The trouble is, we’re not even winning this half. For those of you who are not parents, let me go on the record saying that making decisions that affect your child can be really, really tough. Sometimes you think you’ve made up your mind only to find that you’re not as resolved as you thought. Yes, I am STILL hung up on Sadie’s sleep.
Monday night was awesome. If your name was Brooke or you had fur. For Sadie and Trevor, it meant waking up about every hour. After I got so mad at Trevor for interrupting what I had (at the last minute) decided was THE PLAN for teaching Sadie to fall asleep on her own, he turned around and gave me my first full night’s sleep in over a year. Not too shabby. Now, before you go all Poor Trevor on me, he reported that several of the times Sadie woke up, he was able to get her back to sleep before she even stood up in the crib (which makes me think she wasn’t fully awake to begin with, but who knows).
If you haven’t picked up on this yet, I am a serious research junkie. And this has created some problems as a new parent. One minute I’m all, let’s do this sleep coaching method. Then I’m saying, maybe crying isn’t the worst thing ever. Then I get a full night’s rest and go back to my trusty Dr. Sears and think maybe Trevor’s right… maybe if he just works with her on getting through the night without nursing, her stretches of sleep will get longer. Because what if I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing altogether? What if, because of my increasingly desperate sleep deprivation, I’m stressing about getting Sadie to fall asleep on her own, when maybe she’s just not ready for it. What if what actually needs to change is how frequently she’s waking up in the first place.
Here’s the good news: even with the not-so-awesome nights, Sadie is still thriving. She is happy, she is fun, she is growing and doing all sorts of cool things. So my major stress is not that Sadie’s not getting what she needs. My major stress is that I am not, and that I’m starting to burn out. There, I said it.
In reading and in talking to other moms, I suspect a major cause of Sadie’s night waking is the habit of waking up and nursing all the time. I absolutely wouldn’t undo all of the night nursing she and I did, but I do believe, at her age, it’s a habit and not a need. She eats plenty of solid food during the day, she still nurses on demand when we’re together, and she still gets pumped breastmilk in a cup. I’ve been halfway night weaning Sadie for about a week now, and it’s pretty much happened without effort. For several nights I limited her nursing to before 11:00pm and after 6:00am. Monday night she didn’t nurse after her 7:00 bedtime session. Yes, she has definitely continued to wake up A TON those nights, but she’s not demanding to be fed by any means. She has been settled back to sleep relatively easily.
So here’s where we are now: I do Sadie’s post-dinner getting ready for bed routine. Trevor does bedtime story and puts her to sleep. Trevor sleeps in her room with her and gets up to settle her back to sleep throughout the night. Brooke sleeps soundly in her bed, catching up on a year’s missed sleep (if only that were actually possible). The hope is this: as Sadie realizes that nursing isn’t part of the nighttime equation, she will gradually begin to wake up less frequently, allowing Trevor to move back into our bed.
Honestly, I can’t believe he’s signed up for this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s AWESOME. Let’s just hope it lasts and that it works.
Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions? Success or horror stories? Am I the only mom to flip-flop on decisions like this on a daily (or hourly) basis? Parents of fariy-tale babies who have always slept perfectly need not apply :).