Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hard decision

Lex & I have been trying really hard to get Annerson on a predictable routine for about a week now.  During the day, I feed her every 3 hours  or sooner if she is hungry.  Then I keep her awake with an activity-tummy time, playmat, book, swing, or I just talk to her and play with her.  We were keeping her awake for an hour but apparently that is too long for her because she wasn't wanting to wake up and eat from her nap.  So now I keep her awake for 30 minutes with an activity.  Then I change her, swaddle her, and start the long process of trying to get her to go to sleep.   Her naps have been 45 minutes to an hour by the time we get her to fall asleep.  
We decided this was not working.  By the time Annerson falls asleep after rocking and singing and doing all things possible to try to get her to fall asleep, we only have like 45 minutes before we have to start it all over again. This doesn't leave much time to shower, clean, or get a much needed mommy nap.  My daily routine is pretty much stay in my pjs all day and somehow manage to at least brush my teeth somewhere in there and if I'm lucky, shower once a day. Anyways...We've heard a hundred times from different people & from BabyWise to place her in her crib when it's naptime and let her put herself to sleep. This sounded harsh & selfish.  I wouldn't even consider doing that...UNTIL NOW.

Annerson just cried herself to sleep for the 2nd time today!  Lex & I had a really rough night with her last night.  She's going through a growth spurt so she's doing a lot more eating than sleeping.  This morning I fed her at 9:30 and by 10:30 she was still wide awake.  I however, was not. I was seriously dragging after going to bed at 12am, waking up at 2:30 and laying down at 4:30, waking up at 6:30 and laying down at 8am and then waking up at 9:30.  Like I said, it's 10:30 and Lex has to work today.  That means I need to be on top of my game.  To do that I need sleep.  For me to sleep, she needs to sleep.  So Lex suggests we put her in her crib for her nap and see what she does.  We'd tried this a couple of other times randomly but buckled every time she started to cry.  It's hard to sit there while your child cries!

This time we were strong.  She only cried for 5 minutes & then she was crashed out until Lex woke us up at 12:30!  It was beautiful.  I got a little nap in and she got some rest that she needed.   With Lex gone, I prayed that I would be able to handle her crying when I put her down for her 2pm nap.  Sure enough, almost to the minute, she cried for 5 and then was asleep.  The funny thing about it is that if I try to get her to go to sleep by singing to her and rocking her, I think it just upsets her more because she'll cry for like an hour.  It's almost like she gets over-stimulated when we try to get her to go to sleep and she's probably crying because she wants us to leave her alone and let her sleep!  So as hard as it is, it's not selfish to put her down and let her cry because she gets to sleep faster, gets the rest she needs to grow & learn and I get a break and rest so that I can be a better mommy to her.   We'll see if this helps her sleep better tonight.  

Annerson putting herself to sleep!  She's such a big girl!


Candace said...

Girl, being a mom is a tough job! Above all else, do what works for YOU and YOUR family! Take what you want from everyone's advise and work it for your family! I thought Baby Wise was similar to torture, but I plan on doing it now with the twins and have yet to hear 1 bad thing about BW. Everyone I know that has done BW, has said that it helped tremendously and everyone was happier! I hope it works out for you! Plan on nothing ever going as planned and things will be just great! LOVE YOU! YOU are a FANTASTIC mom!

adam said...

Wow! I am so proud of you my sister. You're a great mom! I remember that struggle with Jace.

Now 6 kids later, it's like, "Ok, time for you to go to bed. Crying? No problem. Eventually you'll fall asleep, and crying might wear you out faster!" LOL

Annerson is so blessed to have you!

Uncle Adam

Jordan said...

i'm proud of you guys. i know it's hard to hear them cry, but it's good for them most of the time. i've found that we could be doing the most greatest funnest most spectacular thing in the world and the baby doesn't care. the only thing that they want is to be on that schedule. good job guys, it's going to do nothing but get easier from here on out.

Carolyn said...

With the first especially it is hard to allow the wee one to cry and learn to self soothe. It is much better now for Annerson to be learning that than for her to be a toddler, for instance. I may not be like Adam and now what it is like to have 6 kids, but it does get easier. When Kathryn came around I had no hesitations about letting her cry herself to sleep.

Sara said...

Way to go Lex and Leah! If my Dad were around to see you guys with Annerson I know 100% that he would be so proud of you. Its a great thing to let them learn how to put themselves to sleep at an early age. My dad taught me that when Paige was born and it worked great...both her and Colton slept throught the night at 6 weeks and have always been good sleepers. I really attribute it to letting them cry themselves to sleep as tiny babies. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

Jason and Stephanie Trook said...

Yeah for the parents and Annerson! It will get easier!

Laura said...

Candace will tell you that I have a hard time with this. She is right though, you have to do what works for your family. I am a family bed/co-sleeping kind of mom and have not regretted it for a minute.

Brie said...

It is all so hard! I think I've been exactly there before! I will be praying for you. I remember lying on Mali's floor (while she was in her crib), crying (me) and begging God that she would just give up and go to sleep. It hit me at that moment that there would be so many hard moments as parents that eventually meant the best for Mali, even though it was so difficult. I wish I had advice and answers. You might look into the Happiest Baby on the Block and the Baby Whisperer too. We did BabyWise with Mali but she had colic and had crying spells no matter how often I fed her, etc. Those other resources helped me combine several ideas with BabyWise. Good luck, remember when you are weak HE is strong!:)

Candace said...

I hope things are going better for all of you. I have been thinking about you and what I did with my kids and how I am going to do life with twins. With Devon, I worked and he slept with me because 1. we both slept better and 2. Since I worked all day, that was the most time we spent together-snuggled up against each other.

Its hard to get a 'routine' in place before 4 months. At 6 months, you feel NORMAL again for the most part, but hang in there. Do what you feel is right-always go with your gut. If you are hating every second listening to her cry-then get her. You are giving her a sense of security and she will know that you're there-ALWAYS...and that isn't a bad thing. I didn't let Camryn do the self sooth deal until she was 9 or 10 months and Jay was gone for 8 weeks. Every day will bring new joys, new challenges, and tears! Don't doubt yourself! You are MOM!