Last week, I posted about my sleep struggles with Olivia. Almost 60 of you wonderful moms chimed in, answering my questions about what sleeping arrangements work for you.
Thank you so much for your valuable input! I love to hear what other families are doing. It helps to learn from others’ experiences and to know that I am not the only one struggling.
Opinions can definitely vary when it comes to a personal decision like co-sleeping. But all of you were kind and respectful of other families’ choices. Thanks ladies!
So – what is happening over here?
Well, as Jennifer mentioned in her comment, I do have a complication when it comes to sleep sharing — since I never sleep! LOL (I do sleep eventually. But, like a lot of you other blogging and working moms, I work most nights until the wee hours.)
Therefore, whatever arrangement I work out needs to include Olivia in her crib for the first part of the night, since she wouldn’t be safe in a bed without me. (Hubby is a very deep sleeper, who sprawls in his sleep. He is not a safe co-sleeper.)
After much thought, last week I put a mattress on the floor in Olivia’s room for a little test run. I put her down to sleep when she was very sleepy after nursing. Then, when she woke for a feed a couple hours later, I nursed her and put her back to bed.
I went to bed at about 2am and she was still asleep. I decided to not wake her and I went to bed on the mattress. Shortly after, she roused and began to sit up. I reached my hand through the crib and stroked her head. To my surprise, she lay down and fell back to sleep.
But, at 3:30am she woke again, and this time she had no interest in going back to sleep. I scooped her up and brought her into bed with me. After nursing, she still did not want to go to sleep and proceeded to squirm around until 4:30 am. By this time I was ready to lose my mind with exhaustion, so I woke up Phil and asked him to rock Olivia to sleep and I retreated to our bedroom. (Phil didn’t get much sleep after that since he leaves for work at around 5:30am.)
The next night I picked up Olivia and put her on the mattress with me when I went to bed at 1:30am. But during the night she nursed, squirmed and didn’t settle into a deep sleep. Eventually Jackson came in shortly after 5am and woke us both up completely. By 5:45am I abandoned the idea of sleep and got up to start our day.
The next night I was tired, to say the least, and desperate. Phil was away, so I brought Olivia into our bed. Still no success. She woke often and early, neither of us getting a restful sleep.
SO, the next night, it was back to our old routine — the crib all night long.
And Olivia did well! The first night she woke at midnight. I had gone to bed already – since I was so tired from a week of no sleeping – and so I was asleep when I heard her. I got up to go to her, but before I went in her room I listened for a moment. She actually fell back to sleep and then slept till 7am! I couldn’t believe it!
I better knock on some wood here, because now, for the last three nights, she has slept through until morning.
She still isn’t sleeping ten hours+ straight, but at least she is sleeping for at least 6 hours between midnight and 6am. I hope to get her to sleep longer of course, but I am thrilled to have her not waking 5+ times during the night like she was a couple weeks ago.
We will see what will happen next. As I said last time, the one thing I have learned as a parent, is to never get too comfortable in one stage of parenting. “Babies whip through stages as quickly as they poop in a fresh diaper. You are only as good as your last diaper change.”
So, I realize that this is a work in progress. Tonight, I might have a decent sleep or no sleep at all!
What have I learned since last week?
I don’t think I have had any major revelations. I am just continuing on my path of being flexible and adjusting to each child individually.
Olivia has spent most of her night-time sleeping in her crib. When she is with me, I think it is distracting for her and disrupts her sleep. Yet, she is teething and looking for extra comfort in the night.
So, I will just continue to adapt and look for the solutions that work best for our entire family. I think that perhaps putting the mattress on the floor in her room worked to help break the habit her body was in of waking up every hour to be soothed back to sleep. Or maybe her teeth just stopped bugging her.
I can’t be sure, but I am grateful we are all getting a bit more sleep.
We will see what happens next… I will keep you posted. 😉