Sleep. Glorious Sleep.

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I describe what is going on in this picture below. I promise.

I hear the slightest hint of a growl and my heart stops in my chest.  I lie as  still as possible as if my rigid pose and held breath will allow me to escape confrontation.  The darkness magnifies every sound and then it happens.  My fears confirmed. A scream blasts out from the small device next to my bed.

Henry is awake. Again.

Andrew and I were pretty smug new parents when our baby started sleeping 8-9 hours straight at 6 weeks old.  Of course as a new mother I vacillated between thinking this was awesome and wondering if something were very wrong with my baby (in a medical sense).  People remarked at how well rested we looked, and I couldn’t help but beam back at them because HOT DAMN, we managed to escape the late night scream-fests.  I should have kept my stupid mouth shut, because as soon as we hit 12 weeks Henry decided that was enough sound sleeping and it was time for us to earn our keep.  So for the past 4 weeks we’ve been baptized as new parents by a sea of middle of the night wake ups, crying and mumbling incoherent things under our breath.

Andrew and I had read lots of sleep books and yet when you are deep in the trenches of sleepless nights and a fussy baby all rules and regulations seem to go out the window. We had him on a good nap/ sleep schedule and after a week of that he refused to sleep those hours anymore.  We got him sleeping in the crib and then all of the sudden he would only settle down in his Rock-n- Play.  I do my best to try to feed him a lot before bed and not let him “snack nurse” after one big night feeding- but when I am literally in tears from exhaustion with a full day of work ahead of me and the only thing that keeps him from totally flipping out is the boob- the boob he gets. Sorry sleep training books, at 3 am it’s hard not to toss up the white flag of surrender and do whatever it takes.

But now that we are approaching 4 months next week we need to get serious about helping Henry develop good sleep habits and really bite the bullet in the short term in order to protect our sanity long term.  So we’re chatting with a sleep consultant recommended to us and hoping that Henry’s natural sleeping abilities resurface once again.  He’s going through so many developmental milestones, it’s no wonder he’s always wiggling and wanting to be awake- his itty bitty brain is going a mile a minute and I suspect he may even have started teething already (???)

Like a psycho momzombie, I duct taped Henry’s blackout roman shades to the wall the other day in an attempt to make his room as dark as possible and I had to have a laugh at the opinions of my former self.   Whenever clients would say they needed NO LIGHT getting into their child’s room I felt like it was a bit much.  High maintenance, perhaps. Silly me.  Silly, silly me. I so get it now and am sorry I ever thought that, even just to myself!  The perfectionist designer in me has to take a chill pill while I wait for blackout drapes to be made to layer over the blackout romans and Henry’s adorable nursery looks like some kind of drug kingpin hideout shelter.  But that is what parenthood is about, right?  Learning the hard lessons, building up epic amounts of patience, saying adios to perfect spaces and a neat and tidy life all while knowing that all this hard stuff is SO worth it.  That big beaming Henry smile is so hard to resist, even in the middle of the night.

Now please go say a little prayer for a little bit of sleep for me. Amen. And if you have any tips on sleep leave them here. :)

Also, besides duct tape, here are some of my current favorite Henry-centric things:
babystuff

  1. This linkable toy with cool colors and patterns and little stuffed friends is genius. We hang them from his play mat bar, his Bjorn bouncer, car seat….everything.  He loves grabbing them and stuffing them in his mouth and batting at them.
  2. Give Henry anything that crinkles and he’s happy- this book is not only crinkly but has great bold drawings to look at and silly tails sticking out of it to grab.  It’s his current favorite thing.
  3. I love this nursing sports bra– great support and great to have.
  4. These are so perfect for us right now. Henry has the onesie, Andrew and I need the adult one.
  5. My friend dropped off her no longer used Bjorn seat for us and turns out Henry LOVES it! It’s pretty genius!
  6. Our borrowed Bjorn seat came with this toy bar and it’s killer. Mr. Googly Eyes gets lots of love in our house.
  7. OMG, if we ever lost Crinkly Baby (what we call this toy) life would be over. He can’t take it’s eyes off it.

195 comments

  1. Best advice ever given to me: Helping your child sleep through the Night by Joanne Cuthbertson & Susie Schevill, Broadway Books, N-Y!

    Though at the beginning but soooo worth it! ;)

  2. If you suspect teething consider an amber teething necklace. We put one on our daughter at the first signs of teething (4 months) and it was a game changer (they ‘teeth’ long before the tooth appears, she was 11 months when they finally came through her gums). What worked for us was we did whatever we could to keep the same routine every day. It is a pain scheduling your day around his schedule but it is worth it in the end. Also know that he will have sleep regressions and they will drive you insane but I swear if you always try to keep the same routine and schedule they bounce right back. Once you pass the 12-18 month mark it gets remarkably easier :) Good luck!! Oh- and if you plan to keep breastfeeding for a while try to resist the rice cereal and wait until 6 months and try baby led weaning, it has been amazing.

  3. My husband was an amazing team member when our 3 boys were babies (he still is!). I am a terrible sleeper- wake and can’t get back to sleep. If I get up – it’s a standard 2-3 hours before I could sleep again. We had all our boys in a co-sleeper for the first few months, they were happy to sleep in their rooms after that. When they woke, husband got up to change them if they needed changing and I fed them in bed if they needed feeding. He easily fell back asleep and this was the best way for us all to get actual sleep. When other Dads questioned why he had to get up when only I could feed them, he said, “Amy does her part, and I can’t do that, so I do mine.”

    I could never let my babies cry it out, crying is the only way they communicate – and they are helpless babies. Finding ways for the parents to relax and stress less is the best medicine that a baby can have. If one of us were stressed by the crying, we would take a time out while the other parent cuddled and calmed the baby.

    We also *scandal* let them sleep with us often – a friend of mine died when his little girl was only 3 and his son was unborn – before his Cancer came back he worried about spoiling his little girl by still letting her co-sleep. My favorite advice that was given to him at the time is that things spoil when left alone. I will never regret giving my kids the gift of my time – and receiving the gift of theirs. Life is too precious and short.

  4. As some have said, every baby is different . There’s not one perfect process or schedule for all. I hate to hear a baby cry but can handle it for a max of 10 minutes if I know she is exhausted. Watching the monitor can show if a binky has fallen out, if there’s a problem etc. It’s tempting to think that if you give your baby too much attention at night, he won’t become a good sleeper, but I really wonder if that’s true. I’d always rather err on the side of cuddling/nursing.

  5. With our firstborn, I desperately tried everything, including CIO. He made me a believer that a child’s personality is there from day one (in his case, relentlessly persistent in what he wanted)–there was none of this ‘by day three he was sleeping peacefully’ stuff. Ultimately, the only way we got sleep was if he joined us in bed. And he’s now a relentlessly persistent 4-year old. We have had two more little boys since then (one just turned four months) and they have been/ are cake walks in comparison (never any co-sleeping). ;). All this to say that if your very best and most desperate efforts don’t work how you’re hoping, don’t beat yourself up too much or necessarily think you’re doing it wrong. You just may have to hold

    1. Great advice! I have the exact same story. My oldest has been the most strong willed child since day 1 and when people would give me advice I would just look at them like they were crazy because my son did not follow the normal protocol… now my second boy is the easiest and most adaptable child ever and we did not do anything different it’s just their personalities. It’s so hard when your first is tough because you have no gage of how its supposed to be and you just assume you are doing something wrong but now that I have perspective I laugh at how hard my husband and I worked to get him to sleep, make him stop crying, etc.

    2. This was my experience, too! My 6 week old daughter is already mountains easier than my now 2 yo son ever was. I finally understand all the sleep advice people gave me before that was absolutely impossible with him. Like put the baby down awake – but drowsy! and he’ll fall asleep himself. AS IF. Or even to cuddle him to sleep. NOPE, not possible, he’d wake the second we set him down. There was no way I was going to share a bed with him because of all the baby suffocation cases I’ve heard of, not that that would have worked either. CIO was literally the only option, and it was emotionally so tough I let him cry only for 5 minutes at a time before calming, so took forever. Now, with my little girl, all the sleep advice works and she’s totally chill. It’s amazing.

    3. I have to say” I had the same experience. Some kids are just strong-willed and you can see it in their behavior even as a baby!! My oldest is 12 and she is STILL so hard to get to go to sleep. I know now, that her natural rhythm is that of a night owl, so she has a hard time going to bed and is not an early riser. She also sleepwalks and has night terrors (still) so I wonder if that also impacted her when she was little. My 2nd (son) was a piece of cake to put down. You could put him in drowsy and awake and he would entertain himself until he fell asleep. An den was awake at the crack of dawn but would entertain himself pretty well then, too, until we came in. He’s 9 and the happy-go-luckiest, laid back little morning bird on the planet. Out youngest is somewhere in between. Mostly easy to get down, but with bad spells here and there, usually coinciding with some growth or developmental milestone. She would get through it and back to easy-to-bed as a baby. As a 4 year old, that pattern is still there! His might sound crazy and I have no scientific backing, but I think it also relates to their “love language” in terms of how they soothe. Oldest is attention–she needs your undivided attention to know she is ok and special and loved. Second is reassuring words. Third is touch. ( I could literally just sit on the floor next to her crib and put my hand on her and she would calm down and get back to sleep.) but of course, it’s hard to know that when they Re only weeks or months old #hindsight lol. Good luck and don’t despair, the days (sleepless nights) are long but the years are short. I can’t believe it’s already been 4 years since my baby was actually a baby!

  6. When I saw the duct tape, I already knew. :D
    LOL Enjoy your precious little one. I hope you get more sleep.

  7. my 7 month old wakes up ravenous every 3 hours (and sometimes every 1.5-2 just for an extra hug). i have tried to rock/pat him back to sleep and not feed him bc so many people say babies don’t need to eat in the middle of the night after 6 months. he’ll settle down and fall asleep again… until i put him down and then we’re right back where we started because he is really, truly, hungry. he nurses and takes a 4-6 oz bottle every single time. i have also tried to let him CIO for 10 minute increments only to find that he gets more and more frantic, and has usually pooped which just guts me. the time i pushed myself and went to 15 i went upstairs to discover that he’d pulled his pajamas half off and was working on pulling his diaper off.

    so, i’m done trying different techniques. it’s great that they work for others, but for me the weeks of effort just led to more frustration on both our parts. he needs me and that’s that. i’ll come running if he’s 7 months, 7 years, or 17. plus, i’m a crappy sleeper so i think my expectations for him were super low. pre kid, i couldn’t go to bed before 2-3am (and that’s with a sleeping pill) and now even though i’m desperately tired i still can’t sleep when he sleeps or manage to get in bed before 1…which is right around the time he wakes up. i’m averaging maybe 5 broken hours a night for the last 6 months. he slept longer as a newborn lol. i know one day the time will come when he sleeps all night and i will stand outside his door staring at his face missing these nights and wondering where the time went. all this to say… hang in there. you know your baby and what’s best for him, so i hope you find what works for both of you.

    1. I just ponder why people think a baby needs to adjust to their schedule. Maybe, just maybe we need to adjust to theirs. Sleep deprivation comes with the job.

  8. Both my kids got their first tooth at 5 months which I later learned meant it started hurting way before. So he could definitely be teething. Orajel & baby Tylenol in bulk!

  9. Please, please, please don’t judge me….I had a very old school pediatrician when we lived in Watertown, MA. I really loved his nonsensical attitude towards babies. Also, I had a colicky first born and when he would hold her she would immediately stop fussing (great for the old self-esteem….) So when I told him she would not sleep at 4 months. ( Not to mention I looked looked like the walking dead.) He said give her some cereal. We gave her cereal and within a few days, little child of the corn started sleeping longer stretches. I could still weep a little at that feeling when I woke up and everyone slept for 8 hours for the first time in months. Here’s the kicker, I desperately need the sleep because I was pregnant with no. 2….. Everyone has advice and honestly to get some sleep I would have taken advice from the UPS guy. It’s always good to ask and see if it works for you – you never know! My children are older now and I am still exhausted. At 9:00 I tell them kitchen is closed and Mom is done for the night. They know the drill.

    Good luck!

    1. Don’t judge yourself!!! Some babies are ready to start solids like cereals (although they recommend oatmeal now because it’s better nutritionally – rice cereal isn’t whole grain – and gets them used to less-smooth foods later on) at 4 months. In fact, babies that start solids at 4 to 6 months as opposed to after 6 months have fewer food allergies as well.

      I think we started our little guy around 5 months, maybe? Maybe 5.5? A little before 6 months because the current research supported it.

  10. I have three kids and I let them all sleep with us at one point or another and sometimes all five us were in the bed. I needed sleep. Without it I was a less effective and sometimes grouchy mother. I figured they needed to feel secure and I needed the rest. I cherish those nights all snuggled up with my babies. No regrets here!

  11. Hi Erin. Can I make a very simple suggestion? I don’t think the monitor in your room is helping. Why not get what sleep you can , and when the scream comes, you’ll certainly hear it.He’s still going to wake up, but you’ll hear him when he’s really ready.

  12. Have you tried lowering your expectations? He’s only 3 months old. Sleep seems to be something that a majority of parents struggle with, even as children reach the toddler stage. I’m part of a mom group and some moms are up with their children all throughout the night and they are 3-4 years old! Yes, it can be frustrating, but I would assume with being self-employeed you can relax some on your schedule. What if you were a teacher who was required to be at work at 7:15 every morning? Or someone who couldn’t take a few hours to themself? You’re doing a great job, I promise it will get easier. Just give it some time. Our little ones feed off our anxiety sometimes. Best of luck!

    1. Pam – you are correct. A newborn baby has no sense of day or night, and the tender age of 4(!) months, still is learning what day and night is. For the sake of yourself and your child, stop the blog and instagram and whatever other social media. Your child deserves privacy and respect and learning how to sleep – without being called out on the entire internet. Protect your baby, please.

  13. We did “Sleep Sense” sleep training at 4 months and my 18 month old has slept like a dream ever since. It is hard for about a week but after that it is amazing. Just stick with it!! I have no regrets.

  14. 4 month “sleep regression” sucks– I had to nurse at night after the first long stretch forever. Breast milk doesn’t tie them over and he’s growing. I think it’s normal to have at least one if not two feedings at night…boob away, just stick to a schedule :)

  15. I’m sure there is A LOT of advice so I’ll add my two cents, but I can say both my boys at around 3-4 months started waking up more often as well. I too chose to breastfeed. The benefit of that it helps your milk supply. My first was very tough in that his feedings totally switched from day to all night (not coincidently when I went back to work…he did not love the bottle at first). Anyway, he finally adjusted after a month….longest month ever. And eventually the night feedings stopped completely at about 11 months for both. Like stopped completely on their own.
    I personally think training is just another stress you’re setting up everyone for…to potentially fail. What if the techniques don’t work? Then you’ll be even more stressed out. This is part of the whole process. Your child does not need to be fixed. You’ll be exhausted for several months but it’s just a blip you’ll vaguely remember years down the road.
    Both my boys are awesome sleepers now, 5 and 2, no issues going to bed, no fights, nothing. I was with them when they needed it. Now they’re confident in themselves. I wish you luck! It does get easier, I promise.

  16. Mom’s on Call Book, it is an easy to follow book written by two former nurses, and the Miracle Blanket, both worked wonders for us!!!

  17. I’m laughing as a Nana. Nothing has changed in time with babies and I really don’t think there is an answer for “making” babies sleep; they will do what they will do but I do believe in routine, well fed and very well cuddled and loved as the time is so short. For my kids and now my daughter with her wee ones have followed this: black out curtain panels that stay open and a blackout shade for raising and lowering (great interior design options) so no Mr Happy Sunshine shines in the baby’s face or car lights, etc. Also, buy a Honeywell clean air machine (can be bought simply at HD), the soft but constant noise keeps the abrupt loud noises from waking them and with that monitor on, you will still hear EVERY little noise he makes. Cool mist humidifiers with a nice lulling sound are good too but the small clean air machines are easy to tote on car trips and don’t take up much room. Good luck and just know his little mind is working and growing and loves his time with his mom and dad.

  18. p.s. also buy very large cheap banana hair clips for travel in hotel rooms to clip those stubborn drapes together. Never fails, the sun will shine right through that one slit and on the baby’s face. Also good for a parents get away weekend and YOU want the sleep w/o the sun shining on your face and waking you before you wish to be awoken. :)

  19. Hi Erin! I have 3 kids now but back when I had my first an old man told I would never sleep again, because I would always be up worrying about my kids and then I would worry about my grandkids. He was not 100% right, I have gotten a good night sleep here and there, but that random piece of advice did help me accept that fact that I was not going to sleep good again for a long time, and it was for a good cause that I was giving up sleep and sleeping in! I’ve read a bunch of books on all different things relating to kids and babies, and what I found was there is just no one-size-fits all technique or method for kids. So my advice, make these sleepless nights as easy for you as you can because there is no way to avoid them. Move your son’s crib to your room for a while, or move a guest bed into his room so you do not have to get up and walk all the way to his room and then all the way back. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself : )

  20. Erin – I’m on #2 (who was born a week after yours) and I feel your pain. Some things that worked for my #1:

    — no naps after 5 PM. If he’s asleep, wake him up. That can be painful to do because naps are when you can actually get stuff done, but do it anyway.

    — a bottle before bed so that he gets a full feed. (I can’t tell you how much more relaxed I am about breastfeeding this time. One bottle of breastmilk or formula isn’t going to make a difference.)

    — bedtime routine before he goes down (bath, bottle, book was ours) so he knows “this time its for real!”

    — At 6 months he still had one wakeup at 4 AM, and we had him cry it out. It was about 11 minutes total of crying. People act like its child abuse – Ive had more crying on the way to the grocery store. For us, it worked, and wasn’t even that painful.

    — I don’t know where your nursery is relative to your bedroom, but I might not have the monitor in your room. That way you won’t hear every snuffle. Im a very (very) light sleeper though, and our baby’s room is right across from ours, so there was never any worry that I wouldnt hear him if he was really crying.

    Buuuut, all that said – my #2 is very different. Nearly four months and he still gets up just about every 2 hours. For some reason (mothers intuition), I don’t feel like he’s ready for CIO. SO, while I do believe that you can mold a baby to your schedule to some extent, and while I do believe that doing so is entirely appropriate (I work full time – and love my work – so don’t have the luxury of just being a zombie all the time), every baby is different and some don’t respond to all the usual tricks.

    Also, with #2 I have a night nurse once a week. I find it just helps me not go over the edge. Its not cheap. We can barely afford it and I cringe thinking about all the money we’ve now spent on this, but it has really helped us come up for air every now and again.

    Good luck Erin – baby sleep is the hardest thing. Don’t feel bad about being crazed about how much it sucks. Not reveling in cuddling your baby at 3 am is nothing to feel guilty about. I love my little guys to the ends of the earth but I also need sleep to function.

  21. Oh yeah, and you have a white noise machine in there right?? Thats key. Turn that shit up loud.

  22. White noise — whether an app on a device, a fan or a toy that makes a constant white sound — is a must. :-) He spent all those months in your very loud body, so if he’s sleeping in a totally quiet house, he will hear every. single. creak, chirp, click, breath around him and it will wake him up — or keep him from getting back to sleep. There are lots of white noise options on Amazon, but if you don’t have anything for TONIGHT, download one of the free white noise apps on your phone and try that! :-)

  23. You are so not alone in any of this!! For starters EVERYTHING in babyhood is a phase. As soon as you try twenty things to figure it out and just about give up, he will sleep through the night. It is all part of the growing process. It is also very much okay to let him “snack” feed. It is called cluster feeding and babies do it right before a long sleep to get all the calories they need in the whole fore milk /hind milk deal. Little Henry knows what’s up! I will say that white noise in their room is the best. It reminds them of being in utero and is very soothing. If you get a sound machine, it’s easy to travel with so you never have to worry about that. And you won’t need it forever. They grow out of it.
    If you don’t, I recommend to keep swaddling. Their limbs still move out of their control and these reflexes can wake up a light sleeper. The miracle blanket is a foolproof swaddling option and a great price.
    That night time anxiety you described is brutal. It can easily escalate to a postpartum anxiety situation. If his room is close to yours, turn off the monitor sound. You will hear him but you won’t hear every peep. It’s so hard to fall back to sleep after the heart is racing!! Good luck. And seriously, it is all just a phase. You’ll get your nights back (and then lose them again 😀)!

  24. Read up on the 4 month sleep regression! It’s a b*tch. But the good news is that you can start teaching the little guy to get himself to sleep instead of relying on you to do it for him (if that’s what you want/what works for you). I remember there was a WHOLE lot of screaming as we did this, but we made it through. Until the next sleep regression!

    The main thing I’ve learned from being a parent so far is that babies sleep…and then they don’t. Even as toddlers, they have nights where they wake up a lot/wake up super early and it lasts awhile and then they get through whatever developmental milestone is going on and they sleep better again.

  25. omg i LOVE the duct tape!!! seriously i have the ugliest curtains right now AND we contact papered the windows just so my 1 1/2 year old has NO light in the room. you do what you gotta do!

    thank you so much for sharing your honest experience! its so refreshing! i completely agree that every baby is different. although yours sounds a lot like mine, where she slept really good, we thought we were rock stars and then about 4 months she regressed. BAD. we finally had to do cry it out, which worked for us. but doesn’t work for everyone so really i just say keep trying different things. you are doing awesome, and your sense of humor will help you through it! sending some good sleep vibes your way!

  26. Bjorn seat is brilliant ! Babies love to self bounce it. Mine folded flat and we would pack it in car for dinner at family or friends house…..as far as sleep- do what ever you works! “no cry sleep method” worked for baby number one- cry it out worked for friends- but I didn’t have the stamina to do….and co- sleeping worked for baby number two- who had sleep terrors……anything for mommy to sleep

  27. I love this post Erin! I had to laugh out loud numerous times because I can totally relate. I did the same thing trying to make the room as dark as possible!!

    I thought I’d never be “that parent” but we did end up putting our daughter in bed with us some nights. She would start off in her rock and play and then if she kept waking up into bed with us she would go. Most of the time she stayed asleep and only needed to be patted and shushed. Sleeping with us didn’t last long and she was back in her rock and play/cradle before we knew it. I think she basically just needed some comfort and it’s totally possible Henry is teething at 4 months. That’s about when mine started too!

    Seriously though, you do whatever you need to to get some sleep I know!! Especially when you have your own business and want to be coherent enough to deal with your clients!! xx

  28. Have you read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth? His son is our pediatrician in Chicago and I swear by it. Our daughter is 8 months and we’ve been following their advice religiously. Some pool his philosophy in with crying it out but we’ve only really had to let her cry it out a couple of times. Every Thursday, our pediatrician, Dan Weissbluth, holds a meeting for new parents at 1:00 central time. You can skype in if you’re not in the area and while it’s not always him leading the group, all the doctors in the practice can help with sleep. Look up Weissbluth Pediatrics on facebook. Good luck. Some tips: No feeding in the night, no napping after 4:00. Baby goes to bed between 5:00 and 6:00 pm and will wake up at 6 the following morning (early bedtime does not mean earlier riser) pitch black room (we have electrical tape over anything with a light like our sound machine) No rock n’play (We gave ours to our cat) Get them used to sleeping in flat crib without movement.

  29. Ugh the 4 month sleep regression. We also had a baby that slept through the night from an early age, I think she started around 3 or 4 weeks, and though we had hit the baby jackpot. Then 4 months hit and she started waking up once, then twice, then it spiraled to every hour throughout the night. At first we thought something must be wrong so we ran to her right away. Actually, my husband was a saint because he handled most of these night wakings since he is a night owl anyway. But then she started with the every hour thing and even he couldn’t keep up with that.

    I tried every no cry sleep solution ( I must have read 5 or 6 sleep books it was insane) but none of those worked. We finally bit the bullet and did cry it out. We tried the Ferber method first where you go and check on the baby at increasing intervals, but that just made her more upset because we weren’t picking her up. So then we did the full on extinction method where you don’t go and check on them. It was agony hearing her cry, but you know what? She cried for 30 minutes the first night and then 5 min the second night and then by the third she was sleeping straight through. She is 2 years old now and such a good sleeper. She does down at 7:30pm and wakes and 7:30am with no issues whatsoever.

    I agonized soo much over letting her cry for what turned out to be such a short period of time. Honestly, I wish someone had told me that she would cry longer and harder as a toddler during one of her tantrums after being told no she can’t jump off the sofa or that she has to wear her jacket because it’s 30 degrees outside, because yeah that happens now on a daily basis lol. One thing that did help me tremendously was the website preciouslittlesleep.com. It breaks down all of the current sleep research and sleep methods into bullet points and helpful tips that were great for my tired brain. I had read all of those books by then but if I had found that site first I wouldn’t have needed it. She offers tips on there to try before you have to resort to cry it out as well. I also really like the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. He also breaks down all of the research on sleep which I found really helpful. I’m sure your sleep consultant is giving you great advice but this website and book might be helpful too. Good luck and just know that this too shall pass, even though right now it seems like no one will ever sleep again.

  30. Isn’t it hysterical how much our “I would never do’s/dont’s___” change post-baby??? I have sooo many. Good luck Mama!!! :) :) :)

  31. I only got two hours of sleep at a time for 10 months straight. I was dead set against crying it out. But I was also so tired 10 months later that I was literally “crying it out” in life. We tried lots of things. The thing that finally worked was reading and following The Sleep Lady book. It is a hybrid method where you let the baby cry when he or she wakes, but you stand by the crib and pat and rub their back so they know you are there and you care. Then, over time, you sit further away from the crib but you still let the baby know you are there with soft sounds and whispers. Eventually you move to the hallway etc. This was gentler on me and the baby but she slept through the night by night 3 after 10 months of absolute craziness.

    I think each child is different and each parent is different and you have to find a method that works for your temperament and your baby’s temperament. Sometimes one thing works for 6 months and then doesn’t work later. It is a good illustration of parenting in general. You figure them out and then they get ahead of you again and you have to revise and problem solve. Through it all, be good to yourself and let yourself off the hook. This job is so important but , at times, so incredibly tough.

  32. Only thing I will add is to assess for reflux…. babies may not always spit or noticeably vomit, but when they burp post feeding you will see them regularly follow it up w/ a large swallow. Reflux is a definite physical reason for awakenings that you don’t want to miss – if you think he has it speak to pediatrician and consider your diet ( milk elimination in an exclusive breast feeding diet made a huge difference in sleep btw. baby 1 and baby 2 who (it turns out) both had reflux in the first year of life). Also look at family history, as reflux has a genetic line. If no reflux, waiting til 6 mos for the crying it out is consistent w/ MOST sleep bibles, and much less controversial than at 4 mos. A totally breast fed baby awakening at night is unfortunately normal and expected and definitely interferes w/ breast feeding mom’s sleep – I feel for you!

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