Friday, March 11, 2011

Sleepy Baby

So my hubby and I are sleep training.  I originally thought I could skirt the issue because Navia was such a good sleeper right away (I mean, at about 6 weeks we could put her down drowsy and she would fall asleep for a good 5 hours.  This amount of time would increase until we got a good 7 hours average each night).  Sorry for the rabbit trail.  Then 16 weeks hit us like a brick wall.  She was up every hour or so.  I wasn't sure if she was hungry so I nursed her back to sleep, then WHAM, she would wake up again.  Slowly, throughout the week she would increase her time asleep, but it was nothing like the previous couple months and I figured she wasn't hungry each time she woke up. 
p.s. I never thought I enjoyed sleep until I had a baby and it was taken away from me.  I'm a morning person by nature so sleep was a necessity, rarely a desire.

I typed in "4-month-old sleep" in Google about a week-and-a-half ago and the dreaded word "regression" was staring back at me in bold, black writing.  I decided to go to the Beverly Mom's Group I had attended earlier this winter to get a better picture of the monster I was dealing with.  I learned it usually lasts a few weeks and babies grow out of it, but I didn't want to wait 3 weeks to sleep again.  No, no, no.  I would like to sleep now.  So I did a little more research and studying of my baby girl.  

Up until this point, she wasn't emotionally attached to her pacifier.  However, at night, in her crib, I began to see that if I took it out while she was falling asleep or if she it out she would scream bloody murder until it was in her mouth again.
p.s. Navia doesn't have a baby cry, she has a diva scream.

The time had come for sleep training (but more so eliminating her need for the pacifier).  I still cringe when I say the words because I have the tendency to think I'm a bad mom for letting her cry.  I'm not though.  It works for us.  I thank the Lord I had constantly been praying for wisdom on how to deal with this situation. A month ago, I began to put her in her crib to nap so she would get used to it, and a week ago I stopped giving her the pacifier during the daytime.

Yesterday was horrible.  I was sick.  Navia was not sleeping during naps.  She would cry for an hour, sleep for 20 minutes and cry again to eat.  But last night something magical happened.  SHE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!  Now, I'm not talking 5 or 6 hours.  I'm talking 10 hours straight!  I thanked the Lord right when I woke up.  I know it may not be like this every night, but she did it once so we know she can do it again.  

I'm so glad the Lord knows my needs, my husband's needs and Navia's needs.  He is faithful and gives us just what we need in that moment.  I'm so blessed by my God!

Matthew 11:28- Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.

As a little treat to all you who read this, here's a funny "letter" from written from the perspective of a baby.  Enjoy!
She's my lovie

Dear Fellow Babies,
OK, here’s my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 5 months. The first few months were great – I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, around the clock. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse.
I’ve talked to other babies, and it seems like its pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 5-6 months. Here’s the thing: these Mommies don’t really need to sleep. It’s just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep – they just don’t need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle.
It goes like this:
Night 1 – cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it’s hard. It’s hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it’s for her own good.
Night 2 – cry every 2 hours until you get fed.
Night 3 – every hour.
Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don’t give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I know it’s hard! But she really does not need the sleep; she is just resisting the change.. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it.
The other night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with:

-My sleep sack tickled my foot.
-I felt a wrinkle under the sheet.
-My mobile made a shadow on the wall.
-I burped, and it tasted like rice cereal. I hadn’t eaten rice cereal since breakfast, what’s up with that?
-The dog said “ruff”. I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL.
-Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room.
-Too hot, too cold, just right – doesn’t matter! Keep crying!!
-I had drooled so much my sheets were damp and I didn’t like it touching me.
-I decided I was sick of all the pink in my room so I cried.

It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies’ internal clocks.
Sometimes my Mommy will call for reinforcements by sending in Daddy. Don’t worry Daddies are not set up for not needing sleep the way Mommies are. They can only handle a few pats and shhing before they declare defeat and send in the Mommy.
Also, be wary of the sleep sheep with rain noises. I like to give Mommy false hope that listening to the rain puts me to sleep sometimes I pretend to close my eyes and be asleep and then wait until I know Mommy is settling back to sleep to spring a surprise cry attack. If she doesn’t get to me fast enough I follow up with my fake cough and gag noise that always has her running to the crib. At some point I am positive she will start to realize that she really doesn’t really need sleep.
P.S. Don’t let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out.
Trust me.

Baby J

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