Monday, June 22, 2009

Six Months and Sleepless


My beautiful, funny, smiling little Miles is six months old. He is fantastic. Everything a six-month-old should be. He's rolling all over the place, sitting without support, laughing at his older brother (he laughs at everything, really.) He's finally started eating solids. Like opening his mouth for them and everything. But, he's also stopped sleeping.


Oscar did the same exact thing at the same exact time. What is it with my children and their refusal to sleep after six months of age? He wakes almost every hour, hour and a half, two hours if I'm lucky. He will not go back to sleep with simple rocking. He must get into the big bed. He must NURSE.


And, he's not even hungry. He's only suckling - not really eating. Breastfeeding moms know what I mean. There is a huge difference between a baby that's nursing to eat and a baby that's nursing for comfort. It feels different. It is different.


It's my own fault. I nurse my babies to sleep. I know it's the WRONG WAY because they don't learn to self soothe. And this is why we've ended up here, with a baby who goes to be at 7:30pm, and wakes at 9pm, 11pm, 12:30am, 1:30am, 2:20am, 4:00am, 5:30am. And I'm not exaggerating. That was our night last night.


He wakes up and he just screams and cries and kicks his legs. And if we don't go to him RIGHT AWAY he just gets angrier and angrier. We bring him to the bed and he's asleep almost instantly. I talked to the pediatrician about it on Friday. "You might want to consider letting him cry." I already knew it was time, but I've been trying not to face it.


With Oscar, this pattern continued until he was nine months old. NINE MONTHS OLD. That's when we finally decided to cry-it-out. Well, I don't have three more months in me this time. Cry-it-out starts tonight.


So, when Miles wakes at 9pm, we will let him rage until he falls back asleep. It will be hard, but it needs to be done. I am exhausted. The all night breast feeding and repeated wakings are killing me. The first night with Oscar took just under 30 minutes of crying and it was incredibly difficult. But he slept all night long. The second and third nights he cried less and less. The fourth night, he didn't wake at all. He started napping better too. I hope things with Miles go as smoothly.


I know CIO is not for everyone. I respect the fact that different methods of sleep training (or no sleep training even) work for different people. CIO works for us, or at least it has worked in the past, so we are going for it again. What I'm trying to say, is keep your mean spirited comments to yourself. I don't need them. I believe CIO works, but that doesn't mean it's easy or I like hearing my kid cry. It just means we need some goddamn sleep around here and if this is the only way we can get it, then that's what we're gonna do.




14 comments:

bsouth said...

You are doing absolutely the right thing. You NEED sleep. You've got energetic toddlers to run around and a baby to feed. That all takes energy which requires sleep. You're right, different people do it different ways but what works for you is the best. We do controlled crying which is also hard but it works for us.

I read somewhere that you it will always take 3 days to break a baby habit - not great as 1 day would be better but at least you know you're not up for weeks of it!

Good luck. I really feel for you.

Momma Bear said...

i'm a cio peep. it was rough with my first, but i did it for sanity. with my second we did it right away. and with my third, we just started doing it in the last month. It's kind of funny. but for some reason i have not allowed joseph to cio. started sleeping well around 7 months.
Your babe is so cute!

Just Breathe said...

Of course it's not easy but I believe it's the only way to solve this problem. It breaks your heart to listen, let's pray it won't take too many nights.

Heidi said...

Good luck sweetie! I miss sleep too. And glad to hear he's started eating. Wish Reg would...

Cara said...

Good luck, Jenni. We tried CIO & it was a miserable failure. And by failure I mean: late night sheet changes because there was puke every where. I hope Miles gets the memo soon that waking up isn't cool & you get some sleep.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Oh, prayers are not enough to wish for you! You need a SPA DAY!
I've done the CIO thing, sent John in instead of me since you know, the nipples and all, pacifier tricks. The fun stuff. All of them worked after she realized she was just not going to get her way. Good luck and may the force be with you!

Aloicoius said...

At nine months old my son is BARELY starting to sleep through the night. Your story sounds EXACTLY like mine. I am also a fan of nursing to sleep but it does have it's consequences. I finally couldn't take the multiple wakings at night and let him cry for a few nights. And now finally has a sane mommy during the day. Good luck!!

Momma Mikki said...

Power on with CIO! It's our way too, and we have a child that sleeps 12 hours a night without waking. Connor will get the same treatment when he stops eating through the night. Hang in there.

Becky said...

Another CIO'er here. Be strong, sister. Six months is plenty old enough to do it--you've been pouring love and attention into this guy for six months, and he is secure in his universe. CIO is not going to shake that.

With Laura, around that age, she began refusing to stay asleep, and I think it was because she wanted us to teach her another way to get to sleep. We'd been nursing/rocking/walking her to sleep, and that just stopped working. So we did CIO, and it was HARD with her, but it did work after about a week. With Hank I did it at 4 months. Now they are both champions at going to bed and staying there. I recommend earplugs and a bottle of wine for that 9pm wakeup.

Veronica said...

Good luck and I hope it works for you!

Keely said...

CIO didn't work for X - the first time I tried, he raged for literally 2 hours and practically choked himself to death. I ended up using an amended version - I only let him cry for 5 minutes, went back in, reassured him I was there but I was NOT picking him up and IT WAS BEDTIME. It took about 3 days, but he got the message.

So I guess what I'm saying is, do whatever the hell works. You're no good to your family if you're a walking zombie!

FoN said...

Good luck tonight! Just remember, it's while he's the one crying louder, it will be harder on you. Hang in there, and just remember that he'll be better off having a mom that is not a total sleep deprived basket case.

Casey said...

CIO was the best thing we've ever done. After the first two nights, Graham was sleeping like a champ (at 7 months). Elliot slept through the night on her own at six weeks since she's the fucking miracle child. We take zero credit for it too.

Good luck tonight. Get some music ready or a pillow to put over your head. It's hard but you can do it.

blissfully caffeinated said...

Please don't feel guilty or think that you are doing the wrong thing because you nurse your babies to sleep. It pisses me off that "experts" and other moms even try to make us feel bad for doing what comes completely natural. I nursed both of my kids to sleep, or used a pacifier, and what of it? They weren't harmed in any way, they sleep fine now.

I'm not a sleep training type of mom, I never could let the kids cry it out, especially with Avery. She cried all night, every night for six months no matter what we did. But I really respect Moms that can enact some reasonable and rational sleep training at the right age. I know that babies end up being much better sleepers after the struggle. Good luck, hon. I'll be thinking of you.

And stop guilting yourself over any of this.