Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No "I" in Team

Ugh. I'm freakin exhausted.  It's either because of the rain or because I was awake from 2:20 to 4:00 last night....It's possible that pushing her bedtime back by an entire hour was a little extreme.  Fortunately, instead of napping from 1:00ish to 2:30ish yesterday afternoon (the scheduled naptime), she walked around her crib until 2:30 and then slept until 4:00 so if ever we were going to move her bedtime back like that, doing so on a day when she napped late was a fortunate coicidence.  Regardless of sleeping late, she was exhausted before she made it to the bath and screamed the screamiest screams during her super quick scrub down.  That wasn't fun, but it was over and she was quietly nursing within a few minutes.  (He decided that completely turning the routine on its head was a bad idea and that first we should move back her bedtime and then maybe think about moving the nursing.  I agree.) So I had to be very diligent about keeping her awake while nursing which was not easy.  After about 15 minutes on the second side, I pulled her off (which ticked her off but by then she was too tired to scream too much) and handed her to Eric who put her down Eric style.  It was a short ritual given her exhaustion and the fact that she was nearly asleep while nursing so no hour of insanity last night.  Bathtime started at 7:30 and she was asleep by 8:30. Really what that means is that she is back on her pre-Daylight Savings Time schedule.  I don't know how that beditme is going to work though on the days when she only naps until 2:00 in the afternoon.  That seems like a long time for her to be awake.  Either way, I think that keeping her from snoozing while nursing had a huge positive impact. 

To make up for bedtime's easiness, Hannah woke up screaming at 2:20 a.m.....I looked at her in the monitor to see if she'd put herself back to sleep but considering she was halfway to standing and the screams were pretty loud, my guess was no. I went in and picked her up. Once calm I laid her down, and the screaming immediately resumed.  I tried to soothe her Eric style by patting her butt and leaning over the crib but the position hurt my back and made my arm fall asleep so after a few minutes, I gave up and went back to bed.  Eric was awake so I told him that although I could not draw any correlation between his bedtime ritual and the fact that she was awake in the middle of the night (a.k.a: I'm not blaming him for her waking up), I could blame him for the fact that in order to get to sleep, she requires someone being hunched over the crib.  That's not a comfortable sleep crutch and not one I intend to provide. So he went in with her for a while and after 20 minutes or so, he gave up and came back to bed, and we just laid there and listened to her scream and argued until everyone fell asleep.

The thing is, although my way wasn't working, I was at least working toward a worthy goal: for her to be able to put herself to sleep on her own without crying when we lay her down.  Tons of babies I've read about do that.  I was attempting to coach her into being an independent sleeper using a number of methods I had researched, but mostly the Sleep Lady's in the hopes that our future is less stressful than our present.  I'm willing to make sacrifices now to ensure that the problem is remedied sooner than later.  I think Eric's goal is more just to get through the day.  I'm not saying his way is wrong; alcoholics everywhere are taking it one day at a time and that works for them. What I'm saying is that we need to come to come to some compromise and raise her AS A TEAM because nobody benefits from us operating like we're living on an island, least of all Hannah.

Dear Pregnant Readers: My number one recommendation is that you read at least one baby how-to type book prior to giving birth (I recommend the Baby Whisperer since it's pretty comprehensive, but I've heard good things about The Happiest Baby on the Block too) and get your hubby to read it too and then TALK ABOUT IT and come up with a game plan for raising your children as a TEAM.  I wish we'd done that....We're 7 1/2 months in and working less and less like a team (when it comes to parenting) every day.  Once we finally find a way to compromise and get on the same side, how long will it take from there to instill good habits in Hannah??  We have a LONG uphill road before anyone is getting any respite from the screaming.....


  1. There is a book by Dr. James Dobson called "The Strong Willed Child." I recommend it. The doctor is reputable for being very successful with his research and advice to parents that may need help. It appears at this point that maybe a new approach that will work for all three of you may be worth trying.
    Get some rest.

  2. I feel for you peach. But remember, you both have the responsibility to raise up and turn into the world a good adult. That means boundaries - bedtime means bedtime. Crying is her way to control the world around her. She doesn't want change because she's used to this. It will be hard, but teaching her that she cannot control people with crying will benefit all of you in the long run.

  3. Thank you for the recommendation Jeannie! I looked it up on Amazon and read the reviews and read a couple pages from the inside and then followed the trail of similar books that Amazon provides and found one that I think is more my style called Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Kurcinka. It seems a little more granola :) For some reason I never thought to look for books on this topic so thank you again for suggesting that!! I'm going to see if I can find something at the library.

    And mommy dearest, I hear ya. I've been singing that song since the get go....It's not getting me very far....

  4. You are welcome, I sure hope it helps a lot. We are with you all in mind, spirit, and heart.

  5. Hi Terri. Sometimes you just have to take it one day at a time. That's what Brian and me are doing. Dimitri is 10 months and he still wakes up at 1 or 2 am and cries. Starting from 4 months we had night terrors - not something a parent want to have in his vocabulary. At 8 months we finally got through it and also learned to go to bed after we nursed and not during it, but we still don't sleep through the night.
    We tried everything and we do work as a team - I have to give it to Brian. But nothing helps. And I hate hearing: "My child slept through the night since she was 2 months old".

  6. Hi Anna!! I'm so glad you're reading along and sharing your experiences with me!! So Dimitri had night terrors? Ohmigosh. That's DEF not something you want to have in your vocab. How terrible!!! So no more night terrors now? Yeah, that sleep through the night thing is such a loaded question. It's like some parents want to use it as proof that they rock as parents. I think every baby is different. Mine is pretty high maintenance! She actually does sleep through the night though usually--not since 2 months though, I don't think that's healthy!! But at about 5 months I stopped nursing her at night and she eventually started sleeping through....We're pretty lucky that that part was as easy as it was considering the difficulty we have getting her to go to sleep!!

    So glad we'll be keeping in touch now!! I can't wait to meet Dimitri and introduce him to Hannah!!


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