Friday, June 3, 2011

let's talk about sleep {or lack thereof}

Sleepy sleepy.
As you may recall, about a month or so ago, Elliot decided that he was "too big" to sleep with me anymore- and he let me know my screaming, kicking, punching, and pulling out clumps of my hair whenever I tried to get him to lay down with me. This pretty much broke my heart, because I love cosleeping! I got tired of fighting with him, though, so Elliot eventually got his way and started sleeping in his crib or pack & play.
So, you may be wondering, what are our nights like now? Well, Elliot goes to sleep around 9pm every night, right after he has his bath and a bottle. At one point, he was sleeping for a lovely four hour stretch until 1am, but, I'm sorry to say, he is now back to waking up every 2-3 hours again. I shouldn't complain too much- he never really fully wakes up. The minute he starts squirming and fussing, my hyper-active mommy sense kicks in and I jump up and make him a bottle. Five minutes later, Elliot is sound asleep again with a full belly.
Everyone keeps telling me that babies "his age" don't need night feedings anymore. Before you say it, yes, I have tried just getting him to go back to sleep without eating. Believe me when I say that it did NOT work. He got so worked up that his face turned bright purple and by the time I finally succumbed and gave him the bottle, he was so wide awake that he refused to go back to sleep, deciding instead to have a nice three-hour squeal-fest and playtime instead. If he didn't really "need" to eat in the middle of the night, he wouldn't gulp down six ounces in four minutes flat. His body is clearly telling him that he needs to eat- and I'm fine with that.
So, he still wakes up every 2-3 hours {usually two, not three} throughout the night. I'm so used to it by now that I don't even remember what a full night's rest feels like! Around 3 or 4am, I take him back to bed with me and he {happily!} sleeps with me until he wakes up for the day between 8 and 9am. He must be indecisive like his mama because he's suddenly decided that, hey, sleeping with his mama is pretty swell.
I call myself a part-time cosleeper. I'm really happy with it, because it's the best of both worlds- I still get some "me time" to sleep/do whatever by myself, but I also get my cuddle time with the little man later on. Because, who are we kidding? I wasn't ready to stop cosleeping. Those 2 or 3 weeks when he slept in his crib all night long just about killed me.
As far as I'm concerned, Elliot has his whole life to sleep through the night in his own bed like a big boy. For now, I'll enjoy the fact that he still depends on me while I still can!
PS: whoever said that cereal makes babies sleep longer, must be on crack. I haven't noticed any change whatsoever- and he gets a full bowl an hour before bed!


  1. i've never agreed with babies sleeping longer when they take cereal. that's a load of crap. what has worked for both of my boys is being swaddled. gage was swaddled until he was at least 16 months old, and owsley loves it as well. i wrap him up, and he goes right to sleep.

    i hope you find something that works for you and elliot. i can't imagine still waking up in the night all the time. :-/

  2. i can relate to a lot of what you mentioned in this post. I myself, am a "part-time cosleeper" and L and I love it that way. She moves wayyyy to much in the middle of the night to constantly have her in bed with me. and also, people have told me to drop the middle of the night feeding that L gets but it just doesn't work that way. SHE is hungry so of course I am going to feed her. when she is ready to drop it, she will. i'm not going to force it on her or let her starve. and L never slept any longer when she had rice cereal..ever! it just simply did not help at all.

  3. You are doing a good job. Now that King is older I look back and see that I was soo eager to make him be a "big boy" I was always soo worried if I was doing the "right thing". NOw i'm a strong believer what ever works for you. If they are happy then you must be doing something right. We did do the cry it out by 7ish months I think and it was the hardest 3 days of my life but then after that he wouldn't wake up for that night feeding. He really didn't need it because he'd just take 2 sips then fall back to sleep. But it seems like Elliot still needs his night time feeding so alas, do not fret my friend. You are doing a good job!!! :)

  4. That picture is so unbelievably precious! Good for you for embracing this stage of "babyhood" with your son!

  5. Amen with the cereal... all it has done for us is given Truitt SUPER stinky gas!!!

  6. cereal never made a difference for us, the only thing that I have noticed that may help is that I am cutting her formula with whole milk now to try to wean her from the formula. It may also be that she is almost 13 months old and that's why she's finally sleeping 4 hour stretches... My daughter wakes up STARVING twice a night and I happily feed her still.WHEN she no longer needs it, she will not wake up. Until then, I am perfectly fine with feeding my hungry child and since I am the one that does it all night and still gets up for work the next morning I think if I am okay with it then no one else's opinion makes a difference. Do what is best for YOUR child. No one else knows them like you do.

  7. Ourkids are about the same age and chloe still wales up to east at night.

  8. Okay so the cereal thing NEVER worked for Carter but it worked for Brynn like a charm, so I really think it just depends on the baby.

    Brynn would wake up STARVING at night until we started the cereal and a little bigger bottle before bed. That very first night and every night after, she started STTN again. Thankfully.

    Carter? Wasn't having it. He was like "yeah right mom" ;)

  9. I'm curious about what kind of pillow your son sleeps with. I have a 5 month son myself and have always felt like he doesn't like to lay down completely flat. Ive never tried having him sleep on a pillow but if it'll get him to sleep any longer than his usual 3 hrs at a time. I'm willing try anything :)

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  11. I do the same with Marshall. Especially since his daddy is away at reserve duty Marshall has been sleeping sometimes in the crib and sometimes in bed with me. He's getting to the point where he even cuddles with me at night :) Even at 7 months when he wakes around 4am I grab a bottle, which helps him get back to sleep. I figure we're the mommies and we know what our babies need :)

  12. We are part-time cosleepers, too! I was so sad when Grant decided to tell me that he didn't want to sleep with me anymore...:(

    This may sound crazy, but you may want to consider putting him to bed earlier. We put Grant to bed around 7:30, sometimes 7:00, and that has helped him sleep longer through the night. I know it sounds crazy but I read it in Dr. Weissbluth's book. But hey, I say do whatever works for your family!!!! :)

  13. My daughter did the same thing until she was 18 months old. Up every 3 hours every night. I agree with feeding them if they are hungry. You will know when it's time to stop. She thankfully has turned into a great sleeper. I've spent the last 3 months trying to catch up on my lost sleep! Keep up the good work!!


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