Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sleeping Like a Baby

Whoever came up with that one obviously never lived with Beckett.  I'm putting it in the same category as the term "morning sickness", like being nauseous and throwing up into the nearest available container only happens when you first wake up.  It's all BS.

March 1st means Beckett is five and a half months.  The same age Ben was when he had been in his room for nearly two months, "sleeping like a baby".  He cut out his night wakings at this stage and while I realize we were ridiculously lucky with him, we are equally unlucky now.  Beckett still wakes almost as often as he did when he was brand new.  I feel like I've been really patient with this but I'm ready to move on.  In a desperate effort to at least reduce our awake hours at night, I started reading books about scheduling naps and bedtime.  I am not a schedule person normally.  I don't like structuring my day so rigidly that I'm boxed in.  We have naptimes during the day, but they fluctuate with whatever is going on at the time.  Bedtime is always negotiable.  And this has always worked for us with Ben.  I'm realizing now that screwing with a child's schedule and still having them look forward to putting on their jammies and jumping into bed, no matter what time, is pretty much a miracle.

So these books say to put your baby to bed before they know they're tired, and do it at roughly the same time every day.  They also encourage bedtime by 6:30 or 7:00.  In this house, Dad still isn't home for at least another hour.  All of this goes against my mama intuition, but being desperate, exhausted, and over it, we've tried what the books say.  And guess what?  It's gotten WORSE.  One of the books say sleep begets sleep.  With Beckett, sleep begets enough energy to stay up all night and party like it's 1999.  So after a couple of weeks, I'm back to the drawing board.

After my last blog, I got a lot of creative tips on how to get baby to take the bottle so Jacob can feed him and I can sleep some.  Within 24 hours of the post, I pumped, ran to the store and bought a new brand of bottle, and even put a little bit of maple syrup on the nipple so he'd have an incentive.  While he was definitely interested in the maple syrup and licked it all up, he still knew the fancy bottle wasn't Mama and rejected it.  Another tip we've yet to really push is Jacob giving him the bottle while I'm not home.  This one doesn't come up a lot but we're going to make a deliberate effort soon.  I haven't slept more than three consecutive hours in over six months.  I'm willing to try anything!

In other news... I'm participating in another Natural Parenting carnival event this month.  The random, declarative post on family help with all those links at the bottom was my first contribution.  In the rare moments of free time I've had over the last few months, I've been reading lots of mama blogs and found a group of them I really enjoy.  And every month, this group gets together on a predetermined topic and posts the same day.  March's post comes up next Tuesday so check it out, and if you're interested, check out some of the others in the links I post.  This group has a lot of fantastic mama-writers, and I've become addicted to many of their blogs as a result.  To keep you busy till next Tuesday, you can check out the hosts' pages: Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama.

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