Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Night One: Small Victory

It seems that sleep issues and babies is one hot topic. It's so mutli-layered and complex that it's mind boggling. Here's a list of possible causes of Marin's night waking:

- teething

- eating too much dairy during the day = upset stomach

- genetics = upset stomach (this kid has had tummy problems her whole life)

- got into bad "habits" when she had her 1st ear infection at the beginning of July, and is now "used to" being up a lot at night

- learning to stand and possibly walk soon = Must! Practice! While! Sleeping!

- her recent separation anxiety makes her need Mommy all night

- she really IS hungry at night, since she hasn't been eating many solids during the day

These are just the possible causes that come to my mind without even thinking. Any of them are valid, but we've decided to focus on the fact that when she was sleeping all night, she was also eating better during the day. Now, she eats very little solids foods during the day but nurses all night. So! We've decided that if I nurse her less at night, she'll readjust and return to consuming more calories during daylight hours. This is our working theory, anyway.

BTW, we do not subscribe to the Ferber method in our household. Every family, baby, situation, circumstance is different, and I know it has worked for some people. But it is not a technique that we are comfortable with. Instead, our night weaning plan will include comfort and plenty of cuddling- from Daddy- and NO MILK from Mommy. Here it is:

Green Family Night Wean Plan:
(this sounds way more "official" than it is- we're winging it, people.)

So last night was Night 1. We decided that I would not nurse her until at least 4am. If she woke before then, David would go in and offer comfort and pacifiers and rocking, but no milky.

She woke, as usual, at 2:30 am. David went in and she put up a good fight... for about 3 minutes. Then everything was quiet, and soon they were both sleeping in the rocker. David came back to bed about 1/2 hour later.

She woke again at 4:15 and I was FULL, so I decided to nurse her. She WAS hungry. Then she nursed again at 5-something and again at 6:30... but at least she went back to sleep until about 7:30.

And! She ate such a good breakfast. She was clearly more hungry for food. I went grocery shopping today and got a few more new finger foods to try (waffles, cottage cheese, rice cakes), and I plan on filling her up today.

So, it was a small victory. She did wait to nurse until 4am like I hoped, but then kept me awake for the rest of the morning, which I had not wanted.

Tonight we'll try for 5am and see how that goes. Oh, and David commented today "I'm glad she didn't wake up again, because I was just too tired to go in there again." Ummm?.... Yeah, it's brutal. This is how I've been living for a WHOLE MONTH. This is why it's YOUR TURN. This is why we are NIGHT WEANING. Because I can't do it ANYMORE. You got up with her ONE TIME. Yeah, no sympathy here. But I did almost snort with held back laughter!

And for the record, he is excellent to go along with this plan. He is kind and patient with the baby at night (at least he was during our last round of Night Weaning: Twins Edition), and he DOES work very hard during the day, w/o the chance to rest or nap like I have. I'm just sayin'. I have no sympathy for complaining about being tired, but I love him to pieces.

1 comment:

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Yay for small victories!

I had no plan of ever letting my kids cry it out. Ever. Then came my son. It was the ONLY way he ever fell asleep. It about killed me. I hope I don't have to let my daughter cry. I don't think my heart could take it.