Let me say he has not been an easy child as far as sleep goes. And a sleepy child is often cranky and this makes it hard too. And I have not been a great parent as far as setting a routine for him. There are several reasons I haven't. I'm at home with Simeon all day long and by the end of the day I'm worn out (actually since he hasn't slept well I'm worn out all day long). So I just have been lax on the routine and I kind of wait for Daniel to come home and relieve me, but this doesn't work great always because he works late some so Simeon has been up too late. And I had a false belief that keeping Simeon up may help him sleep later and better. So we had all sorts of blocks creating our house of sleep disaster!
I should mention my dad told me tonight out of all 5 children I was the hardest to get to sleep! Ahh, why didn't anyone tell me sooner.
So there are all sorts of child rearing philosophies, we tend to pick and choose. There is the scheduled feedings school and their variations and then on the other end of the spectrum there is the attachment parenting school. I have been closer to the attachment parent club as I have continued to breastfeed basically on demand. We don't co sleep and Simeon gets 3 meals a day plus 2 non-milk snacks. So some of the AP crowd says the child will sleep through the night when they're ready and you should nurse a baby until they fall asleep. Well let me say following this routine has worn me out, 13 mos of not sleeping well is rough. It's not always horrible, but Simeon has been nursing to sleep (sometimes this takes 1.5 hrs) and waking 1-2 times through the night. I have adjusted as much as possible, but I'm still fatigued.
So I had decided to chug along with this because other than letting him scream I didn't know what else to do. We have done some cry it out with nap time out of desperation and I hate it. I feel like a horrible mom, but he does take good naps now. He started waking up after being nursed to sleep and refusing to settle to sleep. After one bad night I finally checked out
The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Nightby Elizabeth Pantley . I don't want to jinx myself but already this book has made my life far easier. We have a bedtime routine, and when Simeon shows any sleepy sign we proceed as quickly as possible to bed. We are using several techniques, some new, some we are now being consistent with:
- bath every evening after supper (we bathed him previously but sometimes in the morning)
- Lovey (named Lambo)
- using the sleep sheep
- during his last feeding while he is drowsy but not yet asleep, I put him in his crib and rub his back till he falls asleep
Now these are just things we have chosen to do, but oh my gosh things are already much better. Last night he slept from 8-5! Daniel and I can't believe how easy it is. I'd much rather rub his back for 20 mins than have him scream for an hour. Now her method involves gradual transitions, so gradually we won't have to rub his back for so long or at all. I know we will probably have some difficulties, but I hope we're on the right track.
Maybe as I get more sleep I will be better about my job and joy as the family chef and update my food blog more:) Obviously I highly recommend this book to other new parents. It is a gentle for baby and parents sleep approach! I feel like my prayers have been answered.