Sleep is a hot commodity in our house, even more so than gold, and we like our gold. Everly slept like a dream baby right from day one. She never slept shorter than a five hour stretch; by the time she was six weeks old she was sleeping seven to eight hour stretches with twelve hours of night time sleep over all. So, naturally when we had Matthew we expected that we had the whole sleep thing down, and he would be the same. Ha ha ha ha ha (insert the most evil villian laugh that you can think of here). Parent bubble burst! We are not amazing baby sleep machine parents, we just got lucky. Matthew thinks that sleep is for mere mortals, and he has no desire for his mother to be a mere mortal.
We have tried all the tips over the last six months; white noise, swaddle, increasing milk supply, soothers, dream feeds, warm baths, lavender, co-sleeping, solid foods… the list goes on. I think the only exception would be the old formula before bed trick, we decided to stay away from that one because there is no proof that it works, on the contrary there is proof that formula will upset his breastfed tummy and cause gas. I know how pleasant gas is, we decided to spare the baby. So, tips, tricks and old wives’ tales aside, here we are now at six months post birth and still not sleeping.
It’s time for a revolution. It’s time to overthrow the sleep dictator. His six month reign of terror is over. It’s time for a plan. Our house is an “attachment parenting” home, so there will be no crying it out or tough love. We tried this method with Everly and it didn’t work and I still feel SICK when I think about the whole process. I don’t have it in my heart and soul to do that again. Sorry Evie, you were the unfortunate test pilot of your parents and we shit the bed on that one. From my lengthy research on sleep gurus the last time around, I know what else is out there and I know that there is a “method” the gels better with my conscience. Now back up the truck before you think I am being all judgmental, I am not saying that the cry it out methods can’t work, don’t work, or are cruel. Cry it out methods have worked beautifully for some families that I know and I think that’s wonderful! It just doesn’t work for our family.
This is probably the point in the blog post where you are saying to yourself, “last time, again- hunh?” Yes we made the same “mistake” twice and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Sleeping for 6 months with each of my babies curled up next to me is something that I will NEVER regret. So although I make it sound like he is the bad guy, I know he isn’t. He’s just a typical baby who has adapted to the world that we have created. And now we are the jerks who are going to change everything. Why change everything now? Isn’t that cruel? Well no it’s not, because he isn’t sleeping as well as he could be and I am not either. Both of us need to sleep to be happy and healthy members of our family. If he were sleeping 8 hours next to me all night I can guarantee that I would not be attempting to put him into his own bed!
We have decided to use the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. This method worked best with Everly and Matty seems to be having the same issues that she did- namely not being able to go to sleep on their own. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for all those brief awakenings during the night. Damn the shortened sleep cycles of babies and their stupid brief awakenings! At least Evie took a soother, Matthew has opinions of soothers that are similar to his opinions of daytime naps and night time sleep… My children are so stubborn and I have no clue where they get it :)-
For the last two days have been collecting our sleep data. I have been recording all of Matthew’s naps and night time sleep. When I see these numbers I think, “holy shit, no wonder I am so zombie, fried, dead tired.” NO WONDER! I will share the results at the end of the three days, along with our plan!