Tuesday, April 14, 2009

sleepy time

I read the chapter on sleep in "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg yesterday. As I was reading, I felt this overwhelming sense that Charlotte will never sleep through the night because of the habits I have instilled in her. Because she gets milk when she wakes up, she will continue to wake up, even though she might not be hungry. Also, I have only allowed Charlotte to soothe herself to sleep a few times. Mostly, she nurses to sleep because that's what makes her sleep longer, and that's why I kept on doing it! According to Hogg, that is a huge mistake. She needs to be able to get herself to sleep, and should be sleeping approximately 12 hours at night..... STRAIGHT!

So last night I tried putting her down, I tried the soother (because I notice that she is sucking to soothe now, when before she didn't)... I tried rubbing her back, sitting in her room while she stood holding the crib bars and making spitting noises.... and guess what??? She didn't go to sleep!

My dear husband tried to convince me that it was ok. That I believed strongly about nursing on demand and that co-sleeping is not the end of the world. She tucks in bed with me for periods of time throughout the night to nurse (while I sleep). He tried to convince me that I had not done everything wrong!!

I guess part of me agrees with Hogg, in that fostering independance is important (especially now that she is nearing 8 months). And maybe I was supposed to foster it from day 1 instead of starting now. I am torn in this matter, and I know that it will be a huge struggle to change any habits that have developed. I guess you have to live and learn with the first one!

I am going to keep trying to get her down without nursing, maybe starting with nap time. And I think she would benefit from having something else to suck, so I am going to keep trying the soother. (She bites it and plays with it, but doesn't suck it!)

I will try to be discouraged either. It's so easy to lose perspective. She will only be little once, so I will try not to panic about her sleep habits!!


  1. I would encourage you to go with whatever works for you, your husband and Charlotte. You'll have lots of people tell you different things that contradict each other, but at the end of the day, just your decision matters. I think sometimes we get caught up with other's advice and we sometimes forget to simply follow our baby's cues and go with your own instincts. However, that being said, here's my two cents about our similar situation.

    With our little one, we had some trouble getting him to sleep on his own once he woke up in the middle on the night, so we decided that we'd co-sleep when necessary because if it gave him the comfort he needed and the sleep we needed that was what we wanted. We questioned our decision b/c you do read/hear lots against co-sleeping, but our attitude was deal with the now, and then later deal with the next step. Usually our guy would start the night in his crib after nursing and when he awoke in the middle of the night (he didn't nurse in the middle of the night) we'd just put him in bed with us and everyone slept well. We reached a point when he was getting too active in bed and it was disturbing our sleep, so we tried to get him into his own bed more. Although we worried this might be a problem, it wasn't. He went to sleeping in his bed, and continues to do so, without any issues.

    Regarding a soother, although we were against it, we caved and gave him one to help him fall asleep. Again, we figured do what you need for now and later we'll have to deal with getting rid of it. We don't let him use it all night, but it is his crutch when falling asleep.

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks so much for your comments! It is refreshing to hear that we are not the only ones struggling with sleep. I am really encouraged to hear that you have pretty much followed the same plan as we are. Co-sleeping for a few hours in the night and deciding to use a soother. It is encouraging to read that he started sleeping in his own bed! Thanks for sharing.