Monday, June 22, 2009

My honest take on baby sleep

Mandy at Mommy Musing had a post that caught my eye this morning, not only because she used my wicked cool button but because she posted about something that is near and dear to me. Infant sleeping habits.

Or shall we say, lack there of.

Her daughter was a good sleeper and is now screwing with her mind by throwing it all out the window. Me? I had a different sort of problem, my kids NEVER SLEPT. EVER. Unless I was holding them.

Dash-1 was a beautiful baby. He had big, huge blue eyes, a fantastic smile that made said blue eyes sparkle, and wispy blond hair. He was ADORABLE. However, at sleep times, he morphed into a screaming demon. Seriously that kid never slept.

Now to his defense, he had some issues as a baby, he was colicky from day one, had weight gain issues (as in, wouldn't gain it, really he had a huge head and an itty bitty body) and severe reflux, everything he ate came flying back up.

And I mean flying, I was terrified to hold him in public because he could really reach out and touch someone if you know what I mean.

The second we laid him in his crib he would scream and howl. Forever. We tried everything that first year. I remember that we would either take turns driving him around in the car so one of us could sleep or we would go together. Sometimes his swing made him happy, sometimes he was content to be held, but all in all, he just screamed. And stayed awake.

And that meant we were awake. And pushed to the edge.

Everyone would tell me, "oh my son is 4 months and just sleeps thru the night. Oh its wonderful!". Now I know every kid is different and some kids do just sleep but this would always make me think two things. A. your pants are about to catch on fire cause your lying and B. which car in the parking lot is yours so I can key it?

Seriously I felt like a horrible parent. Sweet jesus, I can't get my kid to sleep what in the world is wrong with me as a mom?

And then I came to a little discovery. Every mom (and dad I suppose but I know more about moms cause well, I am one) has that area of parenting that makes them totally doubt themselves.

And if they deny that they they really are lying. And again I'd like to key their car.

Around 12 months, when the boys no longer nursed we did the cry it out method. Ouch. It sucked. I was a total wimp about it. I made flyboy do it and I must say, he seriously stepped up to the plate. From then on we are zealots about bedtime. We have a routine, you will go to your room, lay in your bed and fall asleep. I love the boys dearly but I don't so much care to see them after 7:30.

Dash-2 is testing us on this lately.

I must say -1 was a breeze in a big boy bed, he wouldn't step foot out of his bed until I told him he could wake up in the morning. Dash-2 is another kinda child, a bit of a "screw you authority rebel".

And dammit, we are trying our best to hold firm. They can read books quietly until they fall asleep or just lay there and stare at the ceiling. No tv's in their room, not now, not ever, that may get them to bed easier right now but in the long run then I'll just have another battle on my hands. I'm not keeping him up later so he'll go down easier, the bedtime routine is standing firm.

My friends that had these great babies who slept now have toddlers who are roaming the halls at 10:30. Or the kids who was easy to potty train is now biting. The point? Every parent has areas in which they feel like they are all alone or coming up short.

Me? I have this whole blog devoted to it.

And sometimes, to get thru the tough times, we just have to do what needs to be done to survive. Although I'm pretty firm on the no tv thing.


  1. That is so true about every Mom having some area that they feel they are coming up short. :)

    ...and I do love that button! I still need to use it!

  2. ha. i agree with you on the whole not wanting to see your kids after 730! thats awesome you said that!!!dont feel too bad. mikey and zach would.not.sleep but hailey....oh my princess self soothes and sleeps!!!!!!!!!!!! its great i didnt even have to try. i figure its my reward for dealing with the boys as monsters!

  3. I guess every parent will have their crss to bear... I sinCEREly hope that mine is not sleep. i adore my sleep!!

  4. I had the no sleep issue with both my girls as babies. My solution they slept in things. Madeline slept in her boppy pillow and Bayleigh slept in her Baby Bjorn bouncy seat. The boppy pillow made me nervous and i didnt sleep as well but the bouncy seat was great they both were put into their cribs.

    I started the CIO when Madeline was 9 months old and i swear thats why she has sleep issues. She is like dash2 always out of her bed. With bay we CIO from day one (although she didnt really cry that much) and she is an awesome sleeper.

    I hope Dash 3 is a better sleeper

  5. I'm firm on the no tv in Keenan's room too. Ever. And he goes to bed at 8pm. If he doesn't take a nap, which he doesn't on the weekdays, he turns into a a recalcitrant little turd. It's best for both of us if he goes to bed :)

    When he was a baby, he was a good sleeper, as long as he was sleeping on my chest or somewhere in the same bed.

    Kids...they all have their querks :)

  6. Wow, what a great honest parenting blog... I'm LOVING it. I'm not going to lie though... This post scared the Sh!* out of me! haha. I'm terrified to loose sleep after having a baby... In fact, that's what I worry about the most. I do babysit a baby who's about 6 months old and he's sleep like 6 hours a night since he was born... Now they say he'll sleep like 10 hrs!! It's crazy, he's always happy and doesn't mind not being held. I thought it was because of the way they "trained" him but I guess all babies just have different personalities! Crazy!!

    Sound like you're doing a great job though, don't let anything you go through make you feel like not as good of a mom because I can tell you care... Just look at this blog!

  7. once again, you're absolutely right. The Captain occasionally wakes up screaming like a banshee in the middle of the night and everyone's like, "NOOOO DON'T GO IN THERE AND FEED HER!" but the kid seriously won't shut up unless we do. So crying it out has to wait.

    I am digging my own hole. I can feel it. But you know what, I'll have a happy baby down there with me.

  8. Wyatt was great with the big boy bed, too. I was shocked at how easy that transition was for us. He'd just sit in there and call for us to come get him, just like he was still in his crib. I have a feeling I'm not going to be so lucky with Oscar. He's also the one who wouldn't sleep through the night until I weaned him. At 12 months. And still gives me grief every third night or so.

    It's so true, though, that there is always something you feel you don't measure up as. I wish we'd all stop thinking so much about the ways we suck and more about what we do right.


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