Friday, March 01, 2013

Week 7: The "S" Word

It's been a sleepless, restless, exhausting week yet again at the House of Noah.

Instead of sleeping 2 hour stretches at night, it seems Noah has decided to stir every hour or so instead.  So considerate of him.  And during the day, he has now decided that he would like us to hold him for all his naps.  That's a lot of holding (and aching arms and shoulders) when you consider that he naps 8-10 hours a day.

So even though Noah's barely turned 6 weeks old, I decided this can't go on any longer.  We are all simply too exhausted.  It's one thing to indulge a newborn when he's your first and only child.  But it's another thing entirely when you're also trying to care for a very needy toddler who is constantly weepy because he's not getting even a quarter of the attention that he's used to--poor Judah.

The spouse gives Noah some 'sun' time.  We make fat babies.

So I told the spouse we are going to start sleep-training.  Now.  Ah, the dreaded 'S' word.  The bane of all parent's existence (except those lucky 10% who have kids that sleep like rocks--how I hate those people).  I scoured all the baby books for support but none of them suggested sleep-training until the baby was at least   2 and a half months.  Better to wait till 12 weeks.

Well...if I waited any longer, I'm pretty sure I'd be dead from exhaustion.  So, nope.  The only thing I took comfort in was that many books say 15 to 20 minutes of crying wouldn't hurt a newborn.  So, that's something.

The first night of sleep training I had very modest goals for Noah.  I only wanted him to hold out for at least 2.5 hours before nursing him.  And I told myself I wouldn't let him cry for more than 20 minutes.  He actually did really well and only had 1 crying bout of 20 minutes long.  Turns out, I've been going to nurse him too early--without giving him a chance to grunt and settle back down himself!  I've decided to sleep well away from his room now and put on ear plugs so I only hear his 'real' cries.

The next night of sleep training was even better.  He cried 2 separate times for 8 minutes each time and slept 3.5 hour stretches.  I heard the Hallelujah chorus in my head and dared to hope.

But you know the thing about babies...just when you think you have it figured out, they often throw you and your damned optimism out the window and take a turn for the worse.

We'll see what tonight brings...

Meanwhile I've been consoling myself in the arms of the British aristocracy.  Yes, I'm finally watching the PBS sensation--Downton Abbey--while endlessly holding and rocking the baby.  So, silver lining after all.

1 comment:

CP said...

So glad the sleep training is working! It saved me for my second child- didn't dare try it for my first :)

I have yet to watch that show but I have been meaning to.