Friday, March 18, 2011

Chasing Sleep

I was inspired to write this post by a friend who has an 11 month old, who is still waking up 3-4 times every night to nurse. She is at her wits end. She is exhausted and drained. It is effecting her day to day. She is such a caring and loving Mom who doesn't want to traumatize her little cutie by letting her scream it out. I say scream baby scream.

When Ella was 9 months old and still getting up multiple times per night to eat, I knew something had to give. I had let this behavior go on way too long. I was advised by a Mommy friend and nurse to go cold turkey. Stop any and all night feedings and night visits. I was told it would take three nights. My hubby and I committed to making it happen, then my three nights of misery ensued. Three nights of pure, screaming hell out of my little one who I couldn't bare to let scream even for a minute before now. The fourth night - SILENCE. Sweet serenity. From that point on Ella was a terrific sleeper. My saving grace was a video monitor. It allowed me to peak in on my girl, without having to disrupt her. It also allowed me to let her scream for those three nights, with the peace of mind that I knew she was safe and ok in her bed. It was my life line.

My little Lily, who is now almost 10 months old has been sleeping through the night since she was 2 weeks old. This is a total fluke, I have no explanation. I parented them both the same, but my Lily has just always been a great sleeper. So what makes the difference between a restless sleeper and a sound one? In my opinion, it's just their make-up. It's all about what makes them tick. So if your little one isn't born a perfect sleeper, try the three nights of hell and hopefully you and your bundle will sleep like a baby for all the nights that follow.

Mommy Mantra - Make your kids an incredible Part of your life, not your WHOLE life.

Tonight, my hubby is out with some old college friends. He stopped home to change and picked up a mushroom pizza from our favorite pizza shop. The girls ate happily, we played outside and then bath and bed. Tonight I read them stories in Ella's bed together. Ella held Lily's bottle as Lily patted her on her cheek. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn't move in fear of ruining this perfect moment. Don just called and I told him about our night. He said he was jealous I got to have such a sweet time without him. He is out partying, yet he was jealous of my time with the girls. I married the right guy.


  1. I thought we had ALL of the answers on sleep training because my son handled the CIO method perfectly. A few naps with tearful beginnings and a few nights with (and I'm not exaggerating) exactly 5 minutes of crying for mommy and milk, and he was completely over it.
    My daughter, however did not sleep through the night until she was 8 months old and we started adding rice cereal to a breast milk bottle for the last feeding before bed.
    Having children is all guess and check and is completely different for every child. All you can do is try each method until you figure out what works best for you AND your baby. Crying is hard to listen to, but it IS important for the baby to understand that mommy isn't a milking station at all hours of the night and at that age, it sounds like it is "comfort" nursing and probably not due to hunger.

  2. It's so true that every child is different. We JUST did the cry it out sleep training in the last week with my son who is nearly 7 months. Cried the first night, fussed the 2nd night, slept through the 3rd night. You have to try whatever works for you when everyone is ready. Great post!

  3. Am dreading the sleep training but with my 6mth old still waking at 11pm and 2am will have to start soon as losing my mind! Thanks for the post it is great encouragement.

  4. Okay, YOU ARE MY HERO. That's right, I said H-E-R-O... in capital letters. That's because (drum roll) I let my baby (who by now, I was convinced, was moonlighting as a vampire --albeit a cute and cuddly one-- bent on sucking all milk and life out of me)cry it out... Nay, let us say "SELF-SOOTHE." In fact, that was I kept saying to myself: "She is self-soothing, she is self-soothing."

    After FIVE, knuckle-cracking fifteen minute crying jags, Vivi slept. She slept and she slept and she slept...all the way to 8:40 AM (an unheard of time for our early-bird). The best part, she awoke with a smile...a big, bright, beaming smile and was none the worse for wear. In fact, she was happy all day long and went to bed unceremoniously at 7:45 PM.

    Thank you so much for your help!

  5. Am dreading sleep training and somehow managed to avoid it with my first (don't think he slept thru consistently til around 8-9mths though) so thinking with two have to bite the bullet and get on with it. My second is now 6mths and your post has helped to encourage me on. Thx!

  6. lol- sounds like giving up the bottle with my oldest (the only one I didn't nurse). I just said one day , "No more".

    I don't remember him being all that traumatized like I thought he would be.

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  7. Great comments Mommies!
    Sonja, so happy the advice worked.
    Wideeyedgirl-keep us posted!
    Carolee - I will be checking out those sites! I LOVE Cafe Mom