Friday, March 20, 2009

We're Not Alone, But...

A rambling post because I'm never NOT sleep-deprived any more.  It was another night in which Limelet kept us / me awake most of the night. His sleep is just so messed up since being sick.  He didn't go to sleep until almost 11 last night, then woke up at 1 (briefly, and went back to sleep just fine with no nursie), then again at 3--when he ended up staying awake until after 6am.  I would put him on my  shoulder and walk around a little, or rock him in my lap while sitting (his 2nd-preferred ways to get to sleep) and he would drop off, but then when I sat on the bed or lay down he'd wake up again and beg for nursie.  He really wants nursie to get back to sleep.  

Night-weaning has been such a huge pain for all of us (especially Limelet, no doubt).  If he hadn't been such an agonized teether I could have done it a year ago.  So now that he's finally done teething, he's getting this steady stream of illnesses that interrupt the process instead.  

I have now instituted night-weaning three times, (the first two times went as planned and then--BAM! Ear infections) and I am bloody well not doing it again, as I insisted at the last, horrible, traumatic time where he was sobbing pathetically for nursie.  The first night is always just awful, awful, awful and traumatizing.  He's always okay by the second night, doesn't seem traumatized and rejected by the whole "nursies are sleeping" thing, although he might not like it.  So we are NOT going to initiate the process all over again--we're going to get through it this time.  This going back-and-forth thing can't be good for him.  He needs consistency, and he needs to practice falling asleep without nursing.  

Just--last night, he had a lot of trouble doing it.  I am feeling proud of myself because I managed to talk myself through the irrational angry impulses and be (mostly) soothing, even after repeated almost-sleeps and recurring getting-ups for three hours.

At 4am TheLimey recommended that I just give in and nurse (he was being woken up a lot, too, of course), but there was no way I was going to do that.  It's like saying no, and then giving them the thing they wanted at the store just because they cried about it enough.  It trains them to "press the bar more frequently" or cry more just to get that thing.  

TheLimey wonders if we shouldn't wait a couple months to try this again because then at least I won't be working so many hours.  However, Limelet's dental procedure is coming up in just a few weeks.  He can't have anything, even water, after midnight, so no nursing.  I want him to be used to not nursing at night by then and okay with it.  If we go ahead and let him nurse all night up to that night, and then stop just for the night, what's going to happen is another traumatic "first night" of sobbing pathetically all night, and both me and Limelet being traumatized and weepy the night before his procedure.  Just what I don't need, and neither does he.

That's not the only reason I want to finally get through / past this, but it certainly is a galvanizing factor.  I also want to stop with all the ambivalence already! and just give him the one option: no nursie at night.  Sleep through!  Or get back to sleep some other way.  Rather than,  "well, some nights you have to sleep through, but other nights I may give in if you cry the right way, or for long enough, or whatever."  That's too hard and confusing.

We were doing that thing where you limit night nursing to before 11pm and after 6am, (7 hours of no nursie), but parts of that are not working.  As someone warned me, he has started to anticipate the 6am nursing and to awake earlier and earlier for it.  Because it's still so darn dark at 6am, or even 7, I can't use the "wait until it's light" technique.  I think he does not know what the difference is between nursing at 6am and at any other time in the middle of the night, which confuses the issue for him and creates inconsistency.  So that will have to be the next thing to change--the first nursie of the day will have to be either when it's light (which is too late to get up for work and day care), or after we get up and go downstairs in the morning, just to differentiate.

Of course, then I have to figure out how I am going to get in my 10-minute morning routine (bathroom, wash face, throw on clothes) which I usually do while he's sleeping in the morning after his 6am nursing.  If he's awake, he totally freaks out that I'm in the bathroom, especially in the mornings when he knows we are all getting ready to go our separate ways.  It's really not fun trying to get washed and dressed while your tiny kid is screaming miserably and hanging on your leg.  I really hate starting the morning like that, for him, too.

Looks like a lot of other co-sleeping parents are having the same issues we are .  In one sense this helps, because I feel like I'm not crazy.  But in another sense, I want to hear that these people found X, Y, Z to work once they implemented it, rather than "this is awful for all of us, and we can't escape it!"


Blogger SD said...

You have been tagged by me, in my new post. Let me know when you do it. :)

3:10 PM  

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