Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oh child, please sleep!

Hyrum's sleep (or lack thereof) has become a bit of an obsession for me these past few weeks.  I've waffled back and forth about what to do.  One moment all I want to do is hold him and show him that I'm here for him in what is clearly a very hard time for him (sleep regression, teething, a cold--all at once, bleh!) and sometimes I find myself frustrated so I just need five minutes away to collect myself and end up ignoring my little guy's cries for that time.  Oh what to do, what to do.

Yeah, I still don't have the answer but here are a few questions/thoughts I keep having:

1) A baby cannot manipulate.  It's impossible in the first year of life so at least, no matter what I do, I can remember that this isn't a character flaw or anything.  I haven't screwed him up and turned him into a pint-sized sociopath.
2) Mommies are important too.  This isn't a one-way relationship so it's alright for me to accept help, let my house be a little messy for a while, or even sleep-train if it comes down to that.  I'm not selfish for needing some "me" time or needing sleep.
3) Whatever I choose to do, I want to look back on this period of my life without a lot of guilt and without regret.
4) I want to feel close to my little one.  Perhaps I need to up the cuddling, holding, babywearing, etc.
5) This really will end some day.  No matter what I choose to do, some day my baby will sleep through the night.  It really will happen.  In fact, there may be a day when I wish I could get him OUT of bed!
6) At the end of the day there is one person, and one person only, that I can control--me.  I can't force my kid to sleep but I can control how I react to it.  That being said, 4am me is not the same as 4pm me.  Just sayin'.

I know I'm not alone out there.  What have some of you mamas done/told yourself during rough patches?


  1. Hey Amy,

    These rough patches are no fun! I like what you said about control. The only person you can control is you. Sometimes that feels so helpless, though! We can't really communicate with these babies, and they are just trying so hard to figure out this whole "life" thing. It's hard to teach them when we can't just converse using words. What I have learned is to take everyone's opinions with a grain of salt. Sometimes I want opinions, and other times it frustrates the heck out of me because I feel like people share because they think I don't know what I'm doing, etc. (that's just me being uber sensitive though, I know people mean well).

    But here is the thing that has helped me the most. I reserve the right to change my mind. What I initially thought was "good" or "right" may not be the same today. Something I swore I would never do may be what my instincts are telling me to do now. That was hard to swallow at first. But really, I think our instincts adapt to our ever-changing environment as new moms.

    So, if you find yourself wanting to try something you swore you never would, why not give it a try?

    And last of all, I try NOT to feel guilty or regret the choices I make as a new mom. I learn from mistakes, and feeling like I've made a mistake that affects my baby is HARD to swallow. However, regardless of anything else, she knows I love her. And that is all that matters.

    Ironic- She just started screaming... we're having nap troubles today. Now I find myself wondering what to do!

    Good luck!

  2. I hear ya! Martell told me the other day that I'm much more patient than he is (after a rough day with the kiddos). I told him that it just comes down to either being patient or hating my life. Sometimes I'm sort of on the fence to be honest, but it really is nicer to choose patience for everyone.

    I did a modified cry it out method with Sal because we needed her on a schedule so I could return to work. T. has had it easy, but I really do sometimes wonder if I should do what we did with Sal. It was hard for a little while, but she learned how to go to bed and sleep which is what we all needed.

    I know you don't love the idea. I didn't either. But here's how I look at it. I don't love the idea of putting my kid in time-out either. I don't love it because she is screaming her head off. But it is a practical and effective way to teach her how to behave. I'd rather give her a two minute time out to teach her not to push someone than let her run around thinking that's ok. I'd rather spend a week or so with rough bedtimes than spend years trying to teach her when it's time to sleep and that it really is ok to do it in her own bed.

    Also, whatever you do, don't regret it. I know you are doing what you do in order to be the best mom you know how to be. That is never a thing to regret or feel guilty about. Do what you need to do for you and your family and be content with whatever that is.

    p.s. what I did is not what I expect you to do. You should do whatever you want. That's just what I did.

  3. I love both of the above comments! You probably know my story from my blog posts on the subject, but I was totally anti cry-it-out for about 10 months. Then, we hit a point where she literally would not sleep. Even in bed with us she was up constantly. None of us were getting a good night's sleep and it was affecting her quality of life during the day. At first I still wasn't sure about it and I didn't really stick to our sleep trainin, but then one night I was just ready. Something changed for me and I knew I had to help her sleep that night. I felt empowered. I felt ready. After that one night bedtime is predictable, consistent and wonderful. The best thing about it is that because I waited until I felt ready I have no regrets. Sure there are still nights when she wakes up and I go to her. Sure we are currently transitioning from 2 naps to 1 and have had some frazzled days there, but I am glad I did what I felt right about.

    Don't do it for anyone else but you and your family. And you are allowed to adapt to changing circumstances! Best of luck :)