Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I thought it was supposed to be easier

When you're pregnant with your second child you hear over and over again how it will be easier this time. For the most part it has been but for the past two months, it hasn't been the case, at least in regard to Hope's sleep. Or, lack of sleep in fact.

When she hit 8 months old, she stopped going to sleep on her own, she stopped sleeping through the night on occasion. She started waking up A LOT. She started wanting boob every time she woke up. She became difficult to get to sleep. If the boob doesn't do it, I'm pretty much sunk. Like right now. She's wailing up there again.

John and I have decided to take some drastic action. We are not "cry it out" people. We don't like it. It didn't work with Emily the odd time we tried it and both of us have a hard time listening to our kids cry for us and ignoring them. We've also found that it doesn't work that well, it doesn't teach them to fall asleep on their own in a nice way. On the other hand, I can see why some people get desperate enough to do it. I've done it with Hope before but I never let her cry more than 10 minutes and in the past, that was all it took before she fell asleep anyway.

These days it's a completely different story. We're at a loss of how to get her to sleep. Singing, rocking, letting her play in her crib, using her crib aquarium thingy, breastfeeding... none of it works right now. So, we resorted to the method we've shunned in the past. Last night we let her cry for an hour before going in. Tonight, she's crying again and from experience, I'm betting she'll cry for an hour again before we go in. I wonder how long she would go if we didn't go in there. I'm not willing to find out.

You're probably wondering why we're letting her cry for an hour and then going in there anyway. Seems cruel, I know. However, last night, after the hour was up, I went in, picked her up and she instantly fell asleep in my arms. Of course, then I have to try to get her out of my arms, which often means she wakes up again. You see the problem. Anyway, last night, she did stay asleep and then slept until 4:00 a.m. 4:00 a.m.! We're hoping that this is teaching her that we won't hold her the whole night long, that we have to leave the room, and that, damn it, she better get on board with this whole sleep thing.

I know this is opening up some potentially nasty cans of worms out there. Everyone has an opinion, parent or not, on letting kids cry. I'm sure do. I just needed to get this out there so you can see the pain of what we're dealing with right now. I hate hearing my kids cry. I hate to be the reason for it. I also hate getting up 3 or 4 times a night or more and then getting no breaks during the day so that I feel like I'm constantly on the verge of tears just from shear exhaustion.

In other words, nah, it's not really "easier" the second time around.


little b said...

Who is anyone to judge anyone else's attempts at getting their kid to sleep?? I hope it doesn't last an hour tonight, for all of your sakes, and that tomorrow is even shorter.

(I looooove the banner of Mary Lake. Makes me homesick though)

Jocelyn said...

I feel your pain, we've had the same problem with our 10 month old boy. I *hate* hearing him cry. It seems like we'd go through a week or two of waking in the middle of the night, only to have a tooth pop through and then things go back to normal. I've also slept with him in the bed when I can't put him back in the crib. Whatever works!! And it seems with him it'll only work for a night or two, so there are no "habits" forming. We also bought this adorable turtle that helps him fall asleep (when breastfeeding doesn't work). Funny thing is, he doesn't care for the projected stars, he wants it in the crib - he feels the star holes, watches the lights, and eventually slumps over it and falls deeply asleep. btw - the CD is so awful it's worth finding them separate.


Good luck!! it can't last forever.

Shan said...

Oh Karen, I so feel your pain. You know I do. As for the CIO I have used it with Abby when she was younger with success, but it was a trying couple of days I will admit. I would put her to bed and then go back in five minutes, lay her back down and tell her it was bed time and then leave the room. Then I'd go back in 6 minutes and repeat. Then seven minutes and repeat. And so on. It worked like a charm.

Now Maya, she's a whole other kettle of fish. CIO is not for her. In fact the same process only serves to encourage to keep it going longer and longer. In a fit of desperation I picked up Sleep Solutions by Ann Douglas (triple love her). Great book that I highly recommend. It explained so much about sleep and gave me a wide variety of tools to tackle the problem with. Does Hope have a blanket or a security item. One thing that helped with Maya was I started giving her the same blanket when she was sleepy. If I was feeding her than I'd put it against her face or tuck it onto her hand so she would start to associate going to sleep with this item. She still has her "blanky" but she only gets it for bed/nap times.

I hope you find the magic combination that works soon.

Love the new banner!

Mel said...

Every parent knows their child best so forget what everybody else says and do what you have to. I feel your pain though and hope that you figure out something that works. Good luck!!