Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Baby CAN Sleep!!!

For about as old as Andrew is, 7 months, he's been a terrible sleeper. And I have been the culprit for the entire process...yes, I know. Being my 1st child I knew nothing of babies except how to change their diapers and play with them. I didn't know what they should eat, drink, why or how anything in their little minds worked. This all changed by getting pregnant, giving birth and reading endlessly online about what my child needs to be learning and how he's supposed to be developing.

At about Andrew's 4th month, I started to learn how to help him sleep on his own. I love my mother and all, but her help was limited in that area. It didn't work leaving him to cry because Gary or I would cave in or Dawna would be screaming at my door to pick him up. So the frustruation grew along with the 4-5 times a night wakings. It got so bad that I developed back problems just from nursing him in our bed because I was too tired (lazy) to get up and give him his "boobie-juice." So at about the 6 month mark, I found the "Asleep in 2 minutes" hold which was awesome but it didn't always work. I still had to nurse him to sleep and gently lay him back in his crib, hoping he wouldn't wake up.

Then last Wednesday, praise the Lord, I asked a friend at Cottonwood's nursery where I work about her baby sleeping through the night. Her baby is only about 1 month older or so. She told me that from very early, they teach their babies (they have 4 girls and 1 boy!) that when they lay them in their crib, they know it's sleep time. They learn that they're supposed to sleep. You don't pick them up even if they're crying, and if by any means they stand up or move around like a worm (like Andrew does in his) adjust them, pat them on the back and move away from the crib. She also said that your partner has to be together with you on this, and I'm very lucky that I have such a supporting husband. So I tried it, Wednesday night--poor Andrew--he cried and cried, wiggled and wiggled his head into the corner of the crib, and finally went to sleep. And then I tried it at nap time, he cried and cried, wiggled and wiggled, finally went to sleep. It deprived Gary of a couple of hours of sleep, but he was fine with it. Thursday night went a lot better for him...he still cried and wiggled, but fell asleep much faster. He still wakes up about 1 hr or so after I've put him to bed, but Gary and I just leave him be, check on him to see if he's ok without him seeing us, and he's off to sleep again. Very little crying anymore, just moans and grunts and wiggles but not to the point where I don't see that method working.
You can imagine my relief and my sleep-deprived body to be SO joyous about something like this! I did NOT want to be a parent with that child that doesn't go to bed obediently when it was bed time like on Super Nanny, which by the way Julie, I've watched since you mentioned it. And it's awful to be one of those parents! I hope that Andrew will eventually just wake up and drift back to sleep but we'll see. He's a grunter and a wiggler so I guess it depends on him.

So, thanks Julie SOOOOO much for your words of wisdom, you have no idea how much you've helped me realize just how simple and easy it could have been if I would've just kept myself out the way of his sleeping... ha!

By the way, this picture above was taken one morning after he'd woken up and he had toast with grape jelly for breakfast. Cute! =)