Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sleep Training, Solids, and Teething

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Before I became a mom, I always scoffed at people who didn't allow their babies to cry. I would tell them "He's fine" "She's fine" "Let them cry it out". Good God am I eating my words now (I seem to be doing a lot of that since motherhood). I didn't think I'd want my baby to sleep in our bedroom. I wasn't an advocate of the co-sleeping trend. But after her arrival and especially after the diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux, I wanted/needed her to be near me. She had turned into a really great sleeper and by three and a half months, she was sleeping through the night. Her pediatrician said, "Clone her!". About a month and a half ago, she started waking up at night to eat. I let it slide because I thought she must be going through a growth spurt. Things got worse from that point and she started becoming more difficult just to get to sleep. We couldn't put her in her little sleep time rocker until she had been fully asleep on one of us for nearly an hour. This sleep time behavior started to affect her daytime naps (she's waking up after one thirty to forty minute sleep cycle and will not go back to sleep) and that's where I've reached my breaking point. I have been trying to come up with some solution other that "cry it out". I've read the no cry books, done countless hours of no cry research, tried rocking, patting; now we are trying our last hope.

We rocked her with a bottle as usual and put her down in her crib fully awake, gave her a little pat and a kiss, then left the room. At first she played with her lovey for five minutes, then the hysterics stared. I went in there, gave her a pat and a kiss, then left the room. Ten minutes later, Rory and I were near tears and ready to vomit from the stress. I went in again, patted her, kissed her, left the room. Lather, rinse, repeat.

She was pretty hysterical for about an hour and a half. I couldn't follow the five minute, ten minute, twenty minutes, thirty minutes, so on and so forth rule. It was killing me to see her in such distress. I kept thinking, "She just wants me. She wants to know where I am. She needs me!" But I had to stick to what I set out to do. So I bent the rules and patted her, kissed her, told her I loved her every time she flipped onto her back or got so worked up that she would gag. I know, it sounds horrible. After she finally settled herself to sleep, Rory and I agreed to try it for a week. If it didn't work out by then, we'd try something else. Whatever that is.

I am so proud of her though! She slept much better throughout the night and went down on her own for her morning nap. Maybe this is going to work ::fingers crossed:: She's getting too big too fast. I teared up the other day because she fit in pajamas that I thought were still too big for her. I am packing away a lot of clothes that she's outgrown and it breaks my heart.
And yesterday, after two weeks of trying to give her solids, she finally opened her mouth to eat! She ate the whole container of carrots. I was so thrilled, but then came the "my baby's growing up" emotions. I wonder if it gets any easier. Probably not.
Oh, and her first tooth is poking through (slowly being followed by another three)! Where did the last six and a half months go?

If you have any advice you'd like to share, please comment below. I'd love to hear other peoples' sleep training experiences!


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