Monday, June 7, 2010

Ahhh she sleeps

Willow has never been a very good sleeper. Since the day we came home from the hospital. And I never planned to truly co sleep. I mean, I use to kind of sleep with all the kids propped on my chest when I fell asleep while burping or napping on the couch. But I was always terrified to really truly sleep with my babies. Until exhaustion took over with Willow. When she was tiny, after nursing her she would cry when I layed her down. We had a great co sleeper on the bed, but she wouldn't sleep in it.  So by a week, I was so tired, I just started sleeping with her snuggled up with me in the bed. And honestly I loved every minute of it. But I am a restless sleeper. I mean I spend more time awake at night than I do sleeping. And I move all the time. So with Willow that wasn't an option. Fast forward 8 months. Willow was still waking all night long, nursing throughout the night, and leaving me stiff from not moving, getting very little sleep and getting to be very cranky.

I have never been a cry it out kind of mom. Not that I had issues with others doing it, it just broke my heart and I felt awful. So I swore I would never do it. Over the past few weeks I have really met my breaking point. Willow would go down to sleep then wake up an hour later thinking it was playtime until 2 in the morning. Or worse yet, I would nurse her to sleep, lay her down, she would wake screaming. It was an all night affair. I felt like I never had 5 minutes to myself, and that she was always attached to me. I know that sounds selfish, but remember I couldn't even sleep without her attached to me.  But even worse than that was where she slept when she wasn't sleeping with me was a pack n play bassinet against my bed. The biggest problem there, she is now pulling up and I was terrified she would pull up and topple out. Finally I knew something had to give.

I knew I couldn't do the CIO, ferber method. But what I decided was: on the first night I layed her down and came in to her every 5 minutes. I would tell her gently that it was bedtime, and I was here. I would rub her back and let her know she was not alone. It took 30 minutes but she went to sleep. And she never made it to that hysterical cry. That would have broken me. She only did the hey I am here cry. But around 10 she woke up. This was her normal time, and I was dreading it. Well, it took an hour and a half of doing the same thing. This one was much harder. She cried a little harder than the first time. But still not too hard. And then she slept through the night!!!!!! The next day when I layed her down for a nap, she whimpered for 6 minutes. I didn't even have to go in to soothe her. I was so proud of her. Bedtime came around: and she fussed for 10 minutes. I can't even call it crying. She did wake up at 1:30 and she really gave me a hard time. I was exhausted,and really just wanted to pick her up and snuggle her. But I stayed strong. It took about 30 minutes again . She wasn't screaming but she wanted me to come get her. She worked herself back to sleep, and slept the rest of the night!!!
The best part, today she was getting really sleepy. She was nursing and almost falling asleep. So we went into her room. Sat in the rocking chair, read a quick story to help her know it was nap time, and I layed her down. She cried, but only until I left the room. She played for a minute and went to sleep!!! My baby girl is learning to sleep and getting WAY big. She has been such a happier baby since she has been sleeping, and I think after a few more nights of getting some decent sleep, I will be a much happier mommy too.


Erin said...

We have a three year old that wont sleep unless he is in bed with us. I feel for you; sleep problems are NOT a fun thing!

Following you back.

xo Erin

Bitsy Baby Photography said...

What an adorable baby girl! I went through the SAME thing with my baby, exactly the SAME thing...I also did the same as you did with great results! Way to go mom =) Found your blog on Dropped Stitches blog!