Monday, September 28, 2009

sleep "training". day 3. we give up

4.00--freak out in the car (overtired)
4.25--nap attempt in crib, failed.
5.45--book, lullaby, nursing
6.15--falls asleep in crib (rocking, lullaby)
7.20--awake, crawling, crying
7.45--refuses to be put back in the crib.
8.00--banshee wailing. i'm on the verge of losing it, thankfully matthew is in the room to make sure nothing bad happens.
8.05--i decide it's time to cry it out. i.e., i can't take it any more (did i mention SEVEN months of this?). we sit in the living room and watch the clock.
8.15--i tell matthew to check on leon to make sure he hasn't thrown up
8.16--i peek in and see him holding leon. what happened to crying it out??
8.30--leon is in my arms, drifting off to sleep and then jerking awake to scream periodically.
8.45--i put him in the crib so i can go into the living room for a second. i'm losing it again.
8.46--we go back into the room to see leon standing up in the crib. yes, he can pull himself up to the standing position. yes, he's only just 7 months old.
8.47--leon is fully awake and smiling contentedly in my arms. we decide to put two foam mattresses on the floor in the little bedroom (7'x10' with noisy lightwell and 'walk-in' closet) because it's already pretty much child-proofed (and extremely warm in the winter). the huge bedroom is going to be our office/luxurious guest bedroom.
9.10--the details have been ironed out. leon and i climb into bed after several foam mattress pads have been placed strategically on the floor in case he starts crawling.
9.20--he's done with nursing and is laying on his side, facing me, eyes wide open, perfectly still. this is really creepy.
9.40--finally asleep. i roll off the bed and hightail it to the freezer for a sweet red bean popsicle. matthew says it's a good thing that leon was staring at me quietly. this means he's tired and knows he needs to sleep but doesn't need to cry to fall asleep. well, better that than having an alien-demon-possessed baby, i guess.

the fact that we were giving in earlier with each consecutive night wasn't a good sign. my mental state is in the danger zone, leon behaves as if we've abandoned him, and matthew can't figure out what exactly i want to do. what a mess.

i'm ok with the new plan, even though i feel like a total flake. i told matthew i hope leon doesn't turn out like every pet i've owned. i'm terrible with consistency, especially when it comes to disciplining doe-eyed tiny creatures. my dog was completely wild, and the cats---well, you know how cats can be. mine are willful and bad-mannered, but of course i blame myself.

i hope we can move to a bigger place where i can have a large empty bedroom with a california king coco-fiber mattress on an extremely low platform bed, with tatami mats for leon to roll onto. now if only we could figure out a way to keep the night nursing to a minimum so he doesn't require a diaper change....


melissa k w said...

bless your heart. thanks so much for sharing this. we're having sleep issues with hugh as well. it helps me so much to know that others are going through this.

someone told me to try rice cereal before bed to help give him a fuller stomach. hugh's not on solids yet, but i think we're going to try this soon.

well when we are up with a whiny fussy baby in the middle of the night, we will think of you guys!

erica said...

sometimes it's hard to remember that A LOT of babies have sleep issues. especially when you go to your mothers group and all of the newborns (4-10 weeks) are sleeping 6 hours stretches or more. GAH!!!

i've heard about the rice cereal, too. you can mix just a tiny bit of it with breastmilk if you don't want to start hugh on 'real' solids just yet.

bleary eyed and thinking of all the sleepless parents and babies out there, too!

190.arch said...

Well, my baby is still inside of me and I don't know how he/she will be, a sleeper or a sleepless...
From girlfriends with babies I've heard that massaging after shower is relaxing for baby and parents.
Maybe Leon needs to be massaged a little bit, you should try : )

erica said...

thanks for the suggestion. i've been trying to massage leon for months now. i used to put oil on him after his bath and massage him, but he's always been super hyper. even with his sleep music playing, he starts flailing and trying to either nurse or get away. i don't know what i'm doing wrong, but he doesn't seem to enjoy massage. he is a pretty cuddly baby in general, loves snuggling up against me. maybe my massage technique isn't right. there are infant massage classes that i've been thinking of signing up for.

the thing with leon is that he's all business. he knows it's sleepy time, so he wants to nurse and that's it. even though i've incorporated other steps (books, lullaby, etc.) all he wants is to nurse. so these other steps are usually skipped or rushed most nights.

Catherine said...

Audrey has been a bit unwell the last few days (those red cheeks she had in a recent post of mine did mean something after all!). Anyway, yesterday we needed to go and see venues for our wedding and decided it wouldn't hurt to disrupt Audrey's schedule a little, right? Wrong! From bedtime, she woke up, upset, every hour until morning. I totally believe in routines, and babies love them too.

I won't be doing that again for quite some time. Audrey does love her on-time cot naps during the day and it makes her much settled at night.

How does Leon sleep during the day? Often these nap/tired times are baby-led.

Ironically, the word I had to enter for Blogger's Word Verfication was 'cries'!!

erica said...

oh catherine, i'm so scared of disrupting leon's naps now that i rarely venture out. it's been over 3 days since i've left the house.

i now try to put leon down for a nap every 2 hours. i find that he becomes cranky 1.5 hours after waking up from a nap. the naps last anywhere between 30 min (too short!) and 2.5 hours (if i sleep with him). sometimes he doesn't nap for 3 hours because he's overexcited about something, so i keep watch for a window of opportunity.

he also wakes up at different times in the morning, so he doesn't have an established schedule. every 2-3 hours, whenever they may fall in the day.

bedtime starts around 5.10, he falls asleep by 7 at the latest. he usually has to motor around the bed for 20 min. after exhibiting tired signs. i am plum tuckered out!

i hope audrey is feeling better now. leon's been a bit congested.