Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm not Baby Wise

...but maybe I should be.

In ALL my years my 3 short years as a parent I have read one parenting book. It was a great book about rearing your child to seek the heart of God rather than out of fear or ONLY obedience. It was hard to read because it was and is so different from the way I was raised. It is also hard to implement and re-program myself.

The point of my post is not child rearing or discipline; trust me I am FAR from an expert in this area. I need to talk about sleep, sweet sleep that eludes me, save the few days where someone else has taken care of my children. I am an 8 hour kinda gal. I need 8 solid hours of sleep to feel myself.

When we had Dade I truly had no idea that there were sleep training books or that there may ever be a need for such books. He was easy peasy. I didn't really have a set schedule with him. I wanted him to be a go with the flow sort of baby and he was. By 3 months he was sleeping though the night. Occasionally, he woke up when he was teething or sick.

Along came the girls. Since they were smaller I figured they may take longer to sleep and thought surely they would be sleeping through the night by 6 months. Well, here we are 4 days shy of their first birthday and they are STILL waking up. In fact the past two nights Coralee has woken up twice per night. Are you kiddin' me? We have tried increasing the number of bottles and the amount in each bottle. Both girls have consistently been 4oz. drinkers, occasionally 6ozs. Their daytime schedule is consistent with two naps, three meals, four bottles and two snacks. Yet when they wake up at night you can actually hear their little tummies grumbling. What, oh what is a mother to do?? I’ve toyed with giving them only water at night, but haven’t actually made the switch because of the grumbling tummies.

At around four months of age an acquaintance at church started raving about Baby Wise. “It’s the perfect solution that works for every baby.” This was her claim. She is also a first-time mom to 1 baby. At that time I hit up my friend google and read an overview. Establish a schedule: Eat, Play, Nap Rinse and Repeat. Not a problem we were already there. The thing that I can’t do is let my children Cry It Out (not at 4 months and not now) We do put them to bed at night awake and they fall asleep. Sometimes at nap-time or at night they fuss and moan, we don’t get them, but if they are screaming and crying I can’t bear to listen to that. On top of that the girls share a room and do wake each other up, if we don’t get to the crier fast enough. Unfortunately there is no other option. We have a 4th bedroom but it is in the basement. I’m certainly not putting myself or my babies two floors apart.

There must be another way. Right?? There has to be something else. Yesterday when I came home from work our nanny said she was checking it out on, good ole faithful, google. What she found was an earlier bedtime. How early? 6:30 – 7:30. My heart sank. Jon and I get home from work at 6. We make dinner, eat, family time, baths and the girls are getting their last bottles around 8pm. How could we possibly get them to bed any earlier? And don’t even get me started on the fact that the change would net me a total of 1 and ½ hours of face time with my babies each day during the week.

So I’m still at a loss, what is the answer? Do I suck it up and re-adjust our schedule for a 7pm bedtime? How do I do that without being frazzled and frustrated?

So I ask you? Yes you. New moms, seasoned moms, one baby, 12 babies… What did/do you do? When was/is your baby’s bedtime? Are you Baby Wise? Am I wrong? How did you make it work? Is it too late and I’m doomed to horrible sleepers? 17 more years of waking up three times a night…


Karen said...

Each year is a different phase, and they all change. So hang in there and the only thing i could tell you is, I got less sleep when all three of my kids were teenagers than when they were little, not to scare you or anything.It all goes by pretty fast. Days are long, but years are short. love ya

Adriane said...

OK, grab a snack - you'll need it to get through my loooong response!

I did the Babywise thing and it worked for the most part. The girls slept through the night at 3-4 months of age (33 weekers). I'm not sure if that was it or not, but I do give it some credit. I also have one that is just a bad sleeper. We've had two nights in a row of no wakings, but the few nights before that it was 1-3 times/night. This seems to happen for a while, then she sleeps through fine, then it's back to waking. I think it's teeth, but it sucks. Also, I think she is now used to us coming back in and patting her. We need to break it, but I don't have the cry-it-out in me at this point. We have done it and it is hard and eventually does get better. I think this is a VERY common complaint of MOMs. I'm a sleep gal, too, so I feel your pain.

My girls go to bed between 7:30 and 7:45 each night, wake around 6:30/7am. But, I am with them every morning through breakfast and drop off, and I am with them from 4:30pm and on every evening. (The luck of working from home.) I would not want to give up the face time, either. Regarding an earlier bedtime - are they really tired before bedtime? If so, maybe earlier would be better. If not, I would be hesitant.

Now, regarding the food girls, when we were doign a combo bottles/solids, they ate a lot during their day. At the end we were doing 3 bottles (6-8 oz) and 3 solid meals/day. It was a lot of food, but they didn't wake up hungry. Some kids just won't drink more in their bottles. Gracie drank 8 oz like three times EVER. She was usually at the 6 oz mark and Gab was the 7-8 oz chugger.

Hang in there. I wish I knew when it gets better. The no sleep SUCKS.

And, thanks for the award! I will get on it next week!!!!

Amy C said...

I am by no means a seasoned mom but my 4 month old boys sleep 11-12 hours a night. I followed BabyWise and only had to let them cry it out about 3 times, no longer than 30 minutes. It SUCKED but it worked! Also, I backed up their bedtime to 7:30...I read too that the earlier they go to bed the better. I also got a lot of advice from a mother of 4 year old twins who did all of the same things. My boys share a room as well, and sometimes they wake each other up but fall back asleep out of habot now. Good luck!

Amy C said...

I just realized I spelled habit wrong! I missed the i and hit the o..oops. Adriane also gave me some very good advice when I was struggling :-) I thank her for that!

Heather said...

I'll share with you what we do, but in no means do I think this is the "best" way. It works for us.

We do bedtime at 7-7:30. Charlotte goes first. Then we do the twins. We give them bottles still. (Due to their milk and soy allergies, they are still on formula. Since it is so important they get the calories from the formula, they still get it in bottles as they refuse to take formula out of sippy cups). Anyway, we give them a bottle. We then lay them down in the cribs. They are tired, but awake. They usually just roll over and go to sleep now. At first they would fuss or sometimes cry. But we both knew that we couldn't handle more than 10-15 minutes tops of crying. Every once in a while, we have to go back in as they would reach the 10 minute limit. We would then pick them up, soothe them and start over again.

This is just what we do. I have had people tell me I should move their bedtimes up to 6-6:30. But my husband would barely see them at all then. It works for us. They sleep until 6:60-7:30 AM.

I hope that you find the answers that works for your family. Hang in there. This sleep stuff is hard.

The (Un)Experienced Mom said...

Both my boys started going to bed around 6-7pm at the age of 3 months old. Partly b/c that's just what they wanted to do, and partly b/c that's kind of the direction we lead them in.

I am an advocate of Dr. Weissbluth (Healthy Sleep, Happy Children). Yes, he does talk about CIO, but you don't have to pay attention to that part. The part that is so valuable is HOW to fix sleep issues, such as night-waking, still eating in the middle of the night, etc. And yes, he would recommend an earlier bedtime. As he says, sleep begets sleep.

I also like "The Sleepeasy Solution" book. It is similar in that it gives you tangible ways to fix sleeping issues (and not just CIO either. It gives all sorts of perspectives).

I've read TONS of sleeping books (b/c I am still trying to find the answers to all of these questions!), so those would be my suggestions.