I am interrupting the regularly scheduled programming lest you think it’s all rainbows and puppy dogs up in here.
I am tired. Seriously. Tired. For real. I am not complaining. I am stating facts. To the readers who are longing to have this problem and rolling your eyes: I get it. But, that doesn’t make me any less tired.
Why, you ask? How could I possibly be dragging ass when I have that sweet little hoot owl’s eyes to lovingly gaze into? Let me tell you why. This boy loves to hang out with Mama in the middle of the night. He’s pretty easy to go down. He’s ready to go down between 6:30-7:00. He’s happy with and on-demand episode of Yo Gabba-Gabba (not to worry, I do read to my child every day as well, he just seems to LOVE this show, I can’t even begin to explain it, just watch a clip of it on YouTube, you’ll be as confused as I am), a bottle, some rocking and singing and he’s off to La-La Land.
When approximately 9:30 rolls around, he wants a bottle. Around 3:30-4:oo am, he wolfs down another six ounces. Then he’s raring to go for the day at 6:30 am, when I have to get him ready for baby school. That was a description of a good night.
Then there are nights like the past two nights that I lovingly refer to as “newborn nights.” I lost track after the fifth time in the room. At one point he drank two ounces only to cry me back into the room 45 minutes later to finish off the bottle. Two nights ago, he did all the above with the added bonus of waking up for the day at 4:45 am. Seriously. I haven’t had interrupted sleep like this and then put in a full work week since I spent the summer in Ft. Jackson, SC for Army basic training.
I know, I know, this too shall pass. This is just a season. He’s only a baby once. He might be teething. What about that cold he’s been nursing, blah, blah, blah. The pediatrician is telling me that I am making a choice. He is old enough at almost ten months to be able to sleep through the night without eating. I am choosing to continue to feed him throughout the night. She said that he is certainly fine with that choice, but asked, “How’s that working for you?” I think we all know what I am getting at. It’s not working that well for me. I find myself feeling like a steaming pile of poop every morning saying, “Somethings got to give. He’s old enough now. Seriously. He’s got to cry it out.”
I have colleagues (who have had success with letting their kids cry it out without any obvious permanent damage) telling me that I’ve got to do this. Then, there are those, including my mother who are against crying it out, “I never did with you kids!” There is my Dr. Sears quoting sister-in-law saying things like, “You parent all day, why wouldn’t you parent at night?” There is my cousin who has a baby who is five days older than Rocky and she is getting up and working full-time too. She is a zombie like me and I heard her say, “I read that they eventually give up hope that you will come and save them and that’s why they stop crying. That’s so sad. I decided that I could never do that to my baby!” I love these ladies and respect their opinions which is why I’ve discussed this with them. But, again, somethings got to give. None of this is helping me feel any better going into my long day and evening. Sleep deprivation is REAL. It can be used as a form of torture. I am less focused, and more forgetful by the day.
This morning I was talking to Miss Rose, Rocky’s teacher. She’s a grandmother who happens to be a certified early childhood teacher. She works at the baby school in the infant room because she can’t imagine doing anything else. She is an expert on young babies and knows what she is talking about. She is gentle, nurturing and professional. She does what is best for the babies in her care. She said to me, “He is old enough to sleep through the night. He’s playing you a little bit. You need to help him learn how to sleep through the night. He’s a smart cookie. He’ll catch on. It’s what’s best for all of you.”
So, I am thinking about doing a modified version of crying it out. I’ll pick a night to start when we don’t have to work the next day and plan on getting little sleep. I’ll go in at intervals to touch his back and reassure him that he hasn’t been abandoned (as he is sitting straight up in his crib, wailing and looking panicked). From everything I’ve read, consistency is the most important part of this process.
I don’t know if I can do this whole sleep training thing. Do I just wait it out and trust that he will come to a good night’s sleep on his own or do I help him along?
PS. If you were mentioned in this post, I still love you and respect your opinion. Just trying to figure this out and keep my sanity in tact!