I hope that you're ok
I hope you're resting quietly
I just wanted to say
Good, goodnight Elisabeth,
(Any Counting Crows fans?)
Thanks to everyone who talked to me about Nate's sleep issues. To sum up, what it comes down to is this:
1 - We were lucky that he slept through the night since he was a week old. He also napped fairly easily, but not without assistance (rocking/holding, etc). He would wake up happy.
2 - That all changed a couple of months ago.
3 - He wakes up screaming now, like he's terrified that he's been abandoned. (Oh, hey there, separation anxiety, nice to meet you.) He will not nap in his crib for more than 20-45 minutes, tops. When we pick him up from there, he nearly immediately zonks back out. (Same goes for his 4am awakenings.)
This all has me concerned because I don't believe he's getting enough sleep, total, every day, which can affect his development. In addition, if you are the person home with him, it's hard to get much done because you have to hold him through his naps and you can't leave him alone to go shower because he screams the whole time. (He didn't used to. And he used to cry, not scream. Now screaming is the norm.)
It's hard to plan things on the weekends because we have no idea when he'll sleep. It's hard to get anything done at night because he's not asleep until 10pm.
In short, his sleeping doesn't work for me and I am convinced it's not doing him any good either. In fact, I'm pretty sure we're getting to the point where it might be a bit harmful or at least significantly troublesome.
I know the separation anxiety is one issue and the sleeping may be another, but they're also intertwined and the sleeping is the part that I feel like we can hopefully get a hold of and work on.
(And, oh, just look at that little sleeping face on the Sleep cover. I want to smother those cheeks with kisses.)
I read summaries and sneak peeks of a lot of baby sleep books, but these won me over handily when I read this:
"I soon discovered two basic schools of thought when it comes to babies and sleep. One side advocates letting a baby cry until she learns to fall asleep on her own. The other side says that it is normal for babies to wake up at night and that it is a parent's job to nurture the baby - all day and all night. Eventually, when your baby is ready, she will sleep through the night.
In a nutshell, the two methods can be summed up as 'cry it out' or 'life with it.' I wanted neither. I knew there had to be a kinder way, a road somewhere between nighttime neglect and daytime exhaustion that would be nurturing for my baby and for me."
That sold me - because that's us. Nearly exactly.
I've been trying to read the same Steve Martin book for months and months now (I'm halfway through) because I really have no free time to read, what with my schoolwork and taking care of Nate at night, but I had a sort of stroke of luck last night in that I had to proctor an exam for work and the computer in classroom was slow, so I couldn't do any research - so I read the Sleep book! Well, most of it - it's 246 pages long and I got up to page 204. Hurrah!
It's definitely going to take some work and significant dedication. And I won't be able to accomplish a single thing unless the hubby is 100% on board as well, so we're going to have to talk this through and figure out when we want to start our new routine. Once we start it, we have to be consistent, including on weekends, until we see significant improvement - and that can take two months - or more. Or less. We can't know ahead of time. All we can know is that results won't be immediate and that the best thing we can be is consistent.
I'm on board, though. I'm really hopeful about these books. I will definitely post again when we start working on this.