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Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Update and a Thank You

I have good news! Things have gotten progressively better this week and I feel so grateful for all the little bits of advice we received! We've tried a number of different things and I think all of it is helping. Last night Hugh was bathed, massaged and fed, and fast asleep by 8pm (at least an hour earlier than normal. We're hoping to gradually up the time a little more in the next few days.) He woke up at 10:20pm, but I got him back to sleep within ten minutes, and he then slept until 12:35am. I fed him and he was back down by 1:15am. Then he slept until 5am! I fed him and he went back down until 7:30am. We clearly still have a long way to go, but I slept better last night than I have in a long time, and I think he did, too! And, his naps during the day are going better, too.

(Poor Benjamin and Marc had a rougher night. Our sleep situation right now is Marc and Ben in one room, with Hugh and myself in another - you do what you have to do, right? Anyway, I think he's really close to getting his upper teeth in right now, so he tossed and turned for most of the night, which made for a long night for Marc. I'll have to make sure they both get a good nap in today.)

All the ideas and suggestions left me with two main feelings - ONE - hope that things will get better and - TWO - the reminder that this period of sleep deprivation is only a season that will really go much faster than I want it to. I feel so grateful for all the advice, the empathy, and the perspective that you offered!

I don't know how many of you will check back to read this, but I wanted to respond to each of you that left advice for us... so here it goes...

Deetsgirl – thanks for the dairy idea. I'm now on day three of no diary and I really feel like it's making a difference. So that might have been part of the problem. Thank you!

LilMisfit – I'm glad to know we aren't the only ones who put our babies on their tummies to sleep! I'm always a little hesitant to bring it up (like you were with your Pedatrician), but they really do sleep so much better that way. He doesn't seem to be getting teeth yet, but it could be in the beginning stages, I guess. We'll have to try the CIO method again... I'll probably have more questions about that as we try it. Thanks for the book recommendation. I already ordered it!

Karilyn – Wow! I can't believe you had 7 kids in 11 years! You clearly have some obvious experience and I'm so grateful for all the little tips you shared with me... especially the reminder to rely a little more on being in tune with the spirit to help me know what to do to help my babies. Also, I have to make sure Marc gets credit for how much he helps me with both boys, but especially that he cares for Ben during the night. If I had two babies to wake up to every night, I don't know what I would do! As it is, when I have a really hard night he makes sure I get a nap during the day while he watches both boys. He's a huge help! Thank you so much for all the good advice.

KieraAnne – He doesn't seem to be teething, but he could be just at the beginning stages where it's bothering him. I'll be watching for more cues that that's the problem, though. Thanks for the dairy idea, too. As I said above, I'm on day 3 of no dairy and I think it's helping. Thank you so much for your help! (And, this is kind of random... I don't know if I've ever told you this, but I really love your name.)

Nicole – we usually do have some white noise (a fan or some soft music), but on those nights that were especially bad I realized I didn't have anything on. Now that I'm making sure something is on, it's making more of difference than I realized. And, I still do swaddle Hugh some of the time. I need to figure out how to soothe him without rocking him... he's so used to it that anything else just seems to make him more upset. But, I think you're right. I hope we're not too late to teach him better habits!

Beckstead Fam – thanks so much for sharing your experience. We are determined to try to help both babies have better sleep habits, even if it means two weeks of it being rough. I am a little worried about being a pushover and not being able to listen to them crying. I just have to remind myself that better sleep is better for everyone, and whatever we have to do to get there will be worth it in the end.

Becky – we have been waiting to start solids until after he's six months, but if nothing else helps then we might just start him on cereal early! Thanks for the suggestion.

Inkling – It's comforting to hear that we're not alone. Thanks for the book suggestion – I ordered a copy already. And, thanks for the reminder that before I know it we'll all be sleeping through the night... being in the middle of it with the aching body and constant headache from lack of sleep, it's hard to remember I won't feel like this forever... and that actually they'll grow much faster than what I'm ready for. Thank you for your advice!

Carrot Jello – we'll probably end up resorting to something like that... how long would he cry? Did he eventually go to bed without crying? And, was it the same story with #6?

Liz – I really appreciated the perspective you offered about this period not lasting forever. I am so grateful for the situation I'm in, even with the lack of sleep that comes with it. I'll have to try the bottle before bed. Hugh doesn't know quite what to do with a bottle – he just kind of gnaws on the nipple. But, maybe he'll figure it out after a while. We've also tried co-sleeping and we all sleep terribly! I've looked for a good mobile, but I haven't found one in our little town. What kind do you have exactly? I'll see if I can order it online... I think that might really help us when we start trying to put the boys down without rocking or feeding. Thank you, again, for your suggestions!

Mindyluwho – I'll have to think outside the box and find what might work for Hugh. He hates his car seat, so that won't work, but I'm sure there are some other things I'm not thinking of. Thanks for the reminder that this will pass... and for not making me feel awful for complaining! :)

KellyLady – The scenario you describe is the perfect glimpse into my life! I can see how the two boys together might sleep better... right now I'd be most worried about Ben smothering Hugh, but maybe when Hugh is a little more mobile and we're ready to move them both into a bed, we'll try them together in a double bed. I like that idea – and I think they would both sleep well together.

Erica – Thank you for the book recommendation – we should get it in the mail any day now. I hope it works for us like it did for you! And, thanks for the article. I feel like if I can just learn how to do my part better that both boys will naturally fall into better sleep habits. I'm hopeful that things will get better from here.

Fire – I've been afraid to put the boys in a room together, but I think it's worth trying. They might just keep each other asleep rather than waking each other up. I'm glad you've had some better luck with Serenity. I thought all along she was an all-night sleeper.

Beth – My sister lent me that book and I read through it after Ben was born, mainly to help us identify his acid reflux. I'll have to go back and re-read it. Thanks for all of your other ideas... it's good to have a lot of options of things to try. Something has to work, right?! Thanks for the empathy, too! :)

Sunny – Thanks for sharing what worked for you. I'll have to try the bottle and cereal and see if they help. I'm sure the sleep deprivation will be a thing of the past before I know it!

Kelly - Even though your advice came to me via email, I really appreciated all the suggestions you offered! I've gone back to it a number of times to refresh my memory of extra things we can try. Thanks for taking the time to share so much!

You all are wonderful! I appreciate your help so much!

As for the giveaway, since I am using so many of the ideas offered and since so many of them seem to be helping, I'll just use to pick a winner from among those of you who left comments... to be announced tomorrow.


Carrot Jello said...

Uh, there is no #6.

Marc and Megan said...

right. what was I thinking? maybe there's one more up there. ;)

Rachel Doyle said...

I have 3 kids under the age of 3. My little girls are exactly 9 months apart and my little guy is 15 months younger than the littlest girl. I didn't get a chance to read everything that was written - but I do know for me that my kids have always done better when they weren't sleeping in the same room as my husband and I. My oldest was put in her room at 8 weeks and started sleeping right away. The second I was afraid to do so because she was sick and I was afraid that she would wake the other up -- so we all suffered until she was six months old. The girls had one or two nights were they bugged each -- but after that they loved it. Their cribs were next to each other. With our 11 month old - I put him in his room about 3 months and he started sleeping just fine too.

Another thing I did was about 10 weeks old - I started giving them rice in their milk and made it thick - that seemed to help. I know most say you shouldn't until 6 months -- but I figure that's how they used to do it.

Anyhow good luck -- and I wish you a good sleep.

Liz said...

This is similar to the mobile that I have. I love how you can turn off the music and make it just lights, or you can turn off the lights and make it just music. Fisher Price has a whole bunch of options and I've used the same mobile for all of my babies. It's been worth it's weight in gold!!