The Turn


Well it is 11:00 P.M. and I just put the baby to bed. So far no screaming. I have honestly been thinking all day about what I am going to do if this doesn't work out tonight- I think I will have to get someone else to watch Danielle during the day next week because I can't stay up all night and day anymore.

Last week Mark became fully nocturnal. he was up all night from midnight to seven (OK he probably slept for 1.5 hours split up). The first time we stayed up and thought it was a bad night. The second time it was harder. By yesterday I was thinking of just letting him scream. I learned that he can scream for longer than I can stand it, even if I am literally deliriously tired.
Danielle has been watching a lot of cartoons. On Thursday I broke. Mark stayed up almost all night and then Danielle woke up at five. I had turned all the heat down in our house to save money and I forgot to turn Danielle's heat back up. It was about 55 degrees in her room. How sad! She didn't feel good and I helped her. At 8:00 I started crying. I let Mark sleep until 4:00 P.M.
My problem is that I'm not really comfortable forcing a schedule on a child. I think a lot of people who pretend their schedule is so important are trying to give themselves a false sense of control. They hold on to a schedule that might not be good for the child and pretend it is the best way to parent. Generally these people are uptight and judgmental. I don't like the schedulers. I also try to feed him on command- when he is hungry I feed him and when he is sleepy I put him in his crib for him to naturally fall asleep.
I kept holding on to this natural rhythm and gave myself excuses in the night. He really hadn't eaten all day because he was asleep all day. So I would get him and tell myself I was just going to feed him. Sometimes he wouldn't eat and this week he never went back to bed. I can't take the crying- it breaks my heart and then I start to panic about him getting dehydrated in the night or being covered in throw up or poop or choking. The only other time we thought about letting him cry he had a plastic clothing tag in his diaper. The time we let Danielle do it she we finally checked on her and she was covered in throw up.

Today I woke my baby up. He has eaten eight times today. I scheduled his eating.
I have heard the theory that sleep begets sleep and I believe it. But I woke him up to eat and left him in the front room where Danielle was. We carried him and talked to him while he looked groggy and stared into space.
He has never eaten so peacefully. A sleeping baby fusses much less when they are eating. I just did his bedtime. He is still awake but isn't screaming. I know he has eaten enough to sleep. It seems like he REALLY thrives with more scheduled feeding. He is so laid back that it seems like he doesn't think of crying until he is SUPER hungry. Then he chokes and throws up and cries. I probably should have thought of this before today.

I don't know how to turn someone's schedule around. I really hope this will work. More than I can express.
Babies and children push you to the breaking point and then keep pushing. They make you realize how little sleep you really need.

In other news Mark rolled over last night. So exciting. He likes it. It was funny to see how excited he was with his new skill.

NaDell (January 31, 2010 at 2:00 AM)  

Your kids are adorable.
Sounds like a great plan.
Some kids really do thrive on schedules and structure. Maybe he's one of them. Good luck.

sivab (January 31, 2010 at 10:04 AM)  

I have to admit I am a trainer. I need my sleep! You can't help but worry when you hear them cry-you are a mom after all. I got a lot of peace of mind when I got one of those kiddie cams that way they couldn't see me check on them because once they saw or smelled me they would not calm down. The camera helps because you can see if they have an arm stuck or blankets on their head or whatever. Sorry to say it will not detect a plastic tag in the nappy though! When it comes down to it you know you and you know your kids and no one else does so do whatever you feel you need to to make your home feel happy and secure even if it means being up all night. :) Oh and that picture of D in the knit cap is too cute.

Paul (January 31, 2010 at 12:21 PM)  

Good crap that sounds rough. Good luck with the scheduling thing. We have done what I think is a pretty gentle version of the "cry it out" plan and I think it has worked for us.

kathryn (January 31, 2010 at 12:31 PM)  

I'm so sorry Janae! I agree with sivab though, only you and John know your baby and can figure out what you need to do to have a happy home. I hope Mark can start sleeping at night for your own sanity. I'm with you though, I have every intention to let my babies cry a little at night, but when the time actually comes, I can't stand it and give in. With Anne, I just brought her right in bed with us from the beginning, but I have to say she is either the most opinionated child we have had or is the most spoiled. Good luck!!!!!!

Brooke (February 4, 2010 at 8:36 AM)  

Janae,
You're scaring me to death. Just when I am forgetting how tired you get with a newborn! I wish you weren't so far away and I could take them & let you sleep for 2 days! It will be okay dear Janae. He will grow out of this before you know it.
love Brooke

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