So my last post on our sleep training was February 6. We lasted what, four days? Yikes. After those few days I said screw it and I went right back to what I was doing before. I thought it couldn’t get worse than M getting up every 30-60 minutes, but oh dear God yes it could! One night it took me two hours to get him asleep in his crib, and he slept for… Wait for it… F.I.V.E. minutes, yes five minutes and then he was up again. I took another 30 to put him back down and he slept ten minutes. Done. Done. Done. Done. I quit.
So we went another week doing what we did before, keeping M in bed with us and nursing on demand. If you haven’t realized this by now, M is very demanding.
When I visited our local health unit for his immunizations, I told the nurse about our sleeping and solid food aversion struggles. She immediately felt that M was hungry and that’s why he wasn’t sleeping. Yes, we thought that too, but what is to be done if he won’t eat food? Well formula was to be done.
The F word. Formula. I felt like an instant failure as a breastfeeding mother, and I shared this with the nurse. And that nurse being, “so smart and so slick, thought up a lie, and thought it up quick.” (thank you Dr. Suess). Okay maybe she didn’t lie, but she definitely worked an angle. She said that since M wasn’t taking solids he was at risk for developing anemia and would potentially need iron supplements, she said that formula has added iron and would be somewhere to start for a tiny boost. She recommended a brand and I left feeling like it wasn’t the end of the world.
So I researched formula for a few days. I asked our pediatrician what she recommended and I asked the pharmacist. They all told me the same brand, and it was one that git rave reviews on the internet, so that’s the one I went with. I didn’t think it would be our cure, but I figured that after 7 months of trying the same thing, it could not hurt to try something else. What’s the definition of insanity again… Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results? Yeah that was me.
So we started with half and half bottles for his last feed on that Wednesday, he slept a little longer, but nothing huge. Same thing for Thursday night. I pumped before bed both of these nights and did not get a ton of milk, so I wasn’t completely sold that it was the formula making him more full, I felt it was more that the quantity he was taking in was keeping him full. I was just “too empty” in the evening. It’s been a struggle for me to make enough milk for this kid and I have been doing everything I can to just hold out until the time for solids. And of course now he wants to be difficult about that (but that’s another post).
I figured that the extra milk was definitely a turn to the right direction. And wanted to take our plans to the next level. I thought about our sleep training experience and analyzed the shit out of it. I came up with one conclusion- I was the problem. So I did the best thing I could think of and made plans to remove myself from the situation.
I made plans for myself and Everly to sleep over at my parents’ house for the weekend, leaving B and baby Matthew to work things out. We decided that the goal was to get M sleeping in his crib and weaned off the night feeds. Since B had never slept with him, nor fed him in the middle of the night I was sure he would have a better chance at success. I knew that M would not have those sleep associations with his dad that he had with me, and my hope was that with his dad he would make new habits! I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant to let go of control, but I had the self-awareness to see that under my control things were no working and it was time to pass the job on to someone else. If only our politicians were able to do this!
Matty’s first night with B he slept from 8:00 to 12:00, 12:00 to 4:00 and 4:00 to 8:00. When B texted me this information I was floored. The little jerk. The next night was even better, M skipped the 12:00am feed and just did 4:00am and 6:30am. By Sunday night B felt it was safe for me to come home. That Sunday night M slept from 8:00 to 6:00, ate, and went back to sleep until 8:00. He had slept 10 hours in a row, his longest sleep stretch of all time. That was such a milestone of success in this house. I was over the “Goodnight Moon.” That Monday night he slept from 8:00pm to 8:12am. And we had officially entered The Twilight Zone.
The two weeks the followed this successes were the time in my life I would like to refer to as “Sexy Sleep Bliss.” It was heaven. M would go to sleep by 8:00pm, hello evenings back to ourselves, and then be up for the day at 8:00am. Sometimes he slept right through and other days he woke up at 6:00-6:30 to eat and then go back to sleep. I didn’t mind that at all. I was able to get up, have a shower, and eat a hot breakfast (the ultimate luxury). Life was good. It’s amazing how much different you feel when you are getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night!
And then… (insert the sound of a scratching record here) Matty started getting teeth. Oh glorious, glorious Murphy and his Law, praise be to Murphy. I would seriously like to get a hold of that Murphy and introduce him to some medieval forms of punishment. My local wax museum has given me a few choice ideas. The first tooth erupted on March 5, and we are currently waiting on its neighbor, who is slow out the gate despite prime conditions.
This teething time has been not so ideal. He is up at least twice a night now, usually three. I started nursing him at these night wakings as well. I felt guilty denying him and letting him cry when I know he is in pain. But I have always put him back in the crib awake. So, I am hoping that all hope is not lost, and once this second tooth pops out he will go back to “normal” and by normal I mean the recent sleep habits that allowed me to feel human. Yeah, that’s kind of selfish to say, but really it is in his best interests for me to be getting enough sleep. I’m a much nicer person.
I was hesitant to blog about our sleep success, I was being very superstitious! I was worried that the minute I published the post, he would slide back into his old routine. So I figured why not talk about it now, when we aren’t getting any sleep anyway! Lol. The saga continues…