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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

the sleep situation.



Okay, so we'll start this post the way many posts around here seem to start: a few months ago I wrote a post on __[blank]__ and now, boy, things have changed.

I should learn that whenever writing about a certain stage in Elliott's development that likely, the stage he is in currently is not permanent. In parenting, there is no saying, "My baby and I have got that all figured out." To say that is to jinx yourself. Eventually, things change. Your baby changes. And that ideal situation you've got all worked out with your baby will inevitably go to shit.

So (here it comes) a while back I wrote a post about our experience with co-sleeping. And after I wrote it, in spite of hearing from other people what a bad idea they thought it was, how dangerous it was, blah blah blah, things continued to work out for us in the sleep department. And I felt an odd sense of smugness in my heart that, in spite of being adamantly against co-sleeping up until that point, I had the infant sleep thing all figured out.

But I was asking for it. My smug little self was asking for it.

After we'd been co-sleeping for about a month Elliott became restless at night, waking every hour or two. All night long. And because he was within snuggling distance, we heard every teeny sound he made. After a week of that it was clear Elliott needed to be in his own room at that point, not only so he would not wake us with each little squeak, but also so one of us big bodies would not wake him each time we coughed or changed position. Needing to eat at night was one thing, but waking up every hour for comfort was starting to get very old.

And so, into his room he went, monitor cranked up. Waaaaay up. Things settled down, and Elliott started to wake up usually once at night to eat, and sometimes one other time needing comfort. And while it was nice for a moment, even that did not last.

The last few weeks have gone something like this:

Naps:
45 mins around 10 am
1-2 hours at 2:30
45 mins around 6 pm

Bedtime:
9:30 pm

Waking at night & crying only to need comfort by a re-engaged pacifier and a pat on the bottom:
12 am
1 am (sometime we would night feed around this time, sometimes not)
2:30 am
4 am
5:30 am

Ready to wake up:
6:30 am

And, because life is never easy, all of this came to a head around the time I returned to work.

The conversation has come up  in our house about sleep training. "Crying it out." Honestly, "crying it out" sounds like a terrible idea when you have a baby with cardiac problems at home, and nothing crushes you more than laying in bed at night warm and cozy under the covers while listening to your child cry. I am not sure if my feeling that Elliott is not ready is being fed by my clear un-readiness to try sleep training, but for now, we are not doing that. Ask my sleep-deprived brain in a few months how I feel about it, by then I may feel differently.

And now, for the moment I can end this smugly and say that for the first time, Elliott slept through the night last night. While I don't expect it to last, even to tonight, that full night's sleep (with only one waking by me to check on him) was pretty damn nice.

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