Monday, October 13, 2008

Battle: Sleep

Ephraim and I are in a sleep battle. So far he is DOMINATING! For those of you that don't know - Ephraim is not a great sleeper. He takes 30-45 minute naps. He currently eats every 3 hours. I would love to extend times between feedings, but he gets really fussy if he is up for more than 2 hours. Our biggest battle is bedtime. He has not slept through the night since we got back from Hawaii in the middle of August. I try to put him down around 8PM, although it is flexible depending on feeding times. He usually doesn't sleep for more than 3 hours at a time and nurses at least twice during the night. The biggest problem is I will bring him into bed to nurse and then I fall asleep, only to wake up an hour or so later and realize I never put him back to bed. If I try to move him, I usually end up waking him up and I start a whole new cycle.

Our pediatrician suggested putting him down when he was still awake, but drowsy. My crazy son decides that it is then play time. Even when I put him down and he is almost asleep. He then proceeds to play for about 15 minutes until he gets himself stuck in some crazy position. (this morning he got his head stuck between his crib and his crib toy that has lights and plays soft music.) When I pick him up and stick a pacifier in his mouth, he falls asleep instantly.

My current battle plan is this:
*Put Ephraim to bed sometime around 8
*When he wakes up - I am going to watch tv while I nurse him so that I don't fall asleep so he can go back in his crib
*Only feed him every three hours at night if necessary.

My eventual goal is to get him to sleep a minimum of 10 hours at night. Straight. Without any nursing. So mommy can get some quality sleep as well.

I am totally open to any suggestions, feedback, ideas. Please help! I am determined not to get beaten by my 6 month old!


Anonymous said...

Emmett was the same way about naps. One thing that our dr. suggested was a nighttime routine and using a lullaby cd. We started it at night...bottle, book, then turn on cd, then put him in bed. The nap routine was shorter, but basically the same. It seemed to help a lot. It may have taken a few days to work. Some books I read that had good ideas were The Baby Whisperer and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. We also used our version of the Ferber Method when he was about 8 or 9 months old. If he started crying, I would go in and give him his binky, then he would cry and I would wait 5 minutes, go back in, then wait 10 minutes, go in, wait 15min etc. I hated doing it, but it did work. I think it took about 3 days. Those are some things that worked really well for us.

As far as the eating, I don't know. I had Emmett on a schedule, and fed him when I wanted to, not on demand. Once he started eating food, he was able to go longer between feedings.

Hope that helps! Please don't think I am telling you what to do or will be offended if you don't do it. You just have to do what works for you and your baby.

Aj Schwanz said...

Bleck: it's nice that sleep deprivation causes memory loss so one doesn't remember the details of the sleep training but just the general feeling of bleck.

What helped me with Abel (who was different that Judah, but I can't remember what worked best with him):
-- Kiddopotamus swaddling blanket. Best. Thing. Ever.
-- The Baby Whisperer book (and her explanation of the sleep cycle)
-- The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD (swaddling, patting, shushing, laying down) - might try the library
-- The Fisher Price hanging-in-the-crib aquarium noise machine. At least I found it soothing when patting Abel back to sleep, so it helped one of us. :)
-- Listening to podcasts to keep me awake, learning something, or at least laughing (if you need any recommendations, let me know)
-- Turning off the monitor so I only woke up when he really needed me
-- Going to my parents house for a long weekend and having them take the night shift

Oh, I do remember some things with Judah (who was totally different than Abel). I nursed and pumped, so we tanked Judah up with rice cereal before bed, and Jason would give him a bottle when I was exhausted (Abel wouldn't take a bottle). Judah liked white noise like a fan.

The site Ask Moxie has some great recommendations - very friendly to all styles of parenting. I also enjoy ParentHacks (and the site admin is from P-town).

Judah was very scheduled; Abel liked to snack, and not on a bottle or on real food. Each kid has his own "thing", and when it gets figured out, he picks up another thing. It's totally trite, but I would chant to myself, "This can't last forever. This can't last forever." I also remember sitting downstairs when Abel was about six months crying to Jason because it was 3 am and I had been up most of the night and, "I can barely function *with* sleep; God knows I'm crazy, so I don't understand why he'd give me a kid who'd make me crazier!!!" Heh heh: that was a low point. Both boys sleep like champs now. If you have any other questions, let me know. Happy (sleepy) thoughts sent your way!