Stay-at-homing · Teaching them to sleep

Sleep…such a beast

It’s 4:30. AM. I’ve been up since 1:30.  It’s nights like tonight that I absolutely wish that God would send an angel to club me in the head.  I’m so tired, so very, very tired.

That’s my life lately.  Tired.  I feel like all my “issues” are coming to a head all at one time. Staying home this last month has been a mild degree of excruciating.  I’m so burnt out.  I’ve talked with plenty of moms who have gone back to work after having a baby because they couldn’t handle staying home.  Although I don’t think work is the answer, I can empathize with where they are coming from more than I would wish upon anyone, really.  In other words, God and I have been having lots of talks lately.

Tonight, one of those talks left me feeling ignorant.  In the purest sense of the word.  I poured out my frustrations to Heavenly Father, and then learned that a big part of everything is my fault.

Since I last posted about teaching Thea to sleep, her sleeping abilities have slowly decreased until we now are back to where we started (although, let it be noted that she has never lost her ability to sleep in her own bed nor to sleep for long amounts of time.) (So I guess, really, what I mean is that her ability to put herself to sleep has vanished and her miraculous, every-parent-wished-they-were-me ability to sleep all night long without waking up has been replaced by 2-4 wakings every night.)  So again, my life has revolved around trying to get Thea to sleep and wishing I could sleep every minutes she’s awake.  And it’s really my fault.  I’ve slowly taken over putting her to sleep because I’m too impatient.

My sweet husband was the one to act on promptings I had been having for months, but was dreading doing.  We needed to go back to the Ferber Method.  But as usual, Andrew could see how to modify the method to Thea’s new situation, and she has made significant improvement with being able to put herself to sleep.  It’s no longer a 30-45 minute fight of thinking of anything and everything that might get her to sleep, so I could lay her down.  I now can just lay her down (and keep her from crawling or climbing until she settles in), hold her hand through the crib rails, and sit and close my eyes while she decides when to finally close her eyes and give into sleep.  It’s a great burden lifted.

But she still wakes up during the night so much.  It’s awful.  I never wake up feeling rested anymore.  I finally got lazy and just started bringing her back into my bed when she’d wake up, so she could lay next to me and eat and fall asleep while I slept.

So it was after her first wake up tonight that God helped me learn just how ignorant I am when it comes to taking care of a baby.  After failing and failing and failing to fall asleep, I spent hours online, learning about the different approaches and ideas for baby sleep, simply to learn that I have been doing everything to make my life and Thea’s life difficult.

Long story short: better feeding + better routines = better sleep (for all of us).

I still have a ton a ton to learn.  But I found a blog that seriously is sent from above.  This woman, Rachel, has basically read every big name baby sleep book out there, and summarizes them all according to category.  Truly, I wish I could grab this woman’s face in my hands and kiss her forehead as loud as I can!  Here’s the link:

And forgive me, but I can’t help but think, Why doesn’t anyone sit an expecting mother down and teach her all these things! And you know, maybe I’ve just been too prideful and know-it-all to listen.  May one day I be humble instead of having to find things out the hard way.


One thought on “Sleep…such a beast

  1. So.-0-0-0-0-0-0. Welcome to motherhood. I have loved reading your posts.
    I remember all those books, beginning with Dr. Spock. My mother-in-law laughed at me.
    Kept telling me to do what felt natural.
    Our first child absolutely refused to sleep during the day.
    I would put her down to only have her scream the full nap time.
    Fought it for months. Finally a friend (with 4 kids) loaned us a playpen.
    Put it in the kitchen where she could quietly play and watch me.
    Occasionally, but very rarely would she fall to sleep.
    At about 14 months and and a Sister-in-law with their daughter 5 months younger went to visit my folks in Montana.
    During nap time her child was ready for sleep.
    I lay down with ours and took a nice nap, but aware that she was quietly playing beside me.
    My sister-in-law told me I just did not know how.
    She laid down, took a nice nap while the child quietly played beside her.
    She had tried to snuggle her, but this baby would have nothing to do with it.
    Today as a 50 year old mother she is still a go getter. She has spent her whole life running as fast as she can
    She was the only one of our children who did not nap at least to the age of two.
    However, this child would sleep peacefully through the night a full 10-11 hours almost up to Kindergarten.

    Today I have watched 10 families and how Mommy’s handle things and 41 grandchildren get through those stages/
    I have heard daughters and daughters-in-laws struggles, complaints, how they discovered and solved problems.
    I know nothing about the Ferber method, but if it is swaddling, our granddaughter who just turns 3 in June was swaddled.
    Mom said that she flayed her hands a lot and seemed to keep herself awake.
    I said nothing, but felt claustrophobic every time I watched them tuck that child in for the evening.
    I think her biggest problem was two rambunctious siblings that kept her awake.
    Mother would catch 5 year old brother sleeping in the room often enough.
    She then at about a year took to screaming during the night. (After the swaddling came off.
    But both girls took great naps during the day. With their mom saying, “They better cause I need one, as I am always exhausted from being awake all night long.””
    Sometimes I wondered if the children connected with mom being uptight about things.
    Then I had a couple boys who continued to nurse in the middle of the night for months. That was exhausting, until I finally just tucked them in bed with me.
    Usually I dozed, but would awaken and quietly tuck them back into their beds when done.
    It made my days much simpler. I too often caught a nap while some of my little ones slept.
    Every child is different, as their personalities are. So each baby has different needs, wants,personalities, abilities.
    Our last child was a 5 lb 9 oz preemie who had special needs. But he was probably my easiest child in many ways.
    I figured by then, I was a well trained Mamma.

    So after posting this I read what the Ferber method is.
    Oh, yes, I let our oldest cry herself to sleep; which she didn’t.
    We gave her the bedroom and moved out into our living room, which could be closed off from the rest of the house. Best thing we could have done.
    But most of our children, it worked. It only took a couple nights before they figured it out.
    Sometimes we have to understand who is being trained… Mother or child.

    We love you. Keep up the blog. It is delightful to follow. And I wished I had kept better notes, cause one only needs to learn once. Right.


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