Sunday, March 04, 2007

Yay! Relatives!

Grandma Edith and Granddaddy Charles came to visit this weekend, much to the utmost delight of everyone here. They brought a toddler bed for Gabe (that his Great-Aunt Betty found for $5 - how do you like being considered a Great-Aunt? :) Sounds like you should be doddery and peering blindly through spectacles. :) )who was extremely delighted, and he made the switch with absolutely no trouble at all.

Grandma Edith also brought him his very own bed cover, made with love, and also with little pockets that had toys and books in them. This child is well-loved.

Sigh. It is just indescribably nice to have extra people around to help with the wee ones. Moral and physical support. A breath of fresh air blowing through the house.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

So I am currently feverishly plowing my way through "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber, and am finding it very informational. Basically, Israel needs to learn to fall sleep without assistance, ie. nursing, holding, etc., so that he can fall asleep again without those things. I have been letting him cry 5-10 minutes for a few naps for a few day, and he is only waking up once a night now. Each less time he wakes up during the night equals me feeling that much better in the morning.

The only problem is the CRYING part. :) When I look online about babies crying themselves to sleep, there is HUGE reaction on both sides. Some people are like, "Absolutely!! I couldn't have survived without the end results of a few nights of my child crying as he relearned how to fall asleep!" Others are like "This is you turning off your instincts, hardening yourself to the only way your child has to communicate with you - his cry. Why did you even have children, if you think you have the right to sleep? This is just teaching your child that you won't come when they need you!!"

So as he is wailing away in his crib, I am standing in his room, with a head that is telling me that he will be just fine, that he is just going to have to cry a few times to relearn this, and that lots of kids do this and they are fine and they sleep great, and then there is the other reaction of my ENTIRE BODY that is quivering and tense and totally agreeing that I am going against my instincts and wondering if I am truly doing the right thing. And then that next night when he only woke up once, I was pretty sure I was.

People say "Go with your instinct as to what is right for your child." Which I totally agree with. The problem is that when he is not crying and not sleeping and I am worn to a frazzle, my instincts say that he needs to relearn his means of falling asleep. And then when he is crying, my entire body and nervous system is frazzled (as designed) and I just don't know what to think. Sigh. The tired cry is no big deal. It is the tired cry that turns into the enraged, hysterical cry that makes me break. Which I do. So sometimes he cries and goes to sleep, and sometimes he cries and...then I pick him up. Stay tuned for more riveting followup... :)


aimee said...

I know it hurts a mothers tender heart to hear her baby cry . . .

Here's my advice (if you want it)I wouldn't be sane if I didn't let them learn how to go to sleep on their own.

I don't let children gorge themselves on candy, because it's not good for them, neither do I let my babies beckon me at their every whim. It's not good for them or for me!

I takes a bit of letting them cry and learning that they can fall to sleep by themselves and then both of you enjoy the bliss of better sleeping!!

Cottonista said...

I agree, too! It's so hard to hear them cry a few times, but it sure pays off in the long haul. Know that your baby will not remember that you didn't rush to him when he was crying--he's not going to hold it against you--and that you are doing him good by training him to put himself to sleep! And what a gift to him and to you--a full night's rest.

Carolyn said...

I agree with these comments. I don't know of any baby who remembers crying themselves to sleep. I didn't have a schedule for Tim and as he grew older I think he wished I had.