Sleep training fail 

So after one day of sleep training I have decided that it is just not something I can do right now. 

It was awful.

I won’t go into details but I will say that there was a lot of crying (both me and her), including a new cry that I hadn’t heard before and care not to hear again.

Like I said I had slept trained my son so I knew how hard it was going to be. I think it was bearable with him because we had no other option, the little dude desperately needed to sleep. 

We’re not at that point with her.

Like last night, even though it took me forever to get her to sleep, she slept from 9:30-8 with one quick feed at 5.

So yeah.

Seriously though that night, even though it was just an hour and I went in to check on her frequently, it was so painful for me. And then all the next day I felt so sad. So so sad. I cried so much that day.

So until sleep becomes a problem for her and not just me, I plan on holding off on the whole sleep training thing.

Sleep Training Begins Tonight

Our sleep situation has gone from bad to worse.  It took me over an hour to get her to sleep last night and even still she was up every hour until about midnight and then she was up for long stretches.  It’s all a bit of a blur to be honest.  She’s taken two naps today and both times it’s taken me over 30 minutes to get her down.  As much as I’d like to continue nursing her into a deep sleep, I just can’t leave my two year old alone downstairs for that long.

Today I feel completely out of sorts.  I am extremely sleep deprived as these kind of shenanigans have been going on for weeks.

Sweet baby girl, on the other hand, doesn’t seem bothered by the lack of sleep at all. In fact she’s really happy.   I don’t get it.  And because she’s so happy it makes the thought of sleep training her even more unappealing.  I mean, if she’s happy that’s all that matters, right?

I wish it was that simple.

She is extremely attached to nursing to sleep, and I need to break that association.  Not only is it getting harder to unlatch her without waking her, but no one else can put her down.

So starting tonight we are breaking that habit.  And it is not going to be fun.

Here’s the plan:

The new bedtime routine will begin at 6:30 with a bath.  I’ll then nurse her in our room (where her crib is), put her in her pjs, read two books, get her in her sleep sack and sing her her bedtime song (hers is Lavender Blue) while turning out the lights and turning on the sound machine.  And then –  and this is the tricky part – I will lay her in her crib – probably around 7.  She will look up at me, smile, and fall asleep.

There will be no crying.  This whole thing will cause me no anxiety whatsoever.

OK, seriously though, she will cry.  My plan is to do gradual checks.  I’m thinking I’ll play it by ear depending on the cry.  And gradually leave more and more time between checks.

With our son we had to do the full out let him cry because every time we went in he got more and more upset.  I hope this isn’t the case with her.

I don’t intent to cut out night feeds, but only after 4 hours from her last feed.  Any other wakeups I will check and console, like I did at bedtime.

Ugh, I was really hoping to avoid this whole sleep training thing.  I just think the longer I wait, the harder it will be.  I also know, having gone through it with my son, that it works.  The first few days are the hardest but then once she’s used to the new routine bedtime will be a lot less painful for all of us.

Wish us luck!!!! We’re going to need it!!

 

 

 

I Don’t Want to Sleep Train

I think I need to sleep train our 5 month old.  I really don’t want to – I mean who does?

With our son it was obvious that we needed to sleep train him.  He would only sleep on us and would not let us put him down.  And then he stopped being able to sleep with us.  So he basically just stopped sleeping.  I remember so clearly it was 1am the day before his 6 month birth date and he was awake, frantic after we had been in and out of his room countless times trying to get him back down.  I guess you can say we were doing the put down pick up method from 4 months on and it was not working.  We had an extremely overtired baby on our hands and we had to do something.  So we let him cry it out and it was fucking awful.  I hated every moment of it.  But it worked (eventually).

With our daughter I’d say there are three main problems when it comes to her sleep.

Problem #1: It takes me a long time to get her down for her naps.  
I nurse her to sleep and sometimes it can take up to 30 minutes.  She’ll get sleepy but wake up as soon as I take her off the boob.  This is a problem because I have to leave my 2 year old downstairs while I get her down.  He’s awesome for about 15 minutes reading books or colouring.  And I don’t want to put a show on every time.  I’m a big fan of nursing to sleep, I think it’s beautiful and sweet but at the end of the day it is an association that is just not working for us.  I need a quicker routine.  I need her to fall asleep on her own.

Problem #2: Her naps (in her crib) are super short.
She used to be an amazing napper, up to 3 hours at a time kind of thing.  And then it went to shit.  She’s now napping for about 30 minutes and waking up tired. Sometimes I’ll bring her into bed with me and get her back down and she will then sleep for another hour or two.  Bringing her into bed is not always an option. And once she starts crawling I don’t want to do this.

Problem #3: She’s waking up a lot in the night.
This is more a problem for me than for her.  She goes right back to sleep (most nights) and I don’t think she’s losing that much sleep.  I am though. And it’s starting to get to me – emotionally and mentally.  I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been feeling some of that old familiar anxiety and I know it’s because of lack of sleep.  Some nights I’ll bring her into bed with me (I did las night) and I can get a 3 or 4 hour stretch, but it’s not comfortable for me and I don’t see that as a sustainable solution.

So that’s where we’re at.

Now there are a few reasons why I don’t want to sleep train.  One, I don’t want her to cry.  This is our last baby and I feel like this is such a short time  in our lives I don’t want to go through that whole thing.  Like I said, I’ve been there before and I hated it.  Two, we’re in between the swaddle.  She’s outgrowing it but if I dont’ swaddle her she flips onto her belly and she wakes up because she hates being on her belly and she can’t flip back onto her back.  And three, I keep thinking things will just resolve themselves on their own.

Well it’s been 30 minutes and she’s awake.  And my son is still jumping and yelling in his crib before his nap.  I hate this whole baby sleep shit.

Anxiety, Moving to a Toddler Bed and Daycare

It’s 6:45 pm and I’m sitting on my couch eating goldfish crackers and drinking wine.  The crackers because we have no food in the house and the wine because it’s been one of those days.  Weeks really.

I felt very anxious today. I haven’t been sleeping because my sweet baby girl has not been sleeping (sleep regression? teething? who knows..) and I know that right there is the root of my anxiety.  I can only do so many nights of really really bad sleep before I start to crack.  I could feel the cracks forming this week and today they got bigger than me.

I was laying in bed with my daughter trying to extend her nap and I could see on the monitor that my son was up jumping, jumping, jumping in his crib.  I had put him down for his nap 30 minutes prior and he was exhausted.  And yet there he was jumping and yelling.  The red bars on the monitor were making me so angry.  And somehow that anger turned into anxiety.

I needed a break today.

So yeah, my son jumps in his crib.  A lot. It’s kind of what he does before he sleeps, which is totally crazy.  And then yesterday when I was changing his sheets I noticed that a piece of the metal grid thing, you know that thing that’s under the mattress, well I noticed that a small part of it is broken.  Not surprising.  I’m actually surprised he hasn’t broken the whole crib yet.  Which I feel could happen really at any point.  He’s not  baby anymore – he’s 2 years and 4 months old – and he really gives his all when he jumps.

So my husband and I have decided that it might be a good time to move him to a toddler bed.  More specifically – a mattress on the floor because I know he’ll try to jump and I don’t want him to hurt himself.

To say I’m nervous about this transition is an understatement.

Our plan is to talk to him about it for a bit before we do it.  We’re going to take him shopping for his bed and let him pick out a new comforter.  We’re then going to move everything out of his room except for a beanbag chair, some books and some stuffed animals – basically anything he can possibly climb or run into and hurt himself on is going.

I’m worried this move will mean the end of naps.  I need him to nap.  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there I guess.

I also want to move him to a new bed soon because he’ll be experiencing a big change in a few months.  We found a really really great daycare/preschool that he’s going to go to in September.  When we did a tour a few weeks ago my husband and I both got a bit emotional about it.  It’s kind of perfect.

As amazing as it is, I still have mixed feelings about it.  I know it’ll be great for him in a lot of ways, but as hard as some days are, I’m really happy having him home.  He’s so amazing.  He’s talking more and more every day and man that kid is funny.  He’s also sweet and fun and I just love that I get to spend so much time with him.

The downside of having him home is that he demands a lot of my attention and I don’t always get a lot of quality time with my sweet baby girl – which is what I was worried about from the start.  She is such a sweet thing and she adores her big brother.  She is extremely social – she can be super fussy but as soon as I start talking and playing with her she perks right up.

But the biggest issue with having him home, and this comes back to my anxiety, is that I am feeling extremely stretched thin.  I need time to myself during the day and right now that’s just not happening.

 

Houses and Homes

Both babies are napping and I really should be napping too, but sometimes I need this time to think, have a tea and just relax.  Even though I’m exhausted.  Baby girl was up every two hours last night (!) and therefor, so was I.  Plus, my son is no longer in daycare, so I can’t just lay around with her.

But yes, all that to say, I’m tired but need me time more than I need sleep right now.

I wrote a while back that I was needing to think about three things: my marriage, our home, and my job.  Today I am thinking about our home.

I want to move.

I’ve been wanting to move for some time now.  We bought this home 6 years ago thinking we’d only stay 5.  It’s a townhome and it was great for the two of us.  But now that we are a family of 4, it’s just not doing it for me.  Plus, our new neighbours are so noisy and we just so happened to get bugs shortly after they  moved in.  By bugs I mean, cockroaches.  I hate to even write that word because it’s so fucking nasty.  I hate them so much.  Not only are they nasty but they scare the shit out of me.  Too many times I have opened a cupboard  to find one in there.  We bought some industrial stuff and that seemed to work for a bit, but they just keep coming back.  Which isn’t surprising.  If we have them, our neighbours have them.

So yeah, I’m so done living in a townhome.  I want a standalone house with more space, more windows, a backyard, and a big bright kitchen.

I want to be in our family home.

So we’ve been looking and although there are some that have come close, we haven’t found the perfect home yet.

We also have some work to do in our current place.  Like renovate all the bathrooms and do something about the bugs.  Both of these things are currently in motion – we’ve contacted contractors and an exterminator.  So yeah, that’s all happening.

But in the meantime, I want to be happy in my home.  I’m here all the time seeing as I”m on maternity leave and I need to feel comfortable in my space right now.  So there are a couple of things I’ve been working on:

  1. Keeping it super clean.  This is easier said than done with two littles, but it’s super important, especially given then bug situation.  So I often prioritize cleaning over all of the other things.  I have a cleaning schedule that I try to keep to and that works most weeks.  But I’m considering getting a cleaner come in twice a month because I just can’t keep up.
  2. Going minimalist.  I’ve been wanting/trying to do this for some time now.  It’s so hard with kids because people keep giving us shit.  By shit I mean toys.  We have too many toys.  Toys which are currently scattered all over the living room floor.  I do put quite a few away and rotate but ideally I’d like to just get rid of like half of them.  In all other respects we’re pretty minimalist. I try to do a big declutter once a year and that helps to keep things in check.  It also helps that neither my husband nor I like shopping.  I hate spending money and I don’t like buying things that I don’t really need.

I really can’t wait to move though.  This is the longest I’ve stayed in one place and I’m getting antsy.  I also really really want a back yard for the summer.  It would just make my life a lot easier.  I can take my son outside to do some much needed running around while the baby naps.

Speaking of which, they are both still napping – though baby girl has been waking after 45 minutes, and if she does this again that means I only have seven minutes left to myself.  Fingers crossed she’ll go longer!

3 Things

I don’t have a lot of time right now to write – both kiddos are napping and I think I only have about a 10 minute overlap and a bunch of things I want to do (including sitting and reading a page or two in my book) – but I wanted to share a quick one.

A quick three things actually:

  1. My son is no longer in day care. He will now be home with me and my four month old. I’m going to have someone come by three mornings a week to bring him to the park/give me a break. I’ll write more about this later but I’ll leave it at that for now.  
  2. We are buying a new car. Our car has broken down about five times in the last three months. Enough is enough. We need something reliable so we’re going new. Any recommendations!? We’re thinking crossover or suv.
  3. We’re having our bathrooms (all three) renovated. Well, hopefully. We had someone come by to have a look and they promised us a quote ‘early next week’.  This was two weeks ago and we haven’t heard back. Guess they don’t want our business? So we’ve contacted another contractor. 

So that’s what’s new over here. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Love and Let Go

The details of what happened this morning matter less than how I feel. How I’ve been feeling.

Frustrated, quick to snap, controlling, angry, and resentful.

I know I need to let go. Let go of my tendency to want to make my son do what I want him to do. Somethings are OK. It’s OK if he doesn’t want to sit in his chair and eat breakfast. I don’t like how I react in those situations. My reaction – getting angry – makes it all so much worse. 

I don’t want to be an angry mom. 

It’s so hard sometimes. He’s a spirited little guy with big feelings. And I get overwhelmed when things don’t go as planned. When routines – as simple as they are – get thrown off.

After I dropped my son off at daycare I did yoga, that helped. I’m now sitting, breathing, writing, listening to music, and have a coffee. It should be a tea but enough with the should be’s. There’s nothing I should be. Only me. And it’s OK that I got frustrated. I have to forgive myself – as long as I learn from these experiences. 

Every day, every moment is an opportunity to be better. And I can be better. 

I can be more relaxed.

 I can be more loving. 

I can be more grateful. 

I want to cry right now because I have so much to be grateful for. I have two absolutely beautiful children. I have a loving and supportive husband. I have so many tools at my disposal to stay calm and grounded. It’s a gorgeous day today. The sun is shining and the breeze is beautiful. 

I feel better. 

I know toddlers need boundaries but I need to choose them wisely. Getting angry because he won’t eat where I want him to eat is not teaching him anything. Especially because he just wanted to colour. And that right there is why I feel so shitty. The guilt is strong on this one. 

My children can teach me so much. 

I can be a better person. I want to be a better person for them. I want to LOVE. And I do. I love them so much. I want them to see and feel so much love in this home. And sometimes that love will not be beautiful. There will be other hard times, challenging situations. There will be rules made from love that they won’t like. There will be things they won’t be able to do. And I’m OK with that, as long as it comes from love. Me yelling at him this morning did not come from love.

 So from now on I’m going to ask myself ‘do I need him to do this from a place of love, or is it coming from somewhere else?’. If it’s coming from somewhere else maybe it’s not a fight to be fought. 

Maybe I need to let go of my need to control. 

Maybe I need to just love and let go.