zzz, part 2

August 16, 2012

the truth: i have no idea what i’m doing

. . . with regard to a’s sleep right now.  something just tells me she’s ready to go swaddle-free, but she’s definitely still struggling a bit.  i’ve tried letting her cry for 15 minutes, but once she’s worked herself up enough, there doesn’t seem to be any going back.  [and, i don’t think josh is really on board with sleep training, which just makes me feel 1000x guiltier for letter her cry for even that long.]

last night, this went down:

6:30 pm:  sleep after her last feeding of the day.  she is not napping well in the afternoons at daycare and as a result is tired within an hour of arriving home.

7:00 pm:  paci replaced x 1 [i only allowed her to cry briefly before deciding to just help her out since it was the beginning of the night] –> back asleep immediately.

9:30 pm:  crying jag.  we let her cry for 15 minutes and then 5 more — but there were no signs of any slowdown and josh seemed very dubious about the whole thing, so we went in and rescued with the paci.  as soon as she got it –> back asleep immediately.

1:00 am:  crying.  at this point, i figured she was probably legitimately hungry and fed her.  she ate as she does normally and went easily to sleep afterwards, as usual.

3:30 am:  crying, though less forcefully than earlier in the evening.  we waited about 10 minutes but ended up providing her with her sleep crutch [the good ol’ paci] and she passed out again.

5:15 am:  crying.  again, i figured it had been 4 hours since her last feed, so i fed her again.

7:22 am [as i type this]:  still asleep.

i realize this could be worse, but . . . it could also be better.  i am starting to get tired, and i feel like my routines are breaking down because i can’t get myself up early enough due to this ridiculously fragmented nighttime routine.  but i just feel in my gut like the crib/no swaddle is the right thing for her right now.  is it possible that in a few days [without any formal ‘sleep training’] that she’ll just get used to it?  i’m encouraged by the fact that it’s SUPER easy to get her to sleep as long as she has something to suck on, but i wish she’d just find her thumb already.

not to open pandora’s box, but . . . would be open to hearing your experiences!

josh and i were discussing competitive martyrdom among moms last night.  don’t you get the feeling sometimes that some people are in a contest to see who can suffer the most for the ‘benefit’ of their babies/children?  i have thoughts about this that are more complex than can be written about in the 1 minute before i need to start getting ready for work, so i will plan to write more on the topic on another day — preferably one where i am better rested.


  • Reply Monica Moriak March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Really no one has any idea what they are doing, so you are not alone. If you are following your heart and it feels like the right thing to do the it probably it is. Give it’s few days before deciding. We found that our son’s sleep would be affected by "milestones". He would be up frequently for several nights in a row and then shortly there after he would be able to do something new. It usually occurred to us after the new ability that that is why he wasn’t sleeping. Hopefully this is the case with a. There was a good book on it, Touchpoints, by Dr. Brazelton. My husband and I found this to be helpful. Once I had my second, I still had no idea what I was doing, he was different. I had more confidence, but I still felt like I was starting from scratch. Good luck.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      thanks monica! i think we may try it a few more nights before giving up, but no major CIO attempts. i may have to check out that book!

  • Reply Rachel March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    i have a lot to say but can’t write it all down…..call me when you are free!

  • Reply siobhan March 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    p.s there are these little cushion blocks that you can put on either side of her to keep her smooshed in if you are worried about her flipping herself over when in the swaddle in the crib. also towels work.

  • Reply Sarah March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I have no tips at all because I am not a mama, but I just wanted to send some love and good vibes your way. I hope this is just a little rough patch with sleeping! On the bright side, at least she is falling back asleep immediately following the soothing/feeding? (Knock on wood…)

  • Reply Hotpotatokate March 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    We’re going with the flow, so not help here- and I am not in any hurry to wean him of the paci, which will no doubt come back to bite me! PS- from what I can tell, waking to be soothed every couple of hours is EXACTLY typical of babies her age. My secret facebook group has 60 new mums, and I’d say at least 40 of us have had this? Textbook 4 month sleep regression stuff. PPS- I really hope I don;t come off as a competitive martyr- I’m only ever trying to make myself feel better about not being a superwoman!

  • Reply Jessica March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    What about trying something like this? http://www.amazon.com/WubbaNub-Lamb/dp/B003PCYMP4

  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Have you tried swaddling from just the waist down? We did that and it really helped the transition.

  • Reply Denise March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Really interesting comments today….I can’t believe I am about to do this thing again. I agree with the people who said too many changes at once. We definitely did the cry it out thing but Miles was still swaddled at that point (we are excessively late swaddlers/sleep sack users, what can I say?). We weaned Miles off of the middle of the night feeding at about 3-4 months and when he was still crying at the same time every night, we just let him cry. Albert had to practically restrain me to keep me from going in his room. It was a horrible few nights but worth it for me. Miles started sleeping 7a-7p at 4 months and it was a huge turning point for me. I was not functioning while working and sleep deprived. I know some people (like Josh) can function on chronic sleep deprivation but I am definitely not one of them! Good luck!

  • Reply Brittnie March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    You are doing the BEST you can. You are learning everyday. That is all you can do as a new mom!! Go with your gut, see what happens and then reassess day by day. YOU CAN DO IT. I am a few months behind you (Clara is 3.5 months) so all of this conversation is so helpful to me. I am sure we will be right there, where you are now, soon.

  • Reply jenny in sweden March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I actually read the ommnts yesterday, but chose not to post a comment. But last night, while BF my 3.5 month old I couldn’t stop thinking about you and Annabel. I hope you both had a better night and that you feel more rested today.
    Here’s what I think: Swedish babies have it really soft compared to American babies! You see, no one would do 45 min of CIO with a 4 month old here. We have the "5-min method" of letting the child cry for 5 min before comforting, but even that is very controversial here. The way we look at it, sleep in not something that you teach an infant – it is mostly about neurological development. Most 4 month old babies do wake up more often than adults, but will usually go back to sleep once they have been reassured that they are not abandoned by their pack and left for the wolves. That is the Swedish perspective, and I understand that there is a big cultural difference here.
    What I would do is go in when she cries, pat her head softly and say something, help her with the paci and leave. I am sure she is having trouble with all the changes and that in a few days she will sleep longer stretches again. Hugs and best of luck!

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      hi jenny – thanks so much for weighing in and thinking of us! i just wanted to report back that we had SOOO much of a better night last night. i think you’re right — maybe she just needed to get used to the new sleep situation?! i fed her, gave her the paci as usual and she slept perfectly in the crib (with sleep sack, no swaddle) until 1 am . . . she got up to eat and then right back to sleep, and then up again at 5:30. i think that’s totally appropriate for her age and i was super happy with it!!

      i always love hearing the swedish perspective about things – so please keep sharing! it helps me to realize that there is no ONE right way.

      • Reply Jenny in Sweden March 10, 2019 at 7:43 pm

        So glad tings are bettet for you both! In My experience most changes take about three days too settle with kids, after that it is their new "normal". Have fun at the beach!

  • Reply erica March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Is A swaddled at day care for her naps? When we started daycare at 8 wks, we couldm’t do swaddle for his naps so we just quit them cold turkey at night with no problems., it took about 3 nights for him to adapt. I will say that I’m incredibly lucky tho and my son has been sleeping thru the night ( 7pm – 7 aum with a 10 pm dream feed) since 2 mos without sleep "training". We juat wanted to be consistent with day care in hopes that he would eventually sleep well at both places.

    Sometimes I think we scientists "experiment" too much with babies and their schedules. We look for patterns when babies really are so variable! I have to remind myself that babies are not a controlled system, haha.

    I think about martyr-moms too! And thwn I feel guilty because I don’t make "enough" sacrifices and that I have a baby with an easy temperament. Yes, I feel constantly guilty for having an easy baby. Is love to hear your take on this topic too!

  • Reply Marie March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Heh, YES to your last question. I think moms need to feel like their sacrifices are worth the effort, but I think a lot of times we make things harder on ourselves than we need to.

    I totally don’t want to give you sleep training advice because I am going through it right now myself, but..I’ll just repeat some things from the book I’m reading (the Dream Sleeper) that have helped so much: One of the things they hammer is complete consistency in how you put her down for naps with how you put her down at night.
    Also, listening for highs and lows in her crying can tell you that she’s winding down (also, they usually make one last hysterical attempt to get your attention right before they pass out, so what sounds like her getting MORE worked up could actually be a good sign.)
    It is soooo hard to hear to them cry, but I remind myself that I am LISTENING, not ignoring.
    Anyway, forget all that. What’s important is that you start sleep training when YOU are ready. Not when someone else tells you that you should. Because you have to be fully invested in it, or else it won’t work. Good luck! You’re a great mom and she’s a lucky girl.

  • Reply Liz @ runbakerace March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    When we 1st brought Mr. L home he HATED the swaddle and we went with sleep sacks. Those kept him toasty warm but let him stretch out his legs. He is a huge lover of stretching out those legs. I hope A gives you some rest soon. I’ve had a couple of stretches like that with L and I think it maybe a little teething starting.

  • Reply Marci March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I would just keep going and let her cry. It really is awful. Go longer than 15 minutes. The first night, we set a 45 minute limit and he fell asleep after 35. It was terrible. One thing we considered was to set a time like 1 a.m. If she wakes before 1, don’t go in. If it’s at or after 1, go in and feed her. Lock your swaddles in the car and don’t look back. Does she like sleeping on her tummy? Logan does even though he couldn’t roll back. That really helps him sleep well too. We also occasionally go in and give him the paci and pat his back, but really try to not take him out of the crib. Does the daycare do the same routine as you for naps? It helps to be consistent all day.

  • Reply oldmdgirl March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    My first instinct would be to put her back in the rock n play + swaddle until she’s weaned off the paci, with the caveat that you’re there and you know the situation better than I do. We didn’t have the paci issue with Dylan but I’m told that it can be a huge pain until they learn to self soothe without it / find their thumbs. Once she no longer needs the paci to fall asleep, then you can work on the swaddle/crib one at a time. We usually tried to do one step at a time with changes to the sleep environment since in my mind I thought that each change would go more smoothly, but who really knows if there’s anything to that.

    I practically had to wrestle my husband to keep him from running into Dylan’s room every time she fussed. As you can imagine that was just *great* for my self confidence. However after a while it became apparent that I was right (as always, duh!) and it stopped being an issue. Fortunately we never had to do "cry it out" for real, but I can only imagine how awful that would have been. I think I would have had to kick Luca out of the house entirely for that to work. I agree though, if A doesn’t seem to be winding down with the crying after 15 min or so, or is ramping up, then it’s probably not working this time and you might think about going in to get her.

    Seriously, take a look at the Jodi Mindell book, "Sleeping through the night." I found it very reassuring.

  • Reply Jessie March 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    She’s still so young. It all sounds pretty normal to me!

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      the getting up to eat is totally normal, and i’m not trying to stop her nighttime feedings (i.e., the 1am and later ones that are likely legit hunger!). but i don’t think needing to be soothed every 2-3 hours is typical for a baby her age. of course – i’m hoping it’s just her way of adjusting to the change of being in the crib and not wrapped up tightly.

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.