Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Sleep

Yes, the sleep is still an issue. One that is slowly getting better, but still an issue. The last I blogged about it, the PLAN was going to be put into effect. The PLAN involved a dream feed to ensure non-hungriness through the night, and the "put-down" technique from the Baby Whisperer ("Yeah, well your momma is so fat..." Oh wait, not that kind of put-down.) It starting working within a few nights. He was definitely sleeping much longer stretches and didn't require much effort to get back to sleep, then he got a stomach bug and started waking up thanks to explosive poos and angry-red sore bum. This went on for TWO FREAKING WEEKS and I ended up nursing him whenever he got up because I was worried about dehydration, not to mention the fact that it's pretty impossible to settle a cranky baby with a burning ring of fire any other way. To top it off, Roanen had diarrhea for a week during this time and required nightly diaper changes, and Josey also got it, but his involved him coming into our room complaining about a stomach ache, then a frantic dash to the toilet where he screamed bloody murder because of the stomach cramps. And repeat. And repeat. Oh, and did I mention that I had it too? Fun!

Anyway, after that nightmare I'm fairly certain I started the training again, but can't seem to remember much about it. It might have been working to a point. It might have involved hours on end of him screaming. I do remember a couple of rough mornings where I finally dragged him downstairs at 6 AM after he screamed his fool head off from 4 AM on. There was also a period where he would fool around at naptime so I would leave the room and he actually settled himself and went to sleep. Then it stopped, but I don't know why. Frankly, the last several years of sleep training/deprivation/hell have all blurred into each other and I can't recall details. I THINK it was sometime around the "settling himself" phase that he started sleeping longer stretches at night. The problem was that the longer stretch usually ended somewhere between 3:30 and 5:00 and he was all AWAKEGETMEOUTOFHERE*SCREAM**SCREAM*ALLDONESLEEPINGNOWNOWNOW*SCREAM* and while I can deal with the waking at night to a point, the early rising just isn't my bag, baby. At some point he would consistently sleep until 5 AM and that was it. He won that round, and I actually dragged myself downstairs with him and discovered that if I nursed him he would play quietly for a bit while I watched reruns of House on Showcase. Those were loooooong mornings, made extra fun by the fact that while he wouldn't go back to bed at 5, he was still exhausted and wanted to pass out by 7:30 so he could have a nice half hour nap. Not even enough time for me to snooze at the same time, even if I wasn't rushing around trying to get Josey ready for the bus.
Fortunately the wake-up call got a little later, and while he still only sleeps right through about a third of the time, he's generally ok to settle down in the night and sleep until a tolerable 6 AM or later. He even slept until 7:40 one morning which pissed me off to no end since I had to get up with the other boys. Naturally during this time Roanen has decided to get up between 1 and 4 times a night so it's not like we're getting any sleep. Heavens, no!

Once nighttime got a little better, bedtime and naptime deteriorated to the point that it was taking me at least 30 minutes to get him to sleep, three times each day. He would lie down and start to go to sleep while I rubbed his back. Then he would suddenly sit up, or start talking to the flowers on the wall, or just generally fool around and I would get pissed off and leave. Then he'd cry. Then I'd listen to the crying. Then I'd go back in and he'd lie down as if he was so very sorry he'd fooled around and he'll go to sleep if I'll just stay with him, then it would start all over again. Meanwhile, Russ could put him in the crib, sit on the couch, and he would be asleep in minutes. Likewise in the middle of the night if he got up - after much crying and flinging himself around the crib, I'd get sick of it and make Russ go in to him. I'd hear the crying, then a loud "SHHH!", then silence, and Russ would be back in bed in 2 minutes. Not. Fair.

On Sunday I decided enough was enough and started Ferberizing him (yes, I said Ferberizing) for naps. Two days later and it's taken him less than 10 minutes to get to sleep on his own for naps. No, I don't wish I'd done it earlier, but *knock on wood* it seems to be working so far. Hopefully it will eliminate night wakings too, but I'm not holding my breath. I am not even that close to being lucky.

As for the boobage, I dropped the daytime feeds about a week ago and he hasn't had a dream feed for 3 nights, so I think the milk bar is closed. Feels weird, but I don't miss it. He does, however, and every once in a while he gets that look in his eyes and starts pawing at my shirt. All the more reason to stop.

So that's about it. Long story..um..long.

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