Friday, August 10, 2012

Sleep update

Well, sleep training is officially off for a while. Remember how, at eight weeks, I started trying to get Alex back to sleep without feeding him? It worked great for a while. I could shhh him back to sleep with his pacifier, or pick him up and snuggle him back to sleep. The thought was that if I stopped feeding him every time, he’d learn to sleep through those wakeups.


Four weeks of that and things just got worse. He started waking up more often. He would stay awake for an hour at a time, at which point it actually was time for him to eat again so I would feed him. Guess what? I’m back at work now and we can’t be having battles of will from 3-4 in the morning every night. Baby wins.

We have slid back into our old habits. Instead of trying to soothe him when he wakes, I just nurse him. It works like a charm and when I put him back in his bassinet with a full belly, he doesn’t protest a bit and he doesn’t even need a pacifier.

We are back to co-sleeping from about 3am on, whereas he used to be in his bassinet all night.

Whatevs. I don’t care at this point. Would I like to follow all the sleeping rules? Don’t nurse to sleep, don’t co-sleep? Um, don’t give up on something that you’ve started because it makes you an inconsistent terrible parent? Yes, it would be great to follow those rules but I’m not perfect.

And truth be told, I love nursing my little man in the middle of the night. I don’t get to do much nursing anymore (but I do get to do a lot of PUMPING, which is a post in and of itself). Sometimes I nurse just because, hell, I miss him and I want to.

Nursing at night might not be good for his sleep habits, but we can fix those later, right? In the meantime, it helps me feel closer to him, helps my supply, and helps me feel like I actually get to do some parenting even though I’m at work all day. And I get way more sleep myself this way.

It’s becoming clear that this kid will have to be Ferberized. I’m thinking at 5-6 months. So I’m going to enjoy the snuggly co-sleeping mornings while I can. He’s only little once.


Allison said...

You gotta do whatever works, absolutely.

We Ferberized Henry around 4 months - at least to get him to sleep. It took time, but did work for getting him to sleep after our bedtime routine. (The whole middle of the night ScreamFest fiasco I described earlier was unbreakable; I hope your boy doesn't go through that.)

My assvice on sleep training - do it before he can pull himself up and stand in his crib. Just cuz they can stand doesn't mean they can sit themselves back down (LOL) and that adds a whole other layer of difficulty that you don't want to deal with while also sleep training for the first time.

We never co-slept. I was so paranoid about SIDS or smothering him that we never napped or slept together at all. I always sat up to breastfeed him, I never did it laying down with us falling asleep together. I feel like I missed out on some amazing bonding and snuggle time; now it almost feels too late - we don't know how to nap together. He'll sleep on me if I'm sitting up, but not if I'm laying down. Kinda breaks my heart. So, yes, enjoy your snuggly mornings.

Heather said...

I think you are doing a great job - do what works! I agree that nursing works like a charm when all else fails!

Alex said...

Do what feels right! This sounds exactly what I should have done in retrospect, and what I plan to do for the next baby. Get those middle of the night cuddles in - they're heavenly!

thebunlessoven said...

It sounds like you are following the my Parenting Rule No. 1 - Whatever Works.
If Mum's happy, and baby's happy, go for it. You're clearly doing a great job.