Monday, August 3, 2009

Sleeping Like a Lucy...

Who knew this having a baby stuff would so get in the way of writing my blog about trying to have said baby. Ha! Actually its not Lucy, she takes naps, its my darn job, which I never seem to have a break from and if I do happen to have a break from it you can usually find me snuggling with my Lucy, my Rob or...cleaning my house. Glamorous, right?

Anyways, I've made myself a promise that when Lucy goes down for the night I'll come into our computer room and blog away. Maybe not so much a promise as a goal...a really lofty goal, but a goal nonetheless. I love to blog so I'm just going to have to make time to do it.

So onto this sleeping business. Little Lucy slept like a dream, and by dream I mean 8 hours a night, until she hit about 4 months. At 4 months she stopped sleeping through the night completely and started waking up 4-6 times per night. This made for a super raggedy mom and dad during the week so in desperation and sleep-deprivation I started to think about sleep training. Honestly, I abhor the phrase "sleep training". It makes me think of training a dog, and if you ever met my dogs you would see how successful we are at that. I just hate the idea of it.


This sounds super cheesy but how I dealt with Lucy's not sleeping was not to rely on books but the follow my own heart (how's that for a Lifetime moment? Cue the snappy music.). Every night we would get ready for bed, read our book (Wet Pet, Dry Pet, Your Pet, My Pet) snuggle for a couple minutes on the rocker and then down into the crib she went. The first night I let her cry for 5 minutes, then I came in and picked her up and let her go to sleep on our bed. The second night I let her cry for 10 minutes and then again picked her up and let her go to sleep on our bed. The third night I was intending on letting her go for 15, but she fell asleep after just a couple little grunts and didn't wake up until 6:00 am. Now it isn't always so smooth, but I usually fall back onto the 5, 10, 15 minute cry sessions and so far I haven't had to let her cry more than 15 minutes and I don't let her get hysterical. If it is just a sporadic cry that's fine, but screaming, hard-breathing kind of crying I don't let go on. This is just my personal take on sleeping, not that this would necessarily work for everyone else or that I'm guaranteeing the same kind of success, it is simply what I'm comfortable with and what works for my family. You find out what works for you (I feel like this should be the motherhood credo) and more power to you.

Also, we co-sleep. That's right, I said it, co-sleep. Gasp! The horror! What hippies! Before you get your panties in a twist it isn't technically full on co-sleeping, I guess I would call our version Co-Sleeping Lite and it was completely "ok'ed" by Lucy pediatrician (whom I ADORE) at her 6 months appointment. In fact I was wary to admit to her that we let Lucy sometimes sleep in the bed, thinking she would be horrified, but she was completely on board as soon as I (sheepishly) admitted that sometimes the only way I could function at work is if Lucy slept in the bed in the mornings. What is Co-Sleeping Lite you ask? Well, Lucy usually wakes up around 5:00-6:00 am, and as I would like to get as much sleep as possible I just bring her into bed until I have to get up for work or until I can no longer ignore the tiny hands grabbing at my nose and pulling my hair in the morning. Sometimes it is earlier that 5, sometimes it is later than 6 but Lucy's pediatrician said that it is the best of both worlds: Lucy learns how to fall asleep on her own in the evening, Rob and I have our time together at night and then she has the security of co-sleeping in the morning. It works great for us. Snarky Sidenote: If you feel the need to lecture me I'd like remind you this is my own personal blog and I'm sharing what works for us, if you don't like it feel free to move on. That being said, I would love to hear how you all out there deal with sleep challenges and what has worked for you, even if it is the farthest away from what we do, I'd love to hear it.

So I'm becoming quite granola aren't I? If you told me two years ago I would cloth diaper and co-sleep I would have laughed you out of the room. Just goes to show how things change. Also, to prove how granola I am...I also have now gotten rid of all my old cleaning supplies and switched to home-made cleaning products! Look for an upcoming post with details and recipes.

Hope all is well out there!

"Always kiss your children goodnight -- even if they're already asleep."
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

35 comments:

Mandy said...

You are completely right about just doing what your heart tells you! My little girl only sleeps in her bed at night, but during the day will only nap if she's in our bed. Since I'm a stay-at-home mom, it's easy for me to snuggle up and take her naps with her {and helps me with the sleep deprevation} It was has worked out wonderfully for both of us!

Anonymous said...

Co sleeping is great. Don't know why more people haven't figured that out. Everyone gets a little more sleep, and no one has to get out of bed. No gasping here--generally I gasp when people say they put their tiny babies in a separate room to sleep (to me, THAT is crazy and unnecessary, and a totally American thing to do).

People get their panties in a wad over the oddest things. Babies aren't supposed to sleep through the night. How can they, at the rate breastmilk digests? Also, I realize that most moms don't have time to do a lot of reading up on developmental baby stages (exhaustion, etc.), but the 4-5 month sleep regression is very well documented--it's the tipping point where a lot of parents try some form of CIO or sleep training. Unfortunate, because I think if more understood that it is a developmental stage and is completely natural, fewer would feel the need to train their babies.

Glad your ped "approves" of your cosleeping, although it really isn't any of your doctor's business how your family sleeps.

Matt & Sabrina said...

Our son is almost 10 months old, goes to sleep just fine at night, and occassionally wakes up at 5 or so. We bring him into bed with us too if he can't fall back to sleep by himself. I've never really thought of it as co-sleeping...just a way to (as you said) get enough sleep so we can function through the day!

Lea Liz said...

Brody was the same way.. he slpt in his pack n play by our bed until he was about 5 months old andhe would slepe all night adn then that changed. I am a BIG CO-SLEEPER!! I have not even tried to put him in hsi crib yet.. yikes.. he sleeps with us all night every night.. whoops

AmandaG said...

I have no advice. Joaquin still wakes up at least once in the night. At least, he's always easy to put back to sleep in the middle of the night. When he goes down to sleep, sometimes he is easy to put down, other times... not so much. I tried letting him cry a bit one of those times he was being difficult and I nearly pulled my hair out. I will give it a go again. We do the same thing you do with bringing the baby in the bed in the morning. It's always nice when he goes back to sleep for a bit. Don't beat yourself up about not blogging either.

Emily said...

No snark about sleeping here. That 5-8ish months was really rough for us too in the sleeping department. I don't even really remember what we did, but I do remember that eventually it got better.

I say, keep it up!

kerri said...

our ella (almost 4 months) goes down great around 8ish...and sleeps until 6am...we then bring her into bed with us and she tends to sleep until 7:30. not sure how long we will keep this up but i love snuggling with her in our bed....i do wonder if we skipped the falling back aseep in our bed if she would be a better napper?

Dancing Phalanges said...

My little guy is 7 months old now, and lately he has been waking up in the middle of the night (around 2-3ish). He never wants to stay awake - he cries until I feed him, then goes right back to sleep. Fortunately it is only a small interuption in my night and has only been going on a short while.

I think what you are doing is fine, as it works for you and keeps you sane! Good job!

Max's Mommy said...

I would never judge another mom for doing "what works for them." But I am the mom that used the swing for the 1st 6 or 8 weeks, becuse it was the ABSOLUTE only way he would sleep. We don't co-sleep, and that is the only thing I have been adamant about not doing. Only becuase I really don't want to break the habit later, plus we have small bed. I hate to let Max cry either, so if I do, I never let it get past hysterical. He doesn't have a bedtime, and sometimes goes to bed as late as 9:30, but we're working on it!

AmberS said...

Have no fear hun, we did the exact same kind of co-sleeping when Brock was a little guy. He is now 15 months old and sleeps happily in his crib from 8pm-7am! We cloth diaper too :o)

Nate's Mama said...

We do the exact same thing with cosleeping. My son comes to bed with us early in the morning so that we can all get some extra sleep. I think we all enjoy it, for the most part.

Keri said...

That's so cool-- we co-sleep lite in the mornings, too! Hadley is the only one who wants to wake up at 6, so we bring her to our bed until at least 7. Sometimes she goes back to sleep, but usually, she just cuddles with us. We love it and never thought twice about it!!

Anonymous said...

We personally did let ours cry it out starting with 5, then 10, then 15 minutes time periods. The longest one ever cried was 30 minutes and yes it was horrible but all 3 of mine were sleeping through the night by 4 months old. Babies are really smart and will manipulate you into picking them up etc...Now I'm not talking about letting a newborn cry here so don't think that. Our opinion is that if you let them start sleeping with you you'll never get your bed back. I realize this is your first child. After you've had another one or two you'll feel better about letting them cry it out. Remember you are the parent and a lot of times that means doing things that are difficult. This is what works for us. Our pediatrician isn't into codling children either so he is a good fit for us.
Carolyn in CA.
Mom to 3 kids under 6

Lauren Bryson said...

I have a 6mo old little girl, Kali, and i've had nightmares about co-sleeping just from trying to feed her in bed with me one night. In the nightmare I'm frantically searching for my baby in the covers because she is suffocating. Every time I wake up my deep sleeping husband who convinces me that she is in her bed. Then one night he had the nightmare! So co-sleeping doesn't work for us, but I wish it would! I'd love to cuddle my little one! Our church has a parenting class that is from the Ezzo's, Babywise book, and we use it as a guide, we don't adhere to it for everything, but it was a nice guide to help us in the beginning, and now we are going to take the toddler class soon!

Lauren said...

We co-slept with my daughter and are now doing the same with my 3 month old son. If we didn't, then no one would get any sleep.

And don't let people tell you that they'll never leave your bed. My daughter transitioned very nicely into her own room and at 2 years old started sleeping in her own toddler bed without any problems. Evan is slowly making his way into his cribs for a majority of the night, then spending the last few hours with us.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't consider that co-sleeping. An hour or two is more snuggle time. When I think of co-sleeping, I think of babies in bed the entire night with both parents on either side of them.

soxchamps said...

Yay, a post! Co-sleeping lite worked great for us too. I always said no way I'd let her in the bed! Then at 3 months we tried it and it was so nice to snuggle and not have to get up. She's already in her crib pretty much full time now at almost 14 months. We were just going to try to have her stay in the crib for a bit longer at night and she really took to it quickly. I bring her in to nurse when she wakes up, but there isn't much cuddling anymore, she's ready to get moving! I already miss it. But I'm glad she is comfortable in her own bed, it wasn't a huge process to get her in there, and if she needs a bit of extra comfort once in a while it's no big deal to bring her in.

Heather said...

Co-slept entirely at first, then when she was about 3 months we would put her in her crib at bedtime then she would come to bed after the first time she woke up. Once she hit 7 months I started to put her back in her crib after she ate but if she woke up again before 8 then she'd come to bed to snuggle until mama could keep her eyes open. Lately she's been having some rough nights so we've had to adjust but the progression has really worked well for us. Everybody just needs to find what works for them and stick to it no matter what the "experts" say.

Anonymous said...

Co-sleeping can be dangerous if you accidently roll over, the baby gets covered by a blanket etc..Everyone sleeps better in their own beds, not to mention Mom and Dad having "quality" time together. At 7 months old your baby is old enough to cry it out. If you don't you'll have a toddler controlling your nights and in and out of bed. I've seen it numerous times with friends children.

Bridget said...

We did the same thing. Oliver would wake up at around the same time and we would bring him into bed with us. Most of the time he would fall back asleep, other times he would just talk to himself. I do have to say though, enjoy it while you can. Once she starts climbing over you and Rob, it will be over very quickly. There is no way Oliver would stay asleep laying in between us anymore.

Bev said...

Everyone is totally entitled to their own opinion but personally I disagree about babies being "manipulative" and "a 7 month old being old enough to CIO". I'm not interested in letting her CIO, it doesn't work for us. Period. She sleeps fine in her own bed at night, and cuddles in the morning, I see absolutely no need to change this.

I believe babies want to be only be loved and want to feel secure with their parents, and don't have some super secret ulterior motives. That is just my opinion.

Lastly, Rob and I clearly have plenty of time together as I said in my entry, she goes to bed by herself from around 8:00 pm to 5/6:00 am, and that is plenty of time for us to have "couple time".

:) B.

phylly3 said...

Glad you are getting more sleep. My daughter and her husband, (same one), are just finishing up co-sleeping with baby number 3. She breast fed them all and has found it much more convenient to co-sleep. I am happy to report that this method had worked and resulted in 3 of the most well adjusted little munchkins I have ever seen, but I may be just a tab biased.

Our Path to Parenthood said...

We are pretty much the same with the co-sleeping lite! I love my morning snuggle time with him and the sleep and alone time I get at night. And I also did the same kind of sleep "training" (hate that too). I never let him cry uncontrollably, and I don't think I even last 5 minutes. Sounds like things are going well for you guys, hope you are having a great summer!

goodheartedmommy said...

As a mom of 3, I have never used sleep training, and my older 2 (2.5 and 3.5) are now excellent sleepers. We co-slept (still do with the babies and the older 2 are welcome in my bed if they feel the need), and they now put themselves to sleep, sleep all night, sleep alone most of the time. They did it on their own time, when they were comfortable with it, and I believe it's because we provided the security for them to get to that point.

CIO is certainly not something that you'll just learn to accept as a mom of 2 or 3. Maybe for some, but not for all of us. I take great pride in the fact that I've made it through 3 kids (one who was the worst sleeper ever as a baby) without resorting to CIO.

Oh, and my kids also do not think they run the house!

Jen said...

We kind of did sleep training. We were going to let her cry for a little bit, and comfort her only until she stopped crying and lay her back down.

The first day, I was going to let her go 5 minutes. She fell asleep after 4. I've never had to comfort her to sleep. Will it last? Who knows?!

A blankie has done wonders for us. A little blankie that is fuzzy on one side, silky on the other. She cuddles it as she falls asleep.

And...I think you know better than to go away for so long and not post pictures! *AHEM!*

FSD said...

My daughter, too, slept through the night until she hit 4 months old. She's 6 months now and still isn't sleeping through the night. We used to co-sleep lite when Zoe would sleep until around 5:30 or 6:00, but now we co-sleep heavy because she goes down around 9 and generally wakes up by 11, so she spends most of the night next to me. She nurses as she needs to, and I get sleep.

I've been wondering if this is all wrong, but I was happy when I saw your post. Now I realize that what we're doing isn't totally far-fetched, and I realize that Zoe's sleeping issues (not sure if that's the right word choice) aren't abnormal. (I'm surrounded by mommy friends whose kids sleep perfectly and on their own)

I can't bring myself to let Zoe CIO. I keep believing she'll outgrow this stage on her own.

I'm curious....how does Lucy do with naps? Zoe has napping "issues" as well. The longest she'll nap is 45 min - 1 hr, but she's been doing a lot of 30 min cat naps lately. She can't fall asleep on her own, so we end up having to be part of the sleep process whether its naps or nighttime sleep. (I nurse her to sleep; my husband walks with her until she falls asleep) My husband is home with her for 3 months (I just returned to work), but she'll be in daycare when he returns to work in Nov. I'm just wondering how naps will go down w/o us. How does Lucy nap?

Erin said...

I partially cloth diaper and we have a morning nap together (identical to your cosleeping lite) most mornings and I adore it, and I also dont self identify as particularly granola. I was terrified of full on cosleeping when he was really tiny because of all the stories of crushing the kid in your sleep, or suffocating him in some blankets, but now that he's 6 months he can definitely make himself heard if he's uncomfortable.

CheekyMonkey said...

Eh, Co-sleeping lite... if it works for you then go for it. Personally, I do the same thing, except I'm awake... I can't seem to fall back asleep after I pull my sweet boy into bed with us. We just lay in bed, sometimes watch TV (gasp! I know, right) sometimes read books... sometimes jump on daddy... whatever it takes.
Good for you for not giving in 100% to the co-sleeping. It's so much easier down the road when they already know how to put themselves to sleep!!!

mandy1391 said...

Hi. I usually don't comment, but love reading your blog. I did the same kind of "lite" co-sleeping that you described and it worked great for my daughter as well. She is now four, and she is a great sleeper. Your little Lucy is very blessed to have such a smart and loving Mommy.

smittenkitten05 said...

No judgment here! We used to do that until our little guy started getting mobile. Now he'd much rather crawl around and explore than snuggle with Mom and Dad :(

I too had problems with CIO. The problem is it really works! His daycare uses a version of Ferber to get them to take naps. I have to tell you, it's so nice to just be able to drop him in his crib and let him go to sleep on his own now! He doesn't even let out a peep in protest these days. GL!

teacheroftwos said...

We also co-sleep and just recently started cloth diapering. We have a cosleeper that attaches to our bed. For the first 2 months she did not barely sleep in it. She was on me or next to me. Now she is 3 months old and sleeps in it every night. Now hold on to you hat because I let her sleep on her stomach! That is right I said it nad I do it. I know the risk and I understand them. The way I look at it is that she can roll from her stomach to her back and she is also very good about holding her head up and pushing herself up. As for the cloth diapers we are just tryin git for now. I use Bumkin AIO and I am also using prefolds with covers. Mostly I am trying to get the hang of the prefolds because it is cheaper to go that way. I got the Bumkins for outings, but have not made it that far yet. We are still using disposables for outings and night time. I would love some diapering tips. What soap do you use, how do you wash, etc. Anything will help as I am very new to the idea and concept!

Lisa said...

I don't think you need to put such a heavy disclaimer on everything you say about co-sleeping, sleep training, breastfeeding, etc. It's your blog and we all like hearing about your experiences. We know we are free to agree and disagree with you as much as we'd like, and I think most of us are smart enough to know that what works for you isn't always going to work for others. You don't need to tailor your comments to suit those who look down on you for whatever reason. You seem to be worried about what the nay sayers will say, but I think you'll find that most people who read your blog are far from being nay sayers, whether they follow your parenting practices are not.

Jamie said...

Even though I've posted a couple of times I'm just now getting caught up on other peoples' blogs. I appreciate the congrats on your previous post - Amelia was born July 3rd so she was born on Lucy's half-birthday! Pretty nifty.

Amelia sleeps in a Moses basket in our bed for now, swaddled, sucking on a paci, and in a sleep positioner. We were at my parents' house last weekend for the first time since she has been born and Amelia could feel the change in routine, I think. She wouldn't fall asleep so David kept having to put the pacifier back in her mouth and to do that he had to get out of bed and go to her in the basket. Finally she "woke up" hungry at 2am and after feeding her I just put her in bed next to me. I didn't sleep well...I kept making sure my pillow wasn't smothering her or that I wasn't rolled on top of her or she wasn't rolling off the bed. I'm not sure I could co-sleep until at least she's old enough to be a substantial human. Being that she's only 9 lbs makes me nervous. Plus, right now she's sleeping between 5-7 hours at night where she is and who would want to mess with that?! :)

P.S. My baby luncheon is on the 29th. Will you email me your email address and mailing address so I can get you an invite? Thanks!

Michelle said...

I have no comment about the whole co-sleeping debate, but I wanted to say I hope you blog more - I've been following your blog from The Nest, and I enjoy popping in every so often and seeing what's what. I, too, make my own cleaning products once I realized how it didn't irritate my sinuses or turn my hands funny colors. Vinegar is great!

Bryssy said...

Girl, do what works for you and your family. That was the best piece of advice I got before I had my first child. We totally co-sleep with both of our children and love it!

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