Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hanging on...

...but by a very thin thread! Been busy with quite a few things that have kept me from this space.

SLEEP L's sleep has gone off the rails. Just...awful. Up most of the night fussing---he falls asleep while rocking but then awakens immediately upon being put back down in the crib. Same with nursing. Even if I leave him in bed, he needs to actively be suckling or he will wake up. This is NOT comfortable for me, so...yeah. We kind of take shifts, with G dealing with the earlier night wakings usually rocking/walking or just holding him in the basement and watching a movie, and me taking over around 1:30-2, and bringing him into bed and nursing so that he shuts up and G can get some sleep.

My mom left today, so we are booting him OUT of our room and into the guest room. Here we can let him fuss/cry a bit and still try to get some sleep. Not sure our exact plans for sleep training but clearly this is NOT normal sleep for a 5 month old.

RUNNING So 2 weeks ago, when we were actually in a 3-day psych-out phase of fairly good sleep, I signed up for a 10 mile run in May. So now I have to run, because I haven't run ANY miles in a couple of years. I've been running every other day for about a week & a half and while I am slow-ass, I kind of enjoy it. It sucks thinking about it in the morning but once I'm out in the cold air & sunshine, dog trotting along beside me, running along the river trail, its pretty nice. Added benefit: much improved body image despite no ACTUAL visible improvements. I just feel less...gross. More strong and functional. Also, general increased motivation..."if I can RUN on no sleep, I can certainly do XYZ" Really hope to keep it up. Don't even care about the race, it was just an excuse to get me off my butt.

L'S HEALTH At our 4 month check up our pediatrician noted that L had fallen from the 50th to the 10th %ile and also that he had LOST weight since his sick visit the week prior. I wasn't initially worried, because he HAD just been sick, but I noticed that he really was spitting up a LOT more than before (and even the "before" was copious). He was also super-fussy and of course the major sleep changes... so I took him back last week and he STILL hadn't gained any weight---now in 3 weeks. We've got him on Zantac and we'll have to take him back in 3 more weeks to see. I haven't noticed anything dramatic. Its a bit worrisome, the failure to thrive.

Of course there is still work, and B, and all the usual usual that take up my precious precious energy.

Today has been, so far, a very nice day. G & I went running together, while my mom watched the boys. I'm sure I held him back (slow-ass-ness and all) but I made it there & back. Then we all got ready and we walked my mom to the train station to see her off. On the way back we did all our groceries and ended up feeding B lunch out of our grocery cart (a banana, 2 cheese sticks, a granola bar) because of poor planning. When the boys slept, G & I watched a movie and half of a Downton Abbey episode, and also finished a few loads of laundry (still needs putting away though). Now he is Skyping with his mom; I begged for some "me time" and this is it! At 5:30 we're going to dinner at the restaurant/bar across the street. We all 4 went there a couple of weekends ago and both boys had a blast---L looking around & flirting with the waitress and B polishing off pretzel-crusted chicken fingers and "those" (french fries) and playing with utensils. I quite enjoyed my beer. Looking forward to it!!

Any advice on sleep training welcome (unless you are going to tell me not to sleep train. seriously. if that is your advice than I am inviting you to stay at our house between the hours of 11p and 6a nightly.)
I know the general concept but we were really lucky with B (he was 7 months old) and it literally took one night of one hour of crying and since then, I can count on one hand the night wakings we've had in the past 19 months. We've been putting L down awake and letting him fuss to sleep for  a couple months now, but it hasn't really helped (obviously) the later night wakings. Naps are similarly disastrous and usually aborted because we cave and pick him up. He watched the movie with us this afternoon (we didn't really let him watch, he was with us, though).


  1. You have my deepest sympathies on the sleep issue. I never did sleep train g for various reasons and he is STILL unable to self-soothe at 2 years 9 months! I have a friend with 2 boys who have been sleep trained and they are both amazing sleepers (one is just turning 6months). She promised to teach me her techniques. I will ask for advice sooner rather than later so that I can pass it on.
    And way to go on the running!!! You really are amazing if you can do it on no sleep.

    1. Thanks for the sympathy...I will post soon on what we did with B and what we're doing with L; hopefully it'll help

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  3. Is L in daycare? Luca and I were told that our daughter's sleep would probably improve when she went because they would put her on a schedule and that would help her nighttime sleep as well. Who knows if that's true. Other than that, I'm hoping some mommies who know how to do this weigh in on this post so I can get some tips for later.

    I'm sorry that L hasn't been doing well. Hopefully the FTR will not last and he'll start doing better soon.

    Nice work with the running.

  4. Golly, there's a lot going on! It all sounds completely exhausting. I'm really sorry about the weight loss--that sounds so scary. And I can imagine it would be hard to do anything radical with sleep while it seems he might not be well? What a great combination of things.

    Bun Bun also only required a couple of nights of crying herself to sleep--and we pulled the trigger on letting her cry when things had gotten similar to your situation, after very good sleep. I'm hoping that knowing how well it worked long term for B will help you through the tough parts. (And in case you want concrete experiences, for us, the best approach was just to put her down and not go back. It upset her more when we'd come back in, plus being heartbreaking for us.) I recently encountered this post, which you might find encouraging: Anyway, best of luck with whatever you guys try!

  5. Luca suggested the swing, btw. It works for D, but D is not 5 months old. D likes it on the greatest amplitude possible. I've also heard of swaddling the baby, and putting on a huge amount of white noise at the same time. I'm assuming you've tried all this though, so forgive me if I'm suggesting the obvious, and I will go yell at Luca. :-)

    1. No yelling at Luca! Though "they" DO recommend putting baby to sleep only in crib (or wherever you have picked for their sleeping place) beginning around 2-3 months. Until then, whatever buys you some time is fine, but you want to establish a routine at that age.

    2. True, but I read if the crib wasn't going so well, you could put the swing *next to* the crib, and then slowly decrease the amplitude until it was at 0, and then transition to the actual crib. Of course I have no idea whether this works in practice, but in theory it seemed sound....

    3. Makes sense. Alas, neither of my boys cared much for the swing. It just serves as another place to dump stuff these days :)

    4. Good to know about the routine thing. As you might have guessed, I've become slightly obsessed with sleep of late.


  6. Burrito and Tamale both started sleeping through the night at 4 months, and except when sick or when Burrito figured out how to jailbreak, slept 13-14 hours straight as infants and almost as much as toddlers. I never really sleep trained since I started the following techniques from day 1 -- but it's not too late for L.

    Read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

    Don't ever let him fall asleep nursing. Put him down drowsy but awake. He should only sleep in his crib.

    Once you put him down, close the door and run away and don't look back. Iron will.

    A set routine also works really well for us (e.g., change into pajamas then read this story or sing this song, white noise, a certain toy in the crib, blah blah), but that didn't sink in until they were quite a bit older than B.

    The doc from the book would say that L's lack of weight gain might be from sleep deprivation. I couldn't say, but it's certainly worthwhile to sort out the sleep and then see if that does anything for the rest.

    Good luck.

    1. Thanks for the tips. We did most of those things and it worked initially, since he slept through from week 7-14, but I think the combination of growing up & becoming more aware, 2 colds + a GI virus back to back to back and worsening reflux just shot everything to hell! And we couldn't let him cry it out since he was 2 feet away from my bed, and I couldn't take it in the middle of the night. Now that we've got him in his own room where we can let him cry a bit, he's not sick (though started daycare yesterday so won't last long), and he's on zantac he is much much much better!