Night Time Parenting

It’s 11:30pm. Guess what I’m doing?

I am actually lying on my bed nursing my DS back to sleep.

This has become such a common occurrence in our household: DS sleeps in the queen-sized bed, wakes up crying (heck, screaming), I rush back to his side and nurse him back to sleep.

Is it the “right” way to make him sleep? Far from it.

However, I can’t stand letting him cry to sleep.  Call me soft-hearted, weak-minded, whatever.  We tried it a few times, and it always ended up with me sobbing and him throwing up violently.  If, you as a parent, can withstand that scene, all the power to you.

Putting DS to sleep has always been a challenge.  When he was younger, we had to rock and walk around the room for over an hour to get him to fall asleep, only to wake him up half the time when we put him back into the crib.  There were nights when I was woken up by his cry, nursed him in an armchair, and fell asleep with him still in my arms and attached to my breast.

When DS was about four months old, there was a stretch of a few nights when he woke up on an almost hourly basis.  I became a sleep-deprived zombie.  At my wit’s end, I decided to start co-sleeping.  It bought me sleep despite his night wakings, but it also brought us the new problem of teaching him to fall asleep without nursing.

My husband has been booted off our bed and has been sleeping on the floor since I started co-sleeping with DS.  While he is understanding, he also warned me to “fix” the problem before I go back to work in November.  I can afford to lose a few nights of sleep now, but not when I’m working.

I bought the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night. I flipped through it once, but haven’t been able to follow the advice thoroughly: He was teething and we were moving.  Some tips I picked up and tried:

  • I have some success introducing a lovey, until my mom decided it was too gross and washed it without asking me anyway.
  • The combination of key phrase–repeatedly humming “Hush Little Baby”–and patting on his chubby thigh seems to induce sleep.  The success rate is about 1/3, higher when he has a full tummy.
  • The “Pantley Pull-Out” didn’t work the few times I tried; it moved him into a more awake and agitated state.

I am re-reading the book to come up with a solid plan.

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