April 19, 2012

Vomit, Sweat & Tears

So far this month (Noelle is currently 5.5 months old) has proved far more difficult than the last...
Noelle has regressed in her sleeping habits and is now getting up every 2 hours all night long, and getting up angry. To further the nightmare, she is at a stage where she no longer can be soothed and comforted by being swaddled, which was always the solution to most fussy issues we had before. The only thing that consoles her is getting a bottle, although she is not hungry, will only sip on the bottle, then spit it all up before returning to sleep. Here's the next kicker: She only remains asleep in our arms. The second we return her to the crib, the screaming continues.

She looks so innocent, who would believe us if we told them she cried for 2 hours before this picture was taken?

So basically, the low down: Wake up. Scream. Get bottle. Drink 1 ounce. Vomit. Pass out in our arms. Put in crib. Scream again. 

It has been taking us an hour to get her to return to sleep, and the only way is to let her fall into a deep sleep in our arms, then very, very carefully place her in her crib. Joey and I leave her bedroom a couple times a night in complete exhaustion, sweat and irritation. It would be less terrible if she at least made up for it by sleeping soundly during the day, but she no longer feels the need to nap! Of course she is exhausted from her sleepless night, so the days are filled with screaming when she is overtired! According to the book, The Sleep Book for Tired Parents, a baby her age is suppose to get about 14-15 hours of sleep a day (4-5 hours during the day, 10 at night). Hah! Noelle is no where near getting that much sleep in a 24 hour span. She is getting roughly 10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day. I find myself trying so incredibly hard to get her to nap, and usually give up and let her fall asleep in the car, or let her sleep with me in our bed.

We obviously cannot live this way! I type this as I sit here in my living room downstairs with the echos of Noelle's screaming bouncing off the walls from upstairs. We have reached the point where we need to take an active approach at teaching her how to soothe herself, how to fall asleep on her own, and learn that crying is not going to solve anything. 

I was initially really against the Ferber method developed by Dr. Richard Ferber, which is what it's called to gradually let your baby "cry it out" in steps. I figured that we could deal with the constant wake ups, feedings and crying because I didn't want Noelle to ever feel neglected. We had been living with it for some time, but it's finally reached a point where we are too sleep deprived and Noelle isn't getting enough sleep either. We either are going to have to share a family bed or we need to sleep train Noelle.

In our bed. One of the only places she sleeps. Not our idea of fun.

So sleep train it is. We've heard wonderful, although hard, stories about it and know many, many friends and family who had to do it as well. I've been reading some fabulous books on sleep issues and how to go about training your child to fall asleep alone and how to fall back asleep when awaken.

Basically for anyone who doesn't know, on the first day of sleep training you let your baby cry for a limited amount of time before you go check on them to let them know that you are there and haven't deserted them. You do this only with pats and rubs from the crib, then you leave again. Then you let them cry even longer before you check on them. Each time you have to check on them, you leave for a longer amount of time before the next check. You do this until they finally go to sleep, which could take any amount of time, since all babies are different. Some babies cry for 2 hours the first night, then only 1 the next, then 45 mins, so forth. Some babies longer, some shorter. I'm betting ours will be longer!

So here goes. 

WISH US LUCK! We need it!!

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! Good luck, I feel your pain. Brady (who is only 5 weeks) will ONLY sleep on us pretty much also. If we put hime down when we think he is sleeping, wait 15-30 seconds and he wakes up! Your situation sounds horrible! Keep up a good attitude if possible! Let me know if it works PLEASE! Good luck guys,

    Meghan

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  2. You can do it!! It's difficult, but it works. And you will have a happier baby, as well as being happier yourself! The key is in having them fall asleep in their own bed. If they fall asleep in your arms, then they wake up in the crib, it scares them and they cry. If they were in the crib when they fell asleep, they will wake up, but they will know where they are and be more likely to self-soothe. I know you guys can do it!!

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