I usually try to blog (when I get the chance) about the good stuff going on. But I want to record about the past two night.
A bit of background:
From about 3 months until about 11.5 months, LP’s sleep habits were 1-2 naps at daycare, then a 30-60 minute nurse-nap in my arms when I got home from work. Somewhere around 11.5 months he started to transition to one longer nap during the day at daycare, a short nurse with me when I got home (no nap), and a bedtime of about 7:30pm (although he still wakes every two hours or so to nurse). For a long time I was okay with this, but I’ve started to think about trying to get more sleep. So I’ve been reading and slowly implementing some of the ideas in The No-Cry Sleep Solution. I really like this book as it talks about everything being a process, reminding the parents to give it time, and offering a bunch of different ideas to slowly implement as it may work for their family (or not).
So now we have a nighttime routine. It starts around 7:15 with a bath (either a “full” bath with hair and body washing or just a “play” bath), then I put him in an overnight diaper, Darius puts him in pajamas, I help him “brush his teeth” and then nurse him until he’s almost totally asleep, but try to pop him off the breast before he’s fully asleep. Generally this works really well and he’s totally out and I can leave the room by 8-8:15. Then the rule is if he wakes before it gets dark out, he’s mine to nurse back to sleep, but any waking once it gets dark until we go to bed is Darius’s turn. Then once we go to bed, he’s mine to put back to sleep with nursing until he wakes up (usually between 6:45 and 7:15am) or I wake him up (by 7:30am).
Last night as we were giving LP his bath, I mentioned to Darius that things were going really well in terms of getting LP to go to sleep easily. Famous last words, right? Last night he did not fall asleep while nursing for about 10-15 minutes. In fact, he did not want to go to sleep at all. It was back like it use to be when he was excited or animated or we missed the “sleep-window” and he got overtired and refused to lie down and go to sleep. And I found myself getting more and more frustrated with LP. Didn’t he know that I had other things to do after he went to bed? That there was stuff in the kitchen to clean, cat things to take care of, and items to prep for the next day? That I wanted, maybe, to spend some alone time with his father? Of course he didn’t know that but as the minutes ticked by I got more and more angry and more and more frustrated. I tried to keep it in. To project calm. I asked Darius to come in and try to walk with him for a while while I calmed down, but LP started screaming “mama” so that wasn’t working. I tried again, but eventually realized that I was so angry I almost wanted to harm my own child. So I called Darius in again and let him know that I needed just five minutes to walk away so I could calm down and not be angry at a little person who was obviously overtired and upset about something. After I was able to calm down, I came back upstairs and got LP into my mei tai. I then spent the next I-don’t-know-how-long walking around the bedroom with him, singing to him, and rubbing his back, while he kicked, flailed, screamed, and tried to get away from me. Eventually he fell asleep. A while later I was able to put him down on the bed, still asleep, and had a bit of time alone with Darius to talk about what happened and why we both reacted the way we did, watch tv, and take care of paperwork before we went to bed. I was worried that LP would wake up super early in the morning cause he went to sleep so late, but he woke around his normal time.
Tonight was also bad. Did the same routine as always. He looked like he was going to nurse to sleep no problem…but all of a sudden it was rolling over and giggling and everything just like last night. This time I sat up with him tight in my arms and held him, rocked him, and sang to him ,while giving him the option to nurse if he wanted to. Eventually he was crying, but starting to be calmer, but then throwing his head back upset again. So I laid him down on the bed and nursed him. Then he rolled away from me with his eyes closed, rolled onto his back, rolled back onto his side and was fully asleep.
I have no idea why there’s been a change in the past two nights. Maybe the pre-bedtime time has been too stimulating? Or it’s very possible that he’s teething and/or hit one of those major cognitive/developmental milestone weeks. Whatever it is, I’m glad that tonight was easier than last night. Here’s hoping tomorrow is even easier.
Next morning update: At 2am last night I woke up and LP was starting to roll around. I put him to my breast like I do. He sucked for maybe a minute the rolled away from me onto his bed. He rolled onto his back and proceeded to vomit straight up into the air so it came right back down onto his face. I sat him up and he threw up twice more before I could get him off the bed. I gently woke up Darius who dealt with LP's bed (so thankful for waterproof mattress covers!), while I dealt with the mommy and baby clean up. It then took another hour or so for LP and I to fall back asleep, but this time there was no screaming or crying. He's nursed a few times since and seems to be doing better. It's going to be a LONG day for me! Also now have random mommy guilt that I was angry with my child who was sick but I didn't know it.