Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rest for the Whole Family

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While pregnant, I dreamed of what life would be like with a new baby. I had experience with kids and newborns, my husband did not. I thought I would be the tough one and he would be the softie. Our beautiful son was born and exhaustion set in. At the time, we lived in a one bedroom apartment that we had set up like a studio. Most of our belongings were packed in boxes from floor to ceiling in the bedroom and we made the living room our bedroom/nursery/dining room. It was tight quarters, but it worked for the time being. We were under contract to buy a house, so it was just a short term solution. 

The first few weeks or two our son would sleep in his crib and I would feed on demand. I was utterly exhausted. One night, in a zombie state, I brought him into our bed to nurse and both baby and I fell back asleep. I found this to be easy. I could sleep and he could eat. There I no longer used the crib and when it was time for my son to sleep I would lay down with him and sleep too. There was only one problem. We had a queen size bed and my husband is a very heavy sleeper. I awoke one night to find my son trapped under the weight of my husband. I began sleeping at the very edge of the bed to give my son the most amount of room possible. After a couple weeks of this I discovered the little sleep I was getting wasn't quality. I was waking multiple times in the night to nurse and when I was sleeping, it was always a light sleep so I could watch over my little one. I needed more sleep and I realized it. We tried to transition our son back into the crib, but he wasn't having it. I didn't like letting him cry himself to sleep, so I would walk him, rock him, hold him on the edge of the bathtub while the water ran. I tried everything. Whatever worked that night was my life saver. Too bad it took 45 minutes to get anything to work! I honestly had convinced myself if was easier to do it that way.

Around 5 or 6 weeks into my son's life, my husband's coworker suggested we read Babywise. My husband was all for it. We bought a copy and while he read aloud I would tune him out. I was not on board. I don't remember how it happened. Somehow I too became a fan. Maybe because I saw it was working. We would put our son in the crib and comfort him every so often. There was no extra room in our apartment for his crib to go into, so we were right there while he screamed. The first night I think he lasted for 3 hours. My sweet husband sat by the crib all night comforting as needed. He also had to spend some time holding me in the bed while I sobbed. The first night was rough. The first couple of nights were rough. I would take a bath while he went to sleep or make a trip to the grocery store. It was tough on me hearing my baby cry. Gradually things got better. My son spent less time crying and more time sleeping. After a few weeks there was no crying. We would lay him down and he would fall asleep. We all began sleeping better and life was great! 

I no longer nursed on demand and loved the schedule I was creating. I'm a person who likes routine, so everything was working out great! My son is 11 months old now. He is a great sleeper. He loves his crib! He sleeps at least 12 hours a night and takes 2 naps a day. There is no more crying when it's time to go to sleep. In fact, the few times I have tried to rock him to sleep he fights me, but the second I lay him down in the crib he goes straight to sleep. I am so thankful that my husband took charge and convinced me that Babywise would work. It really was a life saver for us!

Jenny

5 comments:

Ron and Tiffany said...

Loved your story! I was 100% BW with my first, but circumstances were a lot different with the 2nd (hubs was deployed, I was moving, baby was high maintenance, etc.), so we didn't implement BW right away. I would have to fight with him for about an hour every time I needed him to go to sleep, including once in the middle of the night. It was like living a nightmare. Sometimes the only way to get him to go to sleep was to just lay down with him, which my husband didn't like at all. I often had to do that in the middle of the night after getting him to sleep (finally) only to have him wake up as soon as I laid him down. Hubs and I love snuggling for a few minutes in the morning, but every morning we were waking up with a baby between us. UGH! Now that he's learned to put himself to sleep, though, he just WON'T fall asleep with me holding him or lying down with him. Sometimes I kind of wish he would, just because I miss the snuggles, but DEFINITELY not enough to go back to that crazy nightmare that I was living!

Sarah said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing. Your comment about you not getting quality sleep when he was sleeping with you is the thing I ALWAYS think of when people tell me that co-sleeping allows mom to sleep when baby sleeps. Sure - but it would not be good sleep for me at all.

I'm glad things were able to settle into a routine for you!!

Sabrina said...

Thanks for sharing! I am curious how old was your son when you finally decided to let him CIO? I have a 6 week old and I think it's time.

Jenny said...

Sabrina, he was somewhere around 6 weeks. I will admit that it was very tough! Hang in there and remember that in the morning he will love you just as much! It also helps if you have a supportive husband on board too!

Daniel and Amanda Fry said...

Your story sounds so much like mine and mine husbands. It's great to hear you've had success. We've had success with CIO to get our LO to sleep in his crib. He does great at bedtime but it's nighttime that we have the problem. My little boy will get up at about midnight-2am to feed and go back to bed until about 4-5. After that it's been a nightmare. He will wake up and not want to go back to bed unless we're holding him. He'll go back to sleep but them wake up right when we set him in his crib. I've tried to let him CIO the last 4 nights but he'll cry for almost 2 hours. By then I just give up and get him up for the morning. Our daytime routine hasn't changed at all. We have noticed he's become dependent on his pacifier to soothe himself back to sleep. What do I do? Do I take his pacifier away and battle with him throughout the night? Do I continue to let him cry it out at 4-6am even if I'm not seeing results?

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