Friday, March 9, 2012

Tough Love?

11:04 He's up. Diaper change, then nurse.

11:26 He drifts off to sleep eating. I put him back in bed.

12:03 He's up. Diaper change, then nurse.

12:31 He drifts off to sleep eating. I put him back in bed.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 1:04, 2:06, 3:03 he wakes and we start all over.

Except at 3:31 there is a break in the pattern. He does not drift off to sleep. He resistantly thrashes in his crib.

I tag out and my husband sits with him.

What does he want? He has had a diaper change and he has eaten.

4:00 I'm back in. Nurse. Still resistant to sleep.

4:16 I decide to do the unthinkable. Let him alone to cry for several minutes at a time returning long enough to calm him but leaving him again. It is heart breaking. I want to throw up. I feel like the worst mother in the world.

5:02 The last time I went in I lay him back down, gave him his nuk, wiped a tiny tear from his cheek and let my hand linger. He rests his cheek in my hand and sighs. He seems relieved and he shuts his eyes.
He is asleep finally. 

This is not victory. This is total defeat. I feel like crying myself to sleep. I am exhausted but I cannot sleep. I lie in bed feeling horrible. I check on him 10  more times. I finally start to feel myself drift to sleep. It is 5:45.

6:04 He's up. No diaper change needed but he does want milk.

6:26 He drifts off to sleep and I return him to his bed. I go back to bed and finally fall asleep.

9:15 This is the latest I have slept in  months. I awake to the sounds of him babbling and playing in his crib. He smiles at the sight of me and crawls to the edge of the crib so I can pick him up. Nurse. Diaper change. I make him his favorites for breakfast, english muffin, omelette and mango slices, and hope that tonight will be better.


  1. It's amazing how much they're like little clocks isn't it? I feel for you, tough love is the worst and you feel so bad inside. I still think it's for the best though, as long as you can stand it. Your little one is crying because he doesn't know how to fall asleep and he is tired. I like to think of it like this...if he was crying because he wanted to play with a knife you wouldn't give in because you know it's dangerous for him to play with it. I think that sleep is similar. They want to sleep but need to learn how to do it for themselves, and they're crying because they're tired and not sure what to do. My son was the same and we ended up going to sleep school. It was a miracle. No where near the amount of crying I thought there would be (actually only 15 mins) and he sleeps through the night every night now. I cannot believe he's the same baby! Good luck! And I hope that it's getting better for you.

    1. Thanks for the support!
      It is a process. Some days he gives me no trouble and falls asleep eating, (which I know will cause fights later on when he is weening, but for now I'll take a peaceful night or two.) then other days we have to battle.
      I googled the sleep school you mentioned, nothing like that here in the states I'm afraid but I read a blog describing their methods and maybe I can implement them on my own.

  2. I know what you mean. Luckily, my son weaned himself over about a week, so didn't need to worry about that. If you can do the tough love consistently yourself, it is worth it. Hopefully your partner is very supportive, or your Mum or someone can come and would be really tough to do on your own. It's a shame there isn't any sleep schools in the US, it is a fantastic resource! I remember just patting him on the bottom for ages to get him off to seems worse than before when you're doing it, but in our case the results were so amazing it was worth it! He sleeps 12 - 13 hours a night now. We just put him in his cot and say good night. He talks to himself for a bit and then puts himself to sleep. We are still amazed how much of a different baby he is.