Guys, for all you expectant mommas, or mommas with newborns, or hopeful mommas, I would love to be able to tell you that the sleep issues one faces with a baby aren’t that bad.
But frankly, sometimes, they are.
In my last post I talked about how Charlie’s night waking doesn’t bother me because it’s usually just a minute or two, then she nurses, and she’s out like a light again. I enjoy cosleeping. I love having my baby near me.
I could live like this for a long time, honestly. But in the last week we’ve had a new and startling development: Charlie won’t nap. Not at all sometimes, and at the best she’ll only nap for 20 minutes. UNLESS I’m napping with her.
This is a big. freaking. problem.
I work from home. It’s a necessary thing for this kid to not go to daycare-I have to work somehow. Which means she has to nap. Also, she’s a tiny cranky angry monster if she doesn’t nap at least 3-4 cumulative hours a day. And I would love nothing more than to take that many naps with her a day, but I just can’t.
I fear that our cosleeping has created a dependency that has to be broken and fast. We actually tried something that I never thought I would try today: Crying it out.
Lest you rush to judge me I’ll just tell you, I have done a SHIT TON of research on this, and there’s no evidence that CIO is damaging or cruel when done correctly. That being said, even armed with all the evidence, I only made it about seven minutes. We laid her down after she nursed and had a diaper change, she cried for five minutes, Chief went back and patted her shushed her, told her it was time to sleep and left. Then she cried for another two minutes before I couldn’t handle it, and also before I remembered that she is room sharing with us for another six months, so CIO isn’t feasible for us.
So put away the pitchforks and torches.
What we’ve decided is that we have to break the association of momma=sleep. Which is a bit heartbreaking. I narcissistically love being everything to her. We also know that, at least for now, CIO is not in the cards for us. We want to try a few other things first.
So we’re going to try some no cry things. Chief got her to sleep this afternoon by comforting her, laying her down, and then repeating this each time she cried this afternoon. It took him about an hour, but she is now asleep in her bed without a swaddle or a sleep suit-just her jammies. He has agreed to becoming her night time person for at least the next week to see if we can break the association of momma=sleep, but we’re not leaving her to cry, because neither of us can handle that. I know it’s very likely that she will cry, but she’ll be in his arms and he says he can take it.
We’re really hoping this will work. I don’t even mind the night waking. I don’t mind getting up with her in the night, but I know she needs to nap. It’s crucial for her brain development that she get enough rest, and if I have to withhold the boob at night to make that happen that’s what I’m going to do. She’s six months and almost 15 pounds, so she is capable of not eating at night now.
Send me strength because I will need it. I want to give that little lady every single thing that she wants, but I know that it’s more important to give her what she needs, and that’s what I’m desperately trying to do.