More on Sleep

We have sleep news!  E hasn’t been sleeping in any longer stretches, but he has started napping in his crib.  I had heard of the “Pick-Up, Put-Down” method, and from the sounds of it, it seemed to mirror what we were already trying for the most part.  We had been picking E up when he cried, calming him down/putting him to sleep, then putting him down.  With the PU/PD method, the Baby Whisperer says to put him down the SECOND he stops crying in our arms.  We’ve been trying this, and ta-da!  Naps in his crib.  I’ve been staying in his room while he sleeps, but at least I am getting 30 minutes of homework time where I get to stay in one place!  And sit down! The very first day of trying PU/PD, E cried on/off for 20 minutes before falling asleep on his own for the first two naps of the day, but the third nap, he went down without a peep and fell asleep after a few minutes of laying there quietly.  I feel like there is hope!  Hopefully, the next step is for him to put himself back to sleep during the night to equal more sleep for Mommy.  And trying to cut back on how many times he’s nursing during the night.  Wish us luck!


Sleep (the serious lack thereof)

Okay. I am in serious need of help, or at the very least, commiseration.

E’s sleep is atrocious.

Of course I realized that having a newborn meant I would be missing out on some precious sleep, but I didn’t realize it would continue this long. Or that it would get worse.

Currently, E is only sleeping for an hour at a time at night.  When he wakes up (4-5 times per night), he wants to eat, which takes an hour as well.  So, I’m getting an hour (if I’m lucky) of sleep at a time, broken up by an hour of being awake with him.  We go to bed around 8; I’ve tried for earlier bedtimes for E, but he hasn’t gone for it.  No matter how early I start getting him ready for bed, he always seems to go to sleep around 8.  And he is wide awake around 4am.  To counter this, I have been bringing him to bed with me, where he nurses and naps until around 8am.  So at least there’s that little bit of sleep I’m getting.  Although I worry that it will be a hard habit to break.

I thought before having E that I would want to co-sleep, but it turns out, I like sleeping without him.  With my wife.  Crazy, I know.  I don’t know what to do.  I was all gung-ho about sleep training a week or two ago, but I think he’s too young.  No object permanence means he doesn’t know that I’m still around when he can’t see me.  And it breaks my heart to think that he would feel abandoned.  But at the same time, I am desperate for some kind of solution or hope. How long can one continue on this much, low quality sleep?  It is affecting my mood, all the time, and Michelle and I are snapping at each other often.

There’s the daytime sleep problem too.  E takes naps after being awake two hours (usually 3 per day), which range from 30 minutes to an hour.  30 minutes is an average nap, an hour is a great one.  He naps in the Ergo carrier.  And needs to be walked around for much of his nap, so I’m seriously limited in what I can do.  Which is a problem when I am 1) a neat freak (messes affect my sanity) and 2) a full-time graduate student.  I have zero time to clean or do my schoolwork, which is making me crazy and stressed.

I have read a few sleep books, Ferber and The No Cry Sleep Solution, but I don’t think he’s old enough for Ferber, and I’m already doing everything suggested in No Cry except co-sleeping.  Elizabeth Pantley suggests considering these questions:

1) Am I content with the way things are, or am I becoming resentful, angry, or frustrated?  No, and yes.

2) Is my baby’s nighttime routine negatively affecting my marriage, job, or relationships with my other children?  Yes!

3) Is my baby happy, healthy, and seemingly well-rested?  No

4) Based on the facts in this book (see Chapter 2), what is a reasonable expectation for my baby at his age?  10-11 hours per night!  And 15 hours night and day!

5) What naptime and bedtime situation would I consider “acceptable”?  Um, 3-4 continuous hours of sleep? Only nursing 2-3 times per night (instead of 4-5)?

6) What naptime and bedtime situation would I consider “pure bliss”?  Two four hour chunks of sleep with only one nighttime nursing!  Aaah… that would be bliss indeed.

I actually guffawed reading 1-3.  Like “Ha! Good one!”.

We have some serious sleep issues here… help