Having been there done that, I thought that surely I would manage the sleeping habits of my future children better than I did those of my first. Surely, I would. I promise. Ha! I fear that I have ruined a good thing.
Let's go back, say, 3 years. B was almost 4 months old. She slept fairly well for a baby...if she was in my arms....and had nursed to sleep. Otherwise, it was a FIGHT. This is how we spent many an hour, sometimes all in a row.
This was June 2004, Hubby had just spent 45 minutes BOUNCING B to sleep on the birthing ball. And that would only happen if the circumstances were JUST right--not too much noise, but not so quiet that Daddy's joints could be heard cracking as he bounced up and down, up and down, up and down. Her tummy had to be full, she had to have a bink, and generally we had to hold her hand down so that she wouldn't pull the bink out or startle herself awake by flailing about. All of this work for, say, 45 minutes of a nap. POSSIBLY, just possibly, up to 2 hours of sleep at night.
I'm not kidding. She took 45 minute naps. Then slept in 2 hours blocks all night long. Until she was 13 months old. It's amazing how little sleep you can live on.
Back to the present child. I vowed to do things differently. I still nursed to sleep and co-slept. But, I made it a point to try to put her down awake but drowsy. I remember at six weeks old, I could put her in the cosleeper with a full tummy and she could doze off. By herself. I was amazed. And totally proud of myself for my wonderful parenting.
Fast forward to now. OK, we'll take yesterday as an example:
Up for the morning at 8:15.
Ready for a snooze by 10:30. We head up to her room to rock and snuggle. After about 5 minutes of nursing, she's popping off and on, so I plug in the bink and rock. Once she's almost asleep, I ever so quietly and gently place her in her crib. The eyes pop open. I jiggled, sang, massaged, ignored, thought about swearing, jiggled some more.
She finally fell asleep at 11:15. It was without any help from me (I was in another ignoring stage), so I considered it a success. At noon she woke up seeming happy, so I got her up. 2pm--crabby, so we once again head up. This time she falls asleep nursing and transfers to her bed without any trouble for an hour of a nap. When she woke up, I snuggled her in the glider and we both fell asleep for 1/2 hour more.
6pm--totally crabby, but I'm making dinner, so I keep handing her toys/snacks to keep her happy until I have a minute. After dinner, she's wasted tired, so hubby takes her up for bed. He's gone for 1/2 hour. (I know that he rocks and snuggles her in the chair.) After the usual 45 minutes of sleep, she was awake again, and he went to take care of her. She went down again. Slept for an hour. Awake looking for Mommy and a snack. Nursed back to sleep--then back in her bed. That puts us at about 10pm or so. She woke up again at midnight at which point I admitted defeat and brought her in to bed with us to wake me up every 1-2 hours to eat.
Somehow, I've ruined a good sleeper.
I've been working on re-reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and William Sears. My idea of getting her to go to sleep by herself is on the right track, I think. It's just a matter of taking the time and patience that it requires to go through with it.
So far today:
10 am nap--nursed and snuggled, then put in crib and rubbed her back until she was out--resulting in 45 minute nap.
2pm nap--nursed and snuggled. She fell asleep, then woke in her bed after 45 minutes. I went in a rubbed her back for 8 minutes until she was asleep again and she slept for another hour. *woohoo*
It's a shame the massage was wasted on her. I really could use a massage right now. *grin*
Now, for a trip down memory lane, since I went digging for old pictures. What mom can resist looking through all the baby pictures? *proud grin*
B at 4-5 months old (Man, she was a chub!)
OK, and on the how much would you pay train of thought...
Have you been over to 5 Minutes for Mom? They are having a great giveaway for Mother's Day. Go check them out!! They are giving away an Ipod and a Mei Tai Baby Carrier from All Natural Mommies. How fun is that?!