Tuesday, December 4, 2018

How's the baby sleeping?

Since when I finally got around to posting I hit a popular divisive topic in mommy wars, staying at home vs. working, I figured why not make it a two-fer. Next up: baby sleep!

One of the common questions you get when you have a baby is "How is she sleeping?". Remington sleeps great! As long as she is in my arms or snuggled next to me she sleeps pretty well, when she is also nursing, she sleeps wonderfully.



In answer to what I know people actually mean when they ask that question, no, I do not kiss her goodnight at 7pm, put her in her crib, and see her in the morning. She's not so much a fan of that.

When it comes to baby sleep, you have two options. You can have your baby cry it out, therefore making them think they've been abandoned in a Russian orphanage and preventing them from ever experiencing emotions, or you can respond to their every cry, therefore creating an overly attached pathetic mama's boy or girl who will never be able to fall asleep unless their mother rocks them EVER and generally cannot cope with life. So, clearly, it's an easy decision, you just have to decide which way of ruining your child best fits in with your lifestyle as a parent.



Right now I'm doing option 2, but being on my third child, I know things can change at any moment, and I might switch to option 1 at any point. First, I was ruining my child by having her sleep in the rock and play. If you're the parent of a child under age 5, and you have access to the internet, you know that's a huge no no. Both Remington and Royce slept pretty well in the rock and play until about 5 months, when they began to outgrow it.

Shortly after arriving home from the hospital, Remi slept swaddled in the rock and play. She woke about every 2 hours to eat. Babies are supposed to slowly increase the time between feedings as they grow. Parents love to brag on social media about how long of a "stretch" their baby did. I believe Harvard offers early admission to any baby who hits 6 hours by a month old (no personal experience).

TINY BB IN ROCK AND PLAY

As I've learned, babies often don't read the books or pay attention at pediatrician checkups, so Remi hit six months and had never increased her "stretches" past the 2 hours. I'm not really much of a sleep trainer because I'm lazy and it all sounds like a lot of stressful work. I don't do the "eat, play, sleep", I'm solidly in the "when in doubt, whip it out" camp. Definitely a bit of an attachment parent when it comes to sleep, but I can never get in to that club because I abandoned my first two to daycare at only 12 weeks old. 

Additionally, around five months, she started doing the thing where she would wake up to eat, I'd put her away in the rock and play, and then she'd wake up 20 minutes later, angry to be all alone. This was also around the time she got hand foot mouth/ear infections/pink eye. She had been starting to put herself to sleep occasionally, but after her illnesses that was out the window.

The day she turned six months I packed up the rock and play and put it in the basement. I also posted to insta stories Eric bringing the mini crib up the stairs. Her actual bedroom is really far from our bedroom so with her waking so much there was no way. I was ready to transition her to the crib, just still in the same room as me.

I put her in the crib that night after she went to sleep. She woke up screaming pretty quickly. And I just decided I was done. I did a little refresh on safe bedsharing, and we haven't really bothered with the crib since. As many of us know, Eric is a SUPER deep sleeper, so we are both more comfortable with him sleeping separately when we have tiny babies. Since we came home from the hospital with Royce and Remi I've nursed side lying in bed. Dalton was a whooooooole different story because #firsttimeparents.

I also stopped looking at my phone at night. I'm not even sure how I got back into that habit because I didn't track much with Royce. Now I put it on do not disturb and don't look at it again until morning. I know she wakes and nurses at night still but I have no idea how many times, how long the all important stretches are, nothing. That was all crazy making. I wouldn't say I feel like I've just gotten back from a week at the spa but I feel much more rested than I have in six months.

"But my cousin's neighbor's mailman coslept and his daughter wouldn't sleep alone until she was 17." Yep I'm aware that everyone who's never coslept personally knows someone who it caused "issues" for. And there will come a time where it won't work anymore and we will have to figure out something else. But one of my goals in parenting is to do what works until it doesn't work. I spent a ton of Dalton's infancy worried about the so called "bad habits" and it was a huge waste of time because the fact is I don't know what will happen or how she will develop or what will work for our family when she's 2 or 4 or in elementary school, but I do know this works right at this moment.

I honestly don't really think much you do when your kids are babies matters. Vaccinate them and do your best with car seat safety and don't give them recreational drugs. Aside from that, just survive the year and the babies will be fine. The important thing is to try to do what makes you, as the parent, not lose your mind. For some people, cosleeping and nursing all night on demand would make them lose their mind. They definitely shouldn't do it. For me, right now, cry it out would make me lose my mind. So, I am not doing it. Just do whatever sounds the least horrible to you and if someone else does something different, both your babies will be fine.



Of course, I talk a big game, but I stress over it and wonder if I'm dooming her to never being independent. When my friend's son was around Remi's age, she was cosleeping and stressing and I was pregnant at the time and told her not to worry, he would sleep on his own when he was ready (apparently, full disclosure, I don't remember this but my pregnancy brain was pretty bad). Well now he's a year and sleeping better and I'm texting her for reassurance that I'm not ruining my kid. She said "but you're the one who told me they sleep on their own!". Ahhh right but that was when I was pregnant and full of wisdom and confidence. Now the kid is here and even though it's not my first rodeo I still really don't know what I'm doing.

So unimpressed with my ineptitude 

Which sleep method did you ruin your kid with?



5 comments:

  1. I ruined my kids with long term pacifier use (my first born), nursing at bedtime and during the night for a year (both), not sleep training (well, I suppose I kind of did, I did get desperate, and it required my husband since leaving my child to cry alone was not going to happen for my sanity). They are 13 and 10 now and sleep through the night, are fairly normal kids, quite smart and well adjusted, too. So, 🤷🏻‍♀️.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yesssss to this post!!!
    “But one of my goals in parenting is to do what works until it doesn't work. I spent a ton of Dalton's infancy worried about the so called "bad habits" and it was a huge waste of time because the fact is I don't know what will happen or how she will develop or what will work for our family when she's 2 or 4 or in elementary school, but I do know this works right at this moment.”
    I think you said this to me when I was stressing about holding Will for every nap, and thus “creating bad habits”- “do what works for you”. So I continue to hold him for every nap at 7 months old, and we’ve never been happier!

    “I honestly don't really think much you do when your kids are babies matters. Vaccinate them and do your best with car seat safety and don't give them recreational drugs. Aside from that, just survive the year and the babies will be fine.”
    This quote should go viral. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was too lazy/weak to sleep train, and figured I would get to sleep through the night eventually. This turned out to be true. But they are still young, still lots of time to screw my kids up. Yayy....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Heee! Excellent post. We ferberized our kid when he was four months old, so obviously he is now incapable of love.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How do I know this sleep thing is 100% kid temperament and completely unrelated to anything you, as a parent, do?

    My second just...wait for it...went down drowsy but awake. (A phrase I used to think was fiction.) She's in the throes of the 4-month sleep regression, and so she woke up after 45 minutes. And I patted her as she lay there in the Dockatot in our bed, and after a while she went right back to sleep. (If you had told me this 3 years ago I would've thought you were making things up.)

    Throughout this, kid 1 is crying and refusing to go to bed (because he is tired, go figure). I guess I ruined him by being a one-woman all-night milk buffet for a year and a half, lol.

    People ask me 'How is the baby sleeping?' and I look at them blankly and go 'Her sleep is not the problem...'!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.