Thursday, January 24, 2013

Am I selfish?

Jessica at Just Smile and Blog struggles with sleep have given me great cause for concern.  I fear that my baby is learning - or should I say not learning- good sleep habits where she can put herself to sleep.  She relies on me to either: A) Nurse her (at night) in our bed until she is good and sleeping (an hour or more) and she is transferred to her bassinet. B) worn in a moby or ergo and bounced and 'sshed' to sleep. She cannot be transferred out of the carrier or she will wake.  Wearer of baby cannot sit down and relax while wearing baby, or she will startle and wake up (we have an exercise ball we use to sit on and 'bounce' her constantly.C) Nursed during the day where I can't unlatch her and have to sit absolutely still and allow her to suckle (this usually doesn't work and she will wake up at some point)

If baby doesn't get naps during the day she is one cranky baby.  Her bed-time cues are showing earlier and this means that I have to put her to bed earlier and thus need to go to bed that early myself (or I might as well...)

She wont nap during the day the same way she falls asleep at night. 

HOWEVER - she consistently sleeps well at night.  I usually get bewteen 5 (on bad nights) and 9 (on rare but amazing nights) of uninterrupted sleep (as long as I go to bed when she does).  This is amazing...this is basically unheard of I know.  I shouldn't even be complaining about sleep I know...however, is it luck?  Our days with the bassinet are numbered (she's getting too big AND it needs to go back so that it can be used by another person -it was borrowed). Once we put her in her crib will her good night sleeping go to shit because she can't hear us sleeping?

I'm torn with sleep training (that have versions of CIO) and the Wait it Out method.  I know my daughter is only little for so long and she needs me and needs to trust me.  I love Dr Sears and feel that what he has to say about sleep training (or lack there of) make so much sense.  If I believe in the WIO method (which goes along with Dr Sears) then why or why am I terrified of nurturing a bad sleeper? 

Is it because I am selfish and NEED her to sleep on her own?  Because I am loosing my mind every day that passes that she doesn't nap on her own and I have to wear her constantly.  That I desire time and intimacy with my husband that doesn't (or hasn't) happened yet since she wont sleep on her own. Or that I just need a break?  Right now I 'm the ONLY one who can care for her 100% of the time.  Hubby can't because he doesn't have boobs to nurse her when she is cranky.  And the thought of leaving her with a grandparent to watch while hubby and I get a night out (or an hour or two) just makes me laugh! It would be impossible!  Didn't I sign on for all of this when I wanted so desperately to be a parent? When I shed tears for my lost babies and prayed for a baby.  Shouldn't I be grateful I have a good night sleeper and not ask for too much by having a baby who naps during the day? 

I have been SO STRESSED out about all this sleep stuff.  I am reading and talking to everyone I can and EVERYONE has an opinion.  I really don't know what is best....

Hubby and I are attending a sleep workshop next Friday.  He is telling me to relax and just wait till then before we start any sort of program.  I agree with him, but that doesn't stop me from stressing out to the max about her sleeping.  He laughed at me...he tells me we went from an eating crisis to a sleep crisis over night.  He is so right. 

I guess I just feel guilty because I feel I'm being selfish ... but more importantly I want my baby to get her sleep so she can grow and develop and not be a cranky pants! 

Please help me gain some perspective!


  1. My advice is to stop bouncing baby to sleep after she hits 12 weeks =) She's almost 12 weeks and everyone (pediatrician and sleep lady included) told me that up until 12 weeks you cannot bounce or rock or nurse a baby to sleep too much. But once you hit 12 weeks they have to start learning how to self soothe and put themselves to sleep. You're nowhere near needing to CIO and like I said after your last post until she's 4 months or 14 lbs CIO isn't recommended anyway even by Ferber and Weisbluth and all the other CIO proponents. Since you're aware of it just start working toward it now, bounce less, nurse to sleep less, put her down awake and see if she's able to self soothe etc etc. The Waiting it out is what landed me where I am, so as much as I wanted Sears method to be the method for me it totally backfired on me. I do not regret co-sleeping or nursing my baby to sleep all the time AT ALL but I should have eased off and noticed I wasn't giving him a chance to learn some sleep skills that he needed. Unfortunately I think I needed to hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to go to change it.
    But you're not there and you can work toward changing it before things get bad!
    Good luck!

    1. You make it sound so easy in your blog. I have tried to 'bounce less and nurse less' but she just screams. I feel like I have missed my window of teaching her how to fall asleep on her own. I am beginning to think it comes natural for some babies and not so much for others.

  2. I recommend doing what you feel is right. If you think that what you are doing to get your baby to sleep is too much work, then start strategizing on how to fix it and get her to sleep more independently. It is NOT selfish for you to want her to learn to sleep on her own - that is part of your job as a mommy to teach her how to sleep! However, you don't have to jump to CIO if it makes you uncomfortable.

    I will tell you I have started letting the babies fuss it out, like if they start to escalate to real cries then I will go in to see what is wrong but if it's just fussing I will let them go on and on until they go back to sleep. I'm not SUPER consistent (sometimes Apple naps in the carrier, but he lets me sit down, so I guess I don't mind it so much - I mostly only do it to *keep* him asleep so that he and Banana don't get out of sync, because if he were an only baby at that point I would consider him "awake" since he usually needs the carrier after 30 minutes of napping already). But it has been very important to me from the beginning for them to be able to go to sleep independently, like not fall asleep on me or in my arms, because I am only one person and there are two babies.

    I also can't stress enough the importance routine has had in our sleep. I can sing them to sleep with our sleepytime song now. Like put them in the crib eyes open, stick pacifiers in their mouths, and sing as I leave the room and they will fall asleep most times. I've been using that song as part of our sleep routine since they were 2 weeks old. It's been a crazy long road with that stupid song but I am very happy for it now.

    Like I said, it is NOT selfish. Teaching her to sleep is part of your job. You can do it, follow your intuition, do what feels right for you and your family. <3

    1. I was all gung hoe for a sleep routine, then I had the whole feeding stress of them not getting enough and me thinking she was always hungry episode and I didn't start a routine because I never knew if she was tired or hungry. Even now, I'll still nurse her whenever she fusses just to make sure she isn't hungry! lOl... after Friday's workshop we'll start a sleep routine!