My child will not sleep. In some ways I feel like this is my first time around the mulberry bush simply because we are breastfeeding. It changes the relationship so much when you breastfeed. Not only are you food, you are comfort and not only do you comfort, but there is this separation encouraging bond that is formed.
I am totally on board with getting up a couple of times a night. I know that night feedings are packed with nutrients and that’s also what keeps Aunt Flow from coming to visit, but lately the sleepless nights have been out of control. We are getting up every hour with her screaming in between and none of us are sleeping (except the other kids, of course). Then we are all exhausted and cranky and I’m getting depressed because I stay at home all day with this fussy-butt wondering where did my happy baby go? After a particularly bad night Lorelei took a three hour nap the following morning and afterwards my happy baby was back! It was obviously time for some changes.
I recently read this post about night weaning. I have read conflicting things about night weaning and most agree that unless the child is doing it on their own, then twelve months is the earliest a child should sleep through the night. I’m cool with that. I don’t want to wean her, but I do think some boundaries need to be set that helps her learn to be away from me at night and go back to sleep without nursing during the night. This other article (more general than specific information) suggests that she is capable for sleeping longer periods. My thought, as she was screaming between 11p-12a last night, was that she (at 7 1/2 months) should be able to go 3 hours without eating. She has gone four and five and used to go six, so I figure this is a pretty safe starting point. Once we have that down we can push it back further to 4 hours and eventually she will be night weaned (hopefully on her own). She fell asleep at 12a, so at 1a when she woke up again, I gave her her paci and told her to go back to sleep and then so did Jason, taking turns until she fell back asleep and slept until 330a. That’s 4 1/2 hours between feedings! I fed her and she went back to sleep and woke back up a half hour later, so we started the-comfort-go-back-to-sleep routine again and she fell back asleep until 7a. Yay! She then went back down for another hour until it was time to take Jason to work. I think this is great progress!
I was a much happier camper the next day having gotten a little more sleep than we have been. Last night there was less crying and more sleeping, but she does that on occasion. Our goal is some consistency.
Now that we are moving into toddlerville, a lot of changes need to take place. One thing is closing doors to rooms we don’t want her in, like the bathroom. Another is getting our craft area cleaned up and some games put away. She chews on everything and is starting to put little stuff in her mouth. The main thing will be me getting up earlier. She gets up around the time that Jason gets up to get ready for work. He does the morning routine with the kids, but after that it’s all me. I am not a morning person. I do not enjoy waking up before daylight or even talking to anyone (including my wonderful husband) first thing. I have never enjoyed this aspect of child-rearing. Noah used to wake up at 6am every morning! EVERY MORNING. No matter what time he went to bed. He has pushed that time to 7a, but not he has to get up at 620a to catch the bus, ahh sweet revenge. lol
I’ve heard a lot of stories about these amazing women who get up at 530am to drink their coffee and prepare for the day, but I’m a night person! I love it when I’m the only one awake late at night, watching something on Netflix or reading in the quiet, but I must adapt. Sigh. I read a quote the other day about staying home that described it as, “being alone without the benefits of solitude”. Totally. And I have come to enjoy a little bit of solitude. This time of neediness will not last forever and I will reminisce about these baby days when she is older, but for now I am IN IT and trying very hard to stay present and enjoy what I can. She is super cute, so I try to soak up the cuteness for the times she is screaming and pulling my hair.