Thursday, April 10, 2008

Night 1 - No Cry Sleep Solution

It finally arrived! Last night I got my hands on a used copy of The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Nightby Elizabeth Pantely. While I haven't had time to read books hardly at all since Charlotte was born, I somehow managed to find time to read the first 125 pages of this one, all in one afternoon. The basic premise of the book is that there has to be a way to teach a baby to fall asleep without using a crutch and without forcing them to cry-it-out. I knew early on in Charlotte's life that letting her cry-it-out was not an option for our family, so this book seemed like it would be a good fit.

After reading that much of the book I wasn't willing to wait one more night before trying some of the solutions it presented. I have been so tired and sleep-deprived these last few months especially that it is taking more and more caffeine each day to help me function. I cut myself off by 2 pm, but I know it has to be affecting Charlotte in ways that hurt our sleeping arrangement.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know we co-sleep to make nighttime feedings simpler and easier for me. Until recently, as in the last few weeks, it was working. Now though, Charlotte is waking up about once an hour and our current arrangement doesn't work anymore. She can't seem to fall or stay asleep without being latched on to me. Recently, she has wanted to lay across my belly while latched on and then falling asleep. Moving her was impossible. She would wake up every time and then we'd start the process all over again. To be generous I'd say I have been getting 30 minutes of sleep for every hour I am in bed, and only in 30-45 minute increments at that. Doing some quick math, that leaves me with ~3-4 hours of sleep between 10 pm and 5:30 am when I have to drag my butt out of bed for work.

If you knew me pre-baby, you would know I NEED a perfect 7 1/2 hours of sleep to be myself. Clearly, co-sleeping and dream feeding are not turning out to be a workable solution for our family. Dr. Sears has said that the best sleep arrangement for a family is the one in which everybody gets the sleep they need (loosely paraphrased).

So.... to make a long story longer... last night I tried putting Charlotte to bed in her crib while I slept on the twin bed in her room. And it only sort of worked. I do feel I got a little bit more sleep last night than usual though because I feel more rested today. There isn't a clock in the room so that could have helped my brain into not realizing how often it woke up.

She work up 3 times between 9:30 and 1:45 am. This is an improvement over every hour. Each time she woke up, I nursed her and then put her back into the crib. By 1:45 am though, I decided to just bring her into bed with me for the rest of the night. I didn't want to over do it the first night.

What I really need to work on is getting her comfortable with her crib as a happy place and convincing her that she does NOT need to be latched on to fall asleep. The latter will definitely be harder for us. When the nipple falls out, she cries and roots until she finds it again. I took Pantely's advice and tried to push her chin up from the bottom and when that didn't work, I let her latch back on for 10-15 seconds. We did this a few times each time she woke up last night and though there was never success in falling asleep without the nipple, I think with time we can make this work.

Please pray for this momma to sort all of this out soon. I need my beauty sleep!

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