Friday, June 13, 2008

Sleepy Time Princess

I am beginning to think that my little E is turning into a sleepy time princess. Lately she has been boycotting naps. She thinks two half hour naps in the crib are enough to recharge her tiny body. However, I usually end up holding her so she will sleep longer. When I hold her she will sleep and hour to an hour and a half. If I put her down she wakes up. When I pick her back up she drifts right to sleep. Spoiled much? I am really torn about doing this. I adore her and love to cuddle her sleepy body, but I don’t always have the time to sit there and gaze at her sleeping face. I know I should savor the time. She probably won’t be an only child forever and I will never again have the one-on-one time with her that I have now. On the other hand, am I creating a sleeping monster? I just can’t deal with a crabby baby. I want her to get a good nap so I hold her. My husband is equally, if not more, guilty of this offense. She is a total daddy’s girl.

The trouble does not end with naps. She has recently started waking around 2 a.m. to get in bed with us. I don’t mind this so much as we have co-slept on and off since she was four months old. However, I was alone the other night and it is just not safe with just she and I in the bed. Pete will be alone with her Saturday night because I will be at a bachelorette party in Atlantic City. I am worried that she will wake and he will have to bring her into bed to get her to sleep.

I know she a getting spoiled but I really see no other options. I am NOT a CIO type of mommy. However, I am worried I am creating a spoiled little princess.

Getting Eliza to sleep and stay asleep has been a journey for us as new parents. I wrote about it here but never put it up as a post because it was sooooo lengthy and I originally planned on some revisions. I guess it is really more for me. If you choose to read it I warn you that it is tediously long.

So am I creating a sleep monster?

11 comments:

Future Mom (Heather) said...

I know of a few good sleep solution baby books...I will double check the names and get them to you asap! If you like, I can read them and give you the book reports. I have been meaning to read that new one by Supernanny!

Also just a warning about co-sleeping...my aunt & uncle did this with my cousin and he was still in bed with them at 8 or 9 years old. Where do you draw the line? This is not healthy for the child or the parents. Eliza is young but she knows exactly what she is doing. If she cries, you come in and pick her up. I would do the same thing :)

Hopefully this gets figured out soon because you all need your sleep!

Christy said...

As you know, we have struggled with sleep over in Cakerwakerville. So, I will share my story, and what worked for us.

Porgie co-slept with us until she was 7 months old. I was worried that my husband would roll on top of her, so I bought a bed rail that clamped down onto the mattress (much safer than the kind that slides under the mattress). I never slept very good when she was in bed with us, and by the time she was 7 months old, I was EXHAUSTED. Seeing that I was completely overwhelmed, my husband made the decision to put her in her crib. The transition went smoothly, but Porgie still woke up to eat 2 or 3 times per night. I vowed to never let her CIO, so I went in and fed her 3 times per night.

When I found out I was pregnant with Izzy, it motivated me to finally get her sleeping better. I continued feeding her every night until she turned a year old. After that point, I started letting her fuss when she woke up at night. After about a week, she was sleeping through the night! And she has been an excellent sleeper for the past year!

Izzy, on the other hand, is not a great sleeper. He still only sleeps for 30 minutes at each nap. But I can't force him to sleep more. And he still wakes up 2 or 3 times per night to nurse. When he turns a year old, I will probably start letting him fuss at night too.

It stinks, but sometimes it is the only thing that works.

Jen said...

Don't worry, you're not alone. I have the same problem. I'm not quite as accommodating as you are though. I absolutely refuse to let John Patrick sleep in our bed before 6am. But it does make for some long nights of getting up and down a zillion times. I think the best advice I can give is to do what feels right for your family. Some days it may mean holding her through her whole nap, other days it may mean she takes a shorter nap. But just remember, "this too shall pass". Good luck.
:-) Jen

Mommy Mechanics said...

My first son was such a good sleeper, I brought him home from the hospital and about 3 weeks later he was sleeping through the night, and that hasn't changed. I never had to do a thing. But it is quite different with my little one, he has been a challenge, with everything! I think every mom just knows whats best for her baby. Some may need to wake up and eat, held, etc. But I agree with Heather I am always a little fearful that they might end up in bed with you till they're 8 years old. My little one is doing much better. He sleeps pretty well (at the moment lol) but whenever he is sick or just not feeling well I bring him to bed with us. But after the fall we just recently had I really need to make sure to place him back in his own bed. Goodluck

Pam said...

Hey- I don't know any 18 year olds that still get rocked to sleep or sleep in mom and dads bed. So do what you need to so yo both get rest. You know what is best for baby!

Jenn said...

There really is no answer all kids are different. What works for some people and theirs doesn't mean it will work for you. I have four and all of them were different. The first slept in the crib right from the start but she was also the one that woke up twice a night every night for the first 4-6 monthsand was always up at 6. The second after a month of sleeping in my room in the moses basket thingy I put her in her room she slept through the night from the time she was a week old and would sleep till about 8:30-9 when she got a little older. My son was the same way mostly. This new little fella no way , he slept in his bassinet in our room for the first couple months and then one night he fell asleep in his swing and we left him there and my hubby slept on the couch to be close to him. We have tried and tried to get him to sleep in his crib in his room and he cries so much he's beet red and his face is covered in sweat and his arms and legs are stiff. So I guess untill the boy out grows the swing he will be sleeping there but at least for the last month or so he goes to sleep around 8-9 and gets up at 6 so that's better then the 3 and 5 he was always getting up before. I say do whatever makes you happy and gets you sleep! If someone has something to say about it ask them if they would like to be up with your baby while she freaks out for a couple nights. I bet they won't !

Amanda said...

I can't sleep with my littles one in the bed with me - I am so afraid something is going to happen (but with my 20 month old - he just flops around too much and I would like to keep my teeth)!!! He was a pretty good sleeper - if I heard him start to cry, I would listen a little longer to see if he was going to fall back to sleep or if this was the real deal on being awake. If he was awake, I could usually give him a bottle and rock him back to sleep and he would be good. Lauren (4 months old) - is doing VERY well at night. If she wakes up, she takes a bottle and drifts right back off and back into her crib she goes. I think when it comes to parents getting their needed sleep, sometimes you just have to do what works for you. I do have to agree with others that I was not a fan of having my kids sleep with me as they got old enough to know it because I didn't want to have to deal with going thru the breaking them of being in my bed still at 5 years old!!! good luck!!!

Andrea said...

Good question! We did kind of what you are doing and co-slept with Tate off and on when he was younger, and I also did what you did with nap times...but only some of the time. On the days when he'd wake up earlier than I wanted him to I would hold him so he slept longer, but he didn't always wake up too early either...he has always been a fairly easy baby though...and I know you said that you're not a CIO type of mommy...but we did let Tate CIO when he first learned how to fall asleep and stay asleep on his own. He never cried for more than 15 minutes though...I am not in favor of letting your child cry for a long time...but the CIO solution worked very well for us and after about 2-3 nights of 10-15 minutes of crying he has been sleeping like an angel. :) I'm not saying you should let her CIO if you don't feel that's right for you, but I just thought I'd share how we did it. :)

livin with me said...

This is my story exactly! When Hailey was younger I had to hold her for her naps or she would only sleep for about a half hour.

Now that she's bit older when she wakes up during her nap I lay her down on my bed and lay next to her and she goes back to sleep for another hour or so. It works for me because I just grab my laptop and get my work done while she naps.

She also comes into bed with us during the night and I am not a CIO mom. I can't do it. I want her to know I will be there for her whenever she calls for me. Even if it's in the middle of the night. I will never leave her to just cry by herself.

I guess I look at it this way- I'm going to miss these days in a few years and she won't still be wanting to sleep with me when she goes off to college (right?).

And if you do end up with another one on the way- you'll have 9 months to figure out what you want to do. Don't worry about it now.

Mel said...

Could be a growth spurt or teething that she is waking up so often? So maybe it will get better soon? Also, I think different babies have different sleep patterns. My son still takes three naps at almost a year but has a shorter night than most babies and wakes up a couple times. We cosleep but soon I think we will start putting him on a mattress on the floor next to our bed. He will sleep anywhere but NOT in a crib! Lol. I don't think it's realistic to expect babies to sleep like adults. Why is it not safe when you are cosleeping alone with her? Is it that she might fall off? Can you get a bedrail?

For naps sometimes I put him in the mei tai or hold him on my lap and surf the net (like right now!) or read a book. He sleeps longer that way too. Yeah maybe he will get used to it, but he also won't be napping forever. He needs mommy cuddles, he's just little. That's pretty much my philosophy.

After another year or so, Eliza is never going to think you're quite as awesome as she thinks you are now. ;) So enjoy it.

Marcy said...

I SO HEAR YOU. I have so far been of the mind of "do whatever it takes to get him to sleep" as it makes such a difference with his moods (I am currently rocking his bouncy chair with my foot so he'll stay asleep, have been at it for 30 mins so far this morning).

Not sure what I'll do as he gets older... I'm not completely opposed to CIO, I hate the idea of leaving him to cry but if it's a few bad days in order to have peaceful sleep with no fighting after that... I dunno.

He's been taking good naps (well, 45 mins only, but consistent at least) and has been getting all weird about sleep the past week or so. I'm hoping it's a phase and will pass soon....