Friday, March 17, 2006

Sleep and No-sleep, Again

It seems like the endless story - this month, Peanut sleeps poorly; next month, Peanut sleeps well. In the meantime, papa sleeps as Peanut sleeps and mama usually just sleeps here & there. I asked Peanut's Grandma the other day when would she start sleeping consistently well and she told me "oh, sometime before she goes to school!".

Since Feb, Peanut had a strong case of separation anxiety that naturally flared up in the evening. I couldn't bare to hear her cry so desparately so I began snuggling her down, holding her in my arms until she was asleep and then attempting to deftly, silently, smoothly lower her into her crib. Sometimes it all went well. Often that last inch before the mattress her eyes fluttered opened followed by a big wail. Back to the chair we went.

Then, she began waking & crying at night. Papa would bring her to our bed and we'd all snuggle down for the rest of the night. Often I thought it was the sweetest thing to have our whole family in bed together. But, when Peanut couldn't settle down or got comfortable in a position that left one of us hanging off the side of the bed, it wasn't so nice.

This week, it was time to try "sleep training" aka a bit of crying. Wednesday was horrible. Mama cried and could barely sleep herself. I went through an on-going inner debate of being there for Peanut when she needs me and helping her to fall asleep on her own (but she's only a baby!!!).

Thursday, we tucked Peanut in with Pooh Bear and the cries quickly faded away. Today, there has hardly been a whimper.

Maybe Peanut just needed a little friend to share the bed with her.


ayrsley said...

Since peanut is almost a year old, TRUST ME you want her to sleep on her own. It seems all cute and nice to have her in your bed until it totally disrupts your own life and your marriage. To be a good parent, you FIRST have to be a good spouse and that means have a strong marriage. Little people, little problems, big people, BIG problems. If you haven't already, MEMORIZE "On Becoming Babywise". I once let Madeline cry 2 hours by herself until she wore herself out...then she slept a solid 13 hours which was heavenly. I do feel for you. Develop thicker skin.

Maiju said...

Well, I don't think the same as Ayrsley. I use to have both of our girls sleeping beside me while they were babies. They still might come sleep into our bed during the night. I want to give the warmth it gives to my children. they need toknow that mommy's and daddy's lap is always there for them.

I don't think that if you have a child sleeping with you it automaticly means your marriage will suffer. It will suffer anyway when you have a little sleep. Somehow i don't see that the child is some kind of enemy that if you let him/her come close to you he/she will then cast out the daddy. At least we found ways of keeping our relationship together and we are having a strong marriage even tough our children have takn control of where they sleep.

That's true that it's most important to take care of the marriage while that's the best way to take care of your child providing a good loving home. I also think that however you choose to settle this sleeping problem it's the best thing for you. Families are different and moms too. I know that my sister couldn't sleep with the baby next to her at all but I slept even better many times with the baby close to me.

I couldn't handle the crying thing. Some people are better in that. It also didn't bother me that we slept in different rooms with my husband once in while. We still do sometimes if the other wants to stay up longer and soesn't want to wake up the other coming to bed later. My mum can't handle that. She wants to go to bed with my father always at the same time. So we are so different that it's hard to know what would be the best solution for you. I'm sure you will find it. :)

Peanut's Mom said...

Sleeping, I've found, is one of those hot topics in parenting along with CIO (cry it out) v. cuddle, breast feeding v. formula, stay-at-home v. working, EC v. potty train a toddler, feed baby organics v. whatever is on your plate (including fast food), tv v. no tv, and the many other parenting choices we all face.

There is no one right solution for every child or family.

I've read "Babywise" along with a stack of other books and countless webpages. I've sought the advice of friends, family and the dr. In the end when we face a big issue, Peanut's dad & I discuss what all the advice is. And, then we discuss what we think is right for Peanut and us. I can't say that we've followed any single source verbatim.

But, I do think we feel good about the choices we've made (and certainly sometimes we've done a 180 turn to try the exact opposite advice).

On the sleep front - Peanut is back to sleeping well at night and going to sleep on her own. Mama & papa are sleeping better, too.