Friday, January 22, 2010

Mommy. Help!

It's very important to me that my baby sleeps well.  And that she learns to fall asleep by herself because I can't be there all the time.  And that she falls asleep in her own bed. 

I've been working on this since she was days old.  I had it down, too.  Until she got sick at 2 months and had a hard time sleeping and didn't feel well so she wanted to be held.  For a month.  She had a cold then an ear infection and then shots and all that added up to over a month.  She is finally all better and has been sleeping so well for the last week.

This is her schedule.  Wake up around 8:30 eats and is awake till around 10 and then goes down for her first nap.  That nap is anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  She wakes up, eats and is up for another hour and a half and then goes down again for 2 hours.  Wakes up, eats and is up for an hour and a half to two hours and then goes down.  This third nap is 30 minutes or an hour and sometimes an hour and a half.  Then she wakes up, eats and is up until around 8 and then goes down.  She wakes up once during the night about 8 hours into her 12 hours and eats then goes right back down.

She does so well with this.  She is so happy when she is awake and doesn't give me much of a problem when I put her down.  She fusses a little bit but I just calm her down to where she's done fussing and then I leave and she falls asleep on her own.  It's been wonderful!

Then today happened.  She napped for 2 1/2 hours for her first nap.  Then her second went down like normal until she hit 30 minutes.  She woke up talking and cooing and smiling and laughing at her mobile.  Then started to fuss, I went in and gave her her pacifier which normally calms her down and she falls right back to sleep.  For about 10 minutes she fussed a little.  Then she started to cry.  I came in and tried to calm her down.  Now, when I calm her down it works and she falls back to sleep.  But not today.  She screamed and screamed and screamed.  I refused to pick her up as I didn't want to teach her that she cries and she get's picked up.  But after about 40 minutes I couldn't take anymore.  I couldn't leave her because I don't think I'm emotionally able to let her "cry it out".  So I picked her up and she stayed up and was fine for 2 hours.  She went down for her third nap and only slept 30 minutes and woke up and did the same thing but not nearly as bad for her dad.  Mostly just complaining through her paci. 

After 30 minutes we decided to just pick her up and let her be awake.  We laid her down at 8:00 and she fell RIGHT to sleep.  She was SO TIRED.  Her eyes have been red since her second nap fiasco and she's exhausted.  I felt so bad! 

She is so used to sleeping on her own that she doesn't necessarily like sleeping on someone and if she does she doesn't sleep well.  Right now I'm watching her sleeping on her monitor.  She is crying and crying in her sleep!  She's not sleeping well.  I only hope she sleeps for 12 hours like normal so tomorrow will hopefully go like it's supposed to. 

The girl needs her sleep.  I need her naps.  I get so much done! 

So my question is.... do I not even go in when she wakes after the 30 minutes.  I don't ever let her see me when I do this.  Do I just let her fuss and cry herself back to sleep?  Should I let her cry it out?  (I'm so afraid of doing this, by the way)  Do I go in and sooth her back to sleep?  I wont pick her up, though. 

I need my happy baby.  It's so incredibly sad to see her crying in her sleep right now.  She's not sleeping well. 

What did you do?  What worked for you?  I don't think I'm expecting too much out of my 3 1/2 month old since she has been doing this so well even when she was only a few weeks old. 

Help!  I can't have a repeat of today. 

10 comments:

Life as Ashley said...

I think the hardest thing to realize is that babies change their habits and schedules constantly. Especially between birth and year one. Kaeden still changes his schedule week by week.

I know it's frustrating that right when you feel like you got a schedule down, something changes, but that's the name of the game right now. I think the biggest focus should be getting her to sleep through the night (or as many hours as you can at this age) consistently. The day time naps will constantly change as her needs change. Sometimes it changes to sleeping less, and sometime it's to sleeping more.

I remember Kaeden being this same age, and thinking, "Oh my gosh! He's not sleeping! But he's so tired and miserable! What am I supposed to do?" It took me awhile to realize that when they are truly tired, and truly need some sleep, they will sleep. Babies are funny like that. ;)

As much as it sucks, the fussiness when they just won't sleep, even when they need it, is just a part of the stage. Just as much as you are distressed about why she's not sleeping, Naomi is probably slightly distressed about what developmental and growth changes she's experiencing too.

Basically my advice is not to stress too much (even though I did the EXACT same thing). You've got to just roll with the flow, and she'll get back into a rhythm. Maybe not the same rhythm, but a rhythm nonetheless. As much as it is important to allow your child to self-soothe to get to sleep, it's equally important to allow them to work out these quirky moments on their own too. They are going to happen a lot, and the better equipped the child is to self adjust, the better off it will be for everyone.

As for the crying it out thing. That's a sensitive topic for everyone. And everyone will give you different advice. One thing I do know is that our doctor told us not to do the cry it out thing until the child was at least 4-5 months old. We actually waited a little longer with Kaeden, and it wasn't a terribly bad experience for us. And just as I said, he still changes things up at this age. He'll go weeks sleeping through the night just fine, then suddenly we'll have a week where he wakes up every night in the middle of the night and just cries and cries. We have to do the whole cry it out thing all over again.

Don't beat yourself up. You are doing GREAT! Especially if she's already sleeping through the night as much as she is. I know it's stressful to focus on having time to get stuff done only for it to be totally sabotaged, but as soon as you get accustomed to the fact that is just the mommy-lifestyle, it won't be so detrimental. But don't you worry. I still struggle with it even now. ;) Is it too much to ask for some time to clean my toilets? Ha, ha.

Sorry for the longest comment ever. Probably should have just emailed you. :( Keep your chin up, you are well ahead of the curve on this whole mommy thing. Trust me!

Devry and Chelsey Hymas said...

I'm sorry today was rough for you! All I can say, is that as they get older their sleep habits change and they typically don't need as much sleep. Payton did the three nap thing for a long time, then about 3 1/2-4 months he started waking up early from naps, and didn't seem to get enough sleep. I kept tryng to put him down at his routine time, but it kept happening. Finally, I cut out a nap and it worked! Instead of 3, 1 1/2 hour naps a day, he started taking 2, 2 - 2 1/2 naps a day. It's a good routine. He wakes up at 7:30, goes down from 9:30-11:30 (or 12), then again from 2:00-4:00 ish. Then goes to bed at 7:30. By the time bedtime comes he is SO tired, and goes down SO easy! I don't think you should feel bad if she is so tired at bedtime..thats a good thing! Once in a while Payton will wake up after 30 minutes...and from experience I know he won't calm down and go back to sleep...so I just go get him up, play with him for 30 minutes, and put him right back down. It has worked for me.
As far as crying it out goes. I have let Payton cry out a few random night time wake up's. My version of crying it out though is going in ever 15-20 minutes to rub his back or put his pacifier in. It only took 40 minutes for three nights and he stopped waking up at all. It hasn't ever worked for me during nap times. I don't know if its just cuz its day time or why..but when I did the 30 minute play time thing, it worked great, so thats what I have stuck with.
Every baby is different, and you know Naomi best, so stick with it and hopefully you can figure out something that works great for you both!

Miss Lovely's Musings said...

Whitney, I think since she normally has such a regular schedule, that she might not be feeling the best, maybe going through a growth spurt or something. You might let her fuss for a minute, but if it's serious, she will let you know. Also, babies nap and night schedules change all the time. Hang in there, you are doing a great job!

Tiffany Fackrell said...

I agree with everyone's comments. they change all of the time and so do their schedules one or two days with a fussy baby is TOTALLY normal. Bridger is just the same. he will follow the exact schedule for a few days and then throw it all out the window for a day or two. Their schedule will continue to change. so don't worry too much. pick her up when she cries and let her play when she is happy, and let her sleep when she sleeps. And I think she is too young to cry it out...but that is just my opinion.

Kate Korr said...

Note to the wise: you can't spoil the first six months! After she hits six months, get down to business, but before that, don't worry! [um, this is also coming from a mother who has a little boy who is finally starting to sleep through the night. ha, thank GOODNESS!]

Alexis Treese said...

I'm evil and let G cry it out... but I make a few exceptions. Im sure you know Naomi's cries by now... so if Ginger is crying but not genuinely crying-you know what I mean- then I leave her be and she'll eventually go to sleep. But if she's sick- Ill go in and rock with her for a little bit. Sometimes she cries on and off for a half hour. Most of the time she just goes straight to sleep. I think youre doing the right thing for you by putting importance on self soothing and a schedule, Im like you and I need my time or I go nutso... Im just a better mom and shes a happier and more independent baby. I understand we have to be flexible but whatever works- ya know.

Scooby and Jon said...

She might just be having a growth spurt, that will often throw off the schedule and disturb the sleep.
I will say this: if you do decide to let her cry it out, don't feel bad after 45 minutes and go in. If you do, what was the point of the 45 minutes of crying?
Remember too that as they start to get older, they don't need as much sleep, which can throw off the schedule as well.
Listen to the tone of the cry as well. You can tell if they just want mommy because they want mommy, or if they want mommy because something is wrong.
I hope this helps, and if mine doesn't help, that somebody else's advice does.

Scooby and Jon said...

She might just be having a growth spurt, that will often throw off the schedule and disturb the sleep.
I will say this: if you do decide to let her cry it out, don't feel bad after 45 minutes and go in. If you do, what was the point of the 45 minutes of crying?
Remember too that as they start to get older, they don't need as much sleep, which can throw off the schedule as well.
Listen to the tone of the cry as well. You can tell if they just want mommy because they want mommy, or if they want mommy because something is wrong.
I hope this helps, and if mine doesn't help, that somebody else's advice does.

That Girl said...

Frankly, I found that all my kids went through sleeping "funks" about every 3-4 months for the first year. She's growing. Her body changes a lot. Be flexible. As soon as you get into any kind of routine, it'll change.

I didn't read the other advice, but what I say is this: pick her up when she cries. Love her. Pat her. Sing to her. Cuddle her. Make sure she's fed and changed and physically comfortable. Then leave her alone. Let her cry 10-15 minutes, tops, then do it again.

Even if she's been 'so good' since birth, she's still awfully young. At six months I'd let her cry it out for real.

hannah said...

Have you read "The Happiest Baby on the Block?" I'm reading it right now and have a friend that swears by it. I hope it gets better for you!