Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just once

I've read all the books. For the most part I follow the advice. Nothing can be perfect, you know.

But yet, no success.

My babies DO NOT sleep through the night easily. Three times. Three babies. No dice.

Babywise, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happiest Baby on the Block, the Baby Whisperer. I take pieces from them all. I do the routines. I follow the eat-play-sleep plan. I'm not a pacifier for my baby, nor a snack machine. Baby gets full feedings and is satisfied for 3 hours. I don't go more than 4hrs during the day between feedings. I swaddle (until they learn to roll over in bed).

My babies sleep wonderfully during the day. By the time they are a few months old, they settle into a basic routine that includes 2 long naps (2+ hours) each day and 1-2 small catnaps. I am very thankful for this as I don't deal with a crabby, needy, overtired baby all day and I can get stuff done while they nap.

But sleep through the night, no way! I've tried the dreamfeed, but that has never helped me either. In fact, it seems to encourage more frequent waking. Take last night for example. Bedtime feeding about 7:30 and to bed. Dreamfeed at 10:30. And she was still up at 1:30 to eat again. And crying again before 6am.

They always go back to sleep easily after the middle of the night nursings. Sometimes though, I do not.

Just once, I would love to have a baby that decided on their own to sleep through the night. Just once I would like to not have to decide at what age should the middle of the night feedings end. Just once I'd like to not have to listen to my baby cry and fuss her way back to sleep.

The thing is, I know there is a point they are capable. I know because once they get it--they get it. With Miss Rose it only took one night. One rough night for us, listening to her cry for a bit and then fuss until she fell asleep. And she slept through the night from that point on. Gracie too. While she quickly stopped needing to nurse at night, she did still wake from time to time, but a bit of comfort was all she'd need.

But I was hoping that this third baby would be my "just once". My easy child to sleep through the night. It was not to be so.

Where is my downfall? Perhaps I keep my babies in my room too long. With Miss Rose and Lily--it's been out of necessity. No other room was available. Miss Rose had to sleep in the dining room of our 1-bedroom apartment. If I decide to work with Lily on this, she'll have to be in the living room as her bedroom isn't available yet.

But I like having them close when they are young. While they are nursing in the night, this is the most convienent as well. I easily suffer from insomnia, and not being able to go back to sleep--when you have three kids and a job-- doesn't work well. So I keep my baby close. Not usually in my bed, but next to it. But I know many who do the same, and their babies sleep through the night, so maybe that isn't the culprit.

Please know that I will always feed a hungry baby. I would never let my baby scream for long periods of time. And usually the all-out crying doesn't last long. Which is my sign that they are capable of going longer without feeding.

Sigh. Just once. It would have been nice. But for now, I'll keep waking to feed my baby while I keep her close.

Maybe keeping my baby close is worth the waking. I am having difficulty grasping the idea that my baby, my last baby, is almost half a year old. I'm not ready just yet. Maybe one night she'll surprise me and I'll get my "just once."


  1. None of my 4 truly slept through the night until 18mo-2y - sorry not much help! When I moved them out of my room, around 6 mo, the waking would usually just be once a night. I think the skinny babies just run out of food faster in their bellies :) I hope you get some good sleep soon - it's hard to handle the constant tired.

  2. I guess i should count my blessings! For all the struggles we've had with Joshua, hes always been a good sleeper. gave him a rice cereal bottle at 8 weeks, he slept though the night every night since then, except for 1 when he had a bad ear infection, I guess we have to take it where can get it. Sounds like they are all pretty good kiddos during the day?> But oh boy can i only imagine how much you miss sleep. I am praying that our next one will be a good sleeper because i need it.


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