Monday, August 14, 2006

Alive, Zombie Style

This will be brief, as we are working hard over here, but I wanted to say thank you. I can't tell you all how much your support has helped. I had hoped when I started blogging that I might find a few people to read my blog and vice versa so that we could get to know each other a bit. I never, ever imagined how much of a community I would find, nor how much care and concern I would find in people who had never even met me. More than once I have needed support or advice and have found it from mommy bloggers, you. Perhaps when we are all better rested in our house I will write a proper ode to blogging. And I certainly intend to come back to your blogs (or be introduced to your blogs for the new people I have met) and respond to your emails and send you all love letters and chocolates and flowers. I intend to, just as soon as we get out of this vacuum that is Operation Sleep: Phase One. But for now, thank you all for your comments, emails, articles, posts, support, and just for reading.

Many of you have asked about the status over here so here is the update. We are on day 3 of Operation Sleep: Phase One - "crib time and night weaning." For us, night weaning has been the step that has really messed us up and our inability to get it over with has really been the essence of our problems. Back when we met with the "sleep consultant" we all agreed that the frequency of Sam's wakings would go down if we could get him out of the habit of night nursing; he will wake up less if he knows there is little point since there will be no nummies. Problem is it's just really hard to night wean. It takes A LOT of endurance and we've pretty much been on this step on and off for months. So Hubby and I decided it is our first goal right now, along with moving him to his crib. He's been starting out the night sleeping in an Amby Bed, which was extremely helpful in transitioning him out of our bed (he had that weird bouncing thing), a huge step taken at about 9 months. And then he's been moved to our bed anywhere between 2:00 and 5:00am each night. But now he's really getting too big for the Amby and it's also not a safe place for older babies if they are awake and unattended. So if we are ever to get him to sleep on his own, he can't be in the Amby and needs to learn how to sleep in the crib.

So right now we are staying in the room with him and touching him (rubbing his back, holding his hand, etc.) to help soothe him to sleep so that he can get used to the crib and not be afraid of it. I am also cutting down on the duration and frequency of his night nursings with the intent of stopping them altogether in the next 3 days. And then later this week we will be in the room with him but not touching him.

The first night was a bit sketchy. Hubby and I were not totally clear on all of the details (when do I nurse, who does what, etc.) other than "move him to the crib" so it backfired a bit by about 2:00am and he ended up back in our bed. Last night was hard but more successful. He woke up every 45 minutes on the dot but I managed to keep him in his crib until 5:30 and only nursed 3 times - and I thought I was tired before! While all of it is very difficult and exhausting, I feel more confident in what we are doing because he is not alone. I feel like we are addressing our specific problem and helping him to know that we can soothe him without nursing and, eventually, that he can soothe himself with us just short distance away, which will hopefully show him it is really just not worth waking up. Once we are weaned for a few days we will evaluate where we are, how often he wakes up, what he requires when he wakes up and so forth and then develop Phase Two.

And so we're off on night 3. Can't wait to visit all your blogs again and see how you all are. Thank you again for reading that incredibly long post and then taking even more time to thoughtfully respond. Although I do not wish sleep problems on anyone, it is so good to know I am not alone.

Ok, so I guess this wasn't so brief...


Blogger GranolaGirl12 said...

Thanks for the update! I've been praying for you and Sam the past few days, and eagerly waiting to hear how it's going. It sounds like you guys are working hard as a team to get through this rough time. I applaud you both! Sam is so lucky to have such great parents.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous jaybee4000 said...

A plan is good. Hang in there. You will all be better off when this is over.

11:34 PM  
Blogger ksl said...

I know it sucks now , but it will be over soon. You guys ARE going to make it!

11:54 PM  
Blogger Mama D said...

Glad to hear that things are going - okay. It must suck big time right now but the night you sleep several hours without being awakened, it will be worth it.

I'll be thinking about you guys!

12:03 AM  
Blogger Nikkie said...

Thank you for the update Beth, I've been thinking about you a lot. It sounds like you have an excellent plan in moition. Keep up the great work, you can do it!!!

12:07 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Sounds like there may be light at the end of the tunnel, Miss Zombie. Stay strong, you are doing well!

12:25 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I've been checking you blog alot to see if there was an update. It sounds like you guys have a great plan in place. Good luck, you can totally do it!

12:43 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

BTW That Amby bed looks so great! I'm going to keep it in mind for the next baby.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous ABC Momma said...

You received some great advice that I should try with my 2-, almost 3-, year-old who has become extremely clingy and scared at night within the last few months. She ends up in my bed sometime between 2 and 5 in the morning most days.

1:31 AM  
Blogger janice said...

oh - i remember those days!! they were so hard!!

keep up the great work! :)

2:43 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

You sound a litte more optimistic today. Thank you for the update. You can do this! It will all be over soon and one morning you will wake up and realize that he slept through the night. Just keep looking forward to that day.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous JD said...

Sounds like a great plan!! so excited that you are finding good support. We will be back for updates.

12:24 PM  
Blogger sari said...

Hi Beth!

You sound better today, I'm so glad. I've been checking back to see, so thanks for the update.

When my son had colic, I felt like the worst mom in the world because I would just be so helpless and frustrated and nothing I could do seemed to help him (or me) short of going in the closet, closing the door and screaming (literally!) into a pillow. But, today, he's four and really pretty ok. I say this to give myself leeway in the future, ha ha.

So don't knock yourself around and know there are still things to do, but you're making huge strides!!

Keep it up and wow, you've got a lot of support here, which is great! I'm glad I found your site.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Poopydigs said...

Thanks for the update. Looks like you guys are doing good. Baby steps.

(P.S. Thank for linking to me. I've done the same.)

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might not be what you want to hear, but I think you should go cold turkey. Let him cry it out in the crib to go to sleep, once that's settled, let him cry it out in the middle of the night. The going in to comfort really just lets him know you'll keep doing it. It seems cruel, but it's not, he'll be fine and you'll be well rested and you'll all feel a lot better during the day.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Alli said...

Thanks for the update! I was wondering how you are. Sometimes it just makes a huge difference just to have a PLAN! Hang in there...we're here to cheer you on!

2:07 PM  
Anonymous EmLouisa said...

Sounds like thigs are going okay. That's GOOD. I forgot to add my little tidbit of wisdom on the night feedings thing. My husband takes care of the nightshift when we are ready to work on night weaning. Since my baby associates ME with two lumps of boobies we thought it was best not to taunt him with them at night. lol. Then when he got used to no feedings we BOTH did night duty until he had it down.

Keep us posted!!!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Just keep looking at the light at the end of the's brilliant and beautiful and full of sleep. :-)

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Poopydigs said...

Seems like you guys are doing good. Hey, day 3 is way longer than what we did. Ours was more like minute 3.

5:49 PM  

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