Separation anxiety has hit hard in our house, so much so that it is affecting night time wakings. Everly used to wake only once in a 12 hour stretch and now she is waking every 1 to 2 hours- argh! All I am asking for right now is one stretch of 4 hours that I can sleep uninterrupted, one full sleep cycle, ah it would be lovely. Sometimes when I hear people talking about how much they have slept in a certain period of time I start fantasizing what that would feel like, I like to call this sleep porn. Some of my well meaning friends will look at my face and say oh, maybe I should stop talking about this with you (they don’t want me to be jealous obviously), but I say no, no continue on… tell me what you did when your head hit the pillow, ah yes, that’s right, that’s what I want to hear… dirty, dirty sleep porn.
According to developmental theory that I learned in school (turns out the degree came in handy) she is waking and realizing that we are two different people and that I am not there and so she gets scared. Separation anxiety commonly occurs when babies become mobile on their own- which she now is, the crawling little monkey! We are so proud of her!!! (see the vide0). And if sleepless nights aren’t enough separation anxiety has also brought the only mom will do phase. Gone are the days when she can be soothed by her dad or someone else. At the worst of it I couldn’t even leave the room without her wailing, fortunately these frenzied outbursts seem to be on the decline. I am doing what I am supposed to and saying bye-bye I’ll be right back and then coming back to teach her that I continue to exist even though she can’t see me, silly baby. Some days she thinks this is funny and laughs when I reappear, other days she screams until she can see me again, I guess it’s a learning process!
One of my biggest fears about becoming a mom was how I was going to deal with this only mom will do phase. I am a person who enjoys some time to herself sometimes and I like a small amount of personal space. I wouldn’t say that I have a bubble, but sometimes I like to have no one touching me, that’s not too much to ask is it? If you ask my daughter this question she will say yes, that is too much to ask. I totally understand the motivation behind her behaviour and it’s very touching that she loves me so much and wants to be around me ALL THE TIME, but sometimes I need a break. I know that some mommys thrive on this stage and love the feeling of being needed, I would have to admit that I am not one of those mommys! I want my daughter to be easily settled by both her father and I because quite frankly I get a bit overwhelmed by it all. It is very exhausting to have someone need you so much. I wasn’t expecting this, no where in the “what to expect” book did I find this highlighted as something to expect!
Also, Elizabeth Pantley and I are on the outs. I am not sure if it’s poor timing with the separation anxiety or not, but since we have started the no cry sleep solution Everly’s sleep has gone from so-so to not so great at all. Through reading so much on sleep I have really started to see what a strong association Everly has developed between sucking and sleep. And I am having this feeling that reoccurs in my gut; it tells me the Pantley method will work for us. Giving her what she wants, every time she wants it whilst slowly weaning her from what she wants is turning out to be an exhausting endeavor. We are one week in, she recommeds doing the method for at least 10 days and then doing a follow up log to compare to your original log from day one. 3 more days, we will see where that takes us.
Around the same time I started reading the Pantley book I also started The Baby Whisperer. The Baby Whisperer was recommended to me to help get us on a routine, I don’t do too well with a lack of structure and have often wondered if Everly might do better herself if we nailed down a regular routine. I don’t mean to stick to a strict schedule, I don’t think that helps anyone as you just stress about sticking to the schedule, but I like the sound of a loose routine. Now that Everly is no longer feeding on demand, I don’t see why we can’t move towards more structure than the orders of her little belly 🙂 The one thing I am not sure about the Baby Whisperer routine is that E for Eat occurs at the beginning of the EASY routine and S for Sleep is not right after. I have always fed Everly right before she sleeps, so switching will throw her for a bit of a loop, but will it help to break the suck to sleep association… hmmmmm?
Oh and to end on a positive note here (seemed to be a lot of complaining in this post- he he), I want to repeat myself and say that Everly is doing a 4 point cross crawl now!!! I am so proud of her I had to say it again. To see her little booty scooting behind me is so adorable. Often when she has completed a longer length she will turn her face up to look at me and she looks so proud. I applaud her and tell her how wonderful she is and she smiles and then we continue on to repeat the process, right now this is the highlight of my day. I didn’t read this in the ‘what to expect’ book either, this one was a good surprise that I didn’t even know was coming 🙂