Sleepless:

Some of you may have deduced from my facebook ramblings that James is giving us a little run for our money in the sleeping department these days.  Ever since the hospital, his attachment security has been completely re-set to newborn mode and he refuses to sleep unless I am holding him while he is latched.  He was doing so well before the hospital, getting up only at 1:00 am and 4:00 am {that may not sound ideal, but it was complete heaven for us, as he was not sleeping at night at all before we started the initial sleep training} and sleeping like a champ during his nap time, twice a day for two hours each nap.  We had a good thing going, and really felt like we were doing things right as parents and caretakers of our lil’ guy.  It really was an awesome schedule that worked great for our groove.

And then the blasted hospital.

I really feel like those few days of James in the hospital was one of the most significantly defining experiences of my life heretofore.  It changed EVERYTHING–James’ sleep patterns, for starters, which now has my anxiety off the charts–I dread nights again, I’m extra irritable and blue, which affects our marriage and romance, I can’t get anything done in the day, especially leaving the house for, say, grocery shopping or the like {we don’t even have eggs and milk right now, people, and haven’t for about three days now}, and I have no hope of figuring out how the heck to get him sleeping again.  He has been waking up three times before 12:30 a.m. pretty consistently the past few days, and he has developed this new cry that is akin to the sound one would make if being boiled alive in oil {too morbid?}.

We have tried everything, but there is no rest for my soul.  My biggest fear is that the things I do to “stay afloat” will just make it harder for him in the future to sleep train all over again.  I just see him at four years old not being able to sleep unless he is latched on to mommy!  For now we have simply hit “survive mode” and desperately cling to the few things that bring some saving grace to our sanity.  And here they are, the handful of things that make our life a little easier lately:

Co-Sleeping
We’ll start Jameser out in his crib, but he inevitably ends up in our bed with us for most of the night.  This way I can still catch some zzz’s while he nurses, even though it’s not the deepest sleep.  If I wake up and he’s unlatched and asleep, I’ll put him back in his crib {which has made its way back to the side of my bed}.  If I am on my last nerve after doing this several nights in a row then I’ll petition John to take him for a night so I can sleep and rejuvenate my mothering abilities.

TheWubbanub

The jury is still out on how James feels about binkies, but he’s starting to take them here and there.  The Wubbanub is awesome because I can swaddle the little stuffed animal in and the binky doesn’t pop out as much while James sleeps.  It helps calm him down {if he happens to take it} and he’ll eventually fall asleep {sometimes}.

Baby Geniuses
Sometimes this is the ONLY thing that will stop James from crying.  He absolutely loves Baby Geniuses.  If it’s been a long night and I’m about to hit a wall, I can plop James down in front of the T.V. {mother of the year} and he’ll be preoccupied for a good while if I need to doze off a little on the couch for a power nap or try to get some laundry done or something.  I justify this by thinking to myself, “He’s just becoming a baby genius, so I don’t need to worry if he’s watching it too much…”  And I’ve realized that sing-along-songs ARE fun!

The Megga-Swaddle
At the hospital we got this super long blanket as a gift for James.  We have started to roll him up in it to swaddle him, and it’s virtually impossible for him to break out of it.  The only downside is that it tends to get him hotter than usual, which also wakes him up on occasion.  But on a good night it will keep him swaddled for hours at a time and he doesn’t wake himself up by wiggling around or flapping his arms {which he loves to do}.

The Gentle Giraffe

We have affectionately named it “Jriffy” as a tribute to Aunt Kelsey’s childhood {and adolescent/tween} pet giraffe stuffed animal.  This is James’ security item {or at least we are attempting to make it become such} and he sleeps with it every night.  It’s not just any stuffed giraffe, though.  It has a little buttons in the back for four different sound settings, so we can turn on white noise or heart beat or something and it usually helps sooth James and calm him down.  James likes the African Beat setting most.  The best part?  There’s a timer on the sound so it’ll turn off on it’s own after James falls asleep!

So yes, it’s been hard {at times seemingly impossible} but it is still not the hardest thing I have ever done.  It’s just so instantly rewarding, even in the travailing times.  I am so grateful that I have my little guy, and am grateful he is so happy.  I know some people would do anything to have a baby to keep them up all night, and I don’t want to take it for granted.

One comment

  1. Sarah says:

    Jess I can’t pretend to know anything about how to help babies sleep but I have a sister in law who has been helped out a lot by a book called: “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” Maybe you’ve already hear about it but I thought it was worth a mention just in case. Good luck!

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