Friday, August 3, 2007

And We're Back...In the Family Bed

My husband asked me what was going on with my blog last night. "Is it dead?" he inquired. Yikes, it has been a while. Since I last wrote, we've made it through almost 3 weeks unswaddled, have flown with the babe for the first time, have done another Canadian family visit over an 8 night adventure, and have discovered the little lady is simply not interested in soy formula (powder or liquid). I don't have enough time to cover everything, so I'll have to start at the top: the never ending sleep saga.

I've just visited with some of my dear Mommy friends. Among the topics we discussed were what we'll do differently with a second child. The swaddling Mamas agreed that we'd cut off the practice much earlier. One Mamma had broken the pattern a few weeks after birth. Another is still swaddling her almost 8 month old. I am relieved we have managed to cut the swaddle addiction, even though I had recently spent another $40 bucks on a new snazzy swaddler. When it comes down to it, I have no problem spending money on sleep paraphernalia.

I do however have a problem with our most recent sleep related experiment: our daughter wakes up after 3 or 4 hours unswaddled to eat and doesn't want to go back in her crib. It doesn't help that we were recently on the road for 8 nights, 4 of which we didn't have a crib (she slept with me in a double bed). As I've mentioned before, I am done with the "family bed" and desperately want my space back. I think we have done great with our "attachment parenting" approach to sleeping but have decided I'm just too tired to continue. I am also tired of her little gloved hands hitting my face in the middle of the night and don't appreciate her constantly rolling into me. I am beginning to wish they made a Queen size crib for babies that need their space.

I know it's time for yet another experiment: getting the babe back in her crib for the whole night and cutting her off the family bed. As I'm still wiped out from our Canadian travels, I am hesitating over when to start. We've only been back a few days but have found that when we go get her after her 3 or 4 hour snooze, she is already in a seated position crying and banging her head on the wood rails of the crib. I find this worrisome and upsetting, but the word on the street is that this is normal and not anything to worry too much about. But really, how is purposely banging your head against a hard surface a "normal" behavior? This is why it just seems easier to take her to our bed and feed her so we can all go back to sleep (until the next feeding in a few hours that is).

Things have got to change and I'm going to have to suck it up and bite the bullet. I just have to find the right time to start as I know I'll be losing a LOT of sleep over this experiment. But 8 months of losing sleep has been enough. It's time for this little one to get used to sleeping in her crib alone for the whole night. I am done torturing myself over the right sleep training method (Sears, Ferber, Baby Whisperer, etc.), and need to trust my gut instinct. It's brought me through the last few experiments, and hopefully will get me through this one as well. Here's to everyone sleeping 6 hours straight in their own bed.


Anonymous said...

Have you treied the No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley? We tried it with Abigael (we are doing Attachment Parenting and it's very a AP friendly book, won't touch Ferber with a 10 foot pole). It did help us quite a bit, though at almost two, Abbey is still spending a lot of time in the family bed, mostly after she wakes up in the middle of the night.
Perhaps things have gotten better, I've just found your blog today!


Anonymous said...

I just ordered the No-Cry Sleep Solution in hopes it will help me transition 5 month old John back into his bed. The family bed is exhausting me and it is time for a little space...thanks for making me feel normal Christine. John wakes to nurse every 45 to 60 minutes through the night when he sleeps with us. He INSISTS on nursing, even if it is for 30 seconds, before he goes back to sleep. This interrupted sleep is not good for him or husband says he sleeps through it!
Anyway, wish us luck! Hope this book helps!