finally rocking gently as i lower him into the crib while on my tiptoes so i can keep my chest close to his. the crib was lowered because my 7 month old can pull himself up.
** crying is an understatement. more like wailing, shrieking, back-arching, kicking, fist-flailing, red in the face, tears streaming down, misery.
after leon was brought into the bed last night, he slept really well. unfortunately, i woke up at 7 am to find him crawling over me. he was seconds from plunging to the ground. i've spent the past 3 weeks a nervous wreck, always checking him at night and during naps. it takes me at least an hour to fall asleep at night, and i rarely sleep deeply because of the extreme anxiety. plus, i'm sick with a cold, and i have a conference paper to complete in the next few days.
the crying was really really tough. in general, he cries frequently day and night, so that wasn't new to me. but trying to get him to fall asleep in the crib and seeing his little fists reach up for me while tears streamed down his face. so so sad. i could only do it for a minute at a time, not because i wanted him to cry it out, but because i was frantically rubbing his back, telling him it would be ok, hoping he would miraculous fall asleep. that didn't happen. my emotions ranged from sadness to frustration, and finally anger. at points during the evening, i wished that he had never been born. at other times, i would cry because i knew he was suffering (withdrawal) and i didn't want to be an enabler anymore.
aside from his propensity to crawl/fall off the bed without warning, the main reason why i'm trying to get leon accustomed to the crib is because nursing in bed hasn't been working for the past 2 weeks. he nurses so frequently that his diaper becomes full. this makes him uncomfortable, therefore it's difficult to fall back asleep. a diaper change really upsets him. it's a vicious cycle. he also cries at night, which is probably connected to the diaper issue. so my goal is to nurse him less frequently, maybe 2-3 times at night. it is impossible to stop nursing him as long as we're sharing a bed. the smell of milk and accessibility are huge obstacles. plus, i would rather he got most of his food during the day, which hasn't been the case for the past month.
honestly, i would have thrown the mattress on the floor, put up pillows in front of every hard object in the room, and nursed him to sleep for the next year if that's what worked for us. but the wet diaper and lack of interest in nursing during the day have made me reconsider my approach. i also want matthew to be able to help out more with bedtime. a reliance on nursing makes this difficult.
this obviously isn't a 'no cry sleep solution,' but i knew from the beginning that there would be crying. i'm trying to keep it at a minimum, but i would like leon to learn different ways to fall asleep. we're going to be traveling quite a bit in the next few months, so relying on one method is not a good idea. i love him to pieces, more than i can ever verbalize, so listening him to cry and toss his head from side to side as he chases sleep is very hard to watch. i don't think he's 'manipulating' me or that rocking him to sleep and maintaining night-feeds is going to turn him into a maladjusted unpleasant 3 year old. i just want him to sleep better and for longer periods so that he is well rested and happier rather than hyperactive and incredibly cranky.