On (Still) Not Sleeping Through The Night
I just folded up the pack-n-play and moved it out of my bedroom, and with that, I’m committing to Project End Zombie Motherhood (PEZM). I’m tired of being a tired mother. I'm tired of waking up four, five, six times per night. I'm tired of feeling like a zombie. And we’re about to get serious on sleep’s ass.
Okay....so before you all get your tie-died nickers in a twist and start with the “but oh, babies are only babies for a short time and they should cuddle in your bed and puppy dogs and rainbows and and soft hemp sheets” let me tell you that you probably don’t appreciate the difference between not sleeping through the night (waking up once or twice for a quick feed) and NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT (waking up 4-6 times and being AWAKE! for half an hour each time.) Its like living in a perpetual state of newborndoom for fourteen months. NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT for 14 months is really really really terrible. Let me assure you of that. Something’s gotta give. And that something is sleep.
Trust me. I’ve had a lot of ambivalent feelings about sleep training. I'm a card-carrying AP mother (cloth diapering, home-made baby food, baby wearing etc. etc. etc.). We did the family bed till one year. Then co-sleeping with the pack-n-play in our room when it became evident that Stella sleeps better in her own space. And I’ve read every Dr. Sears book out there. And I subscribe to Attachment Parenting International (although that’s probably some kind of masochism because their e-mails and articles serve no purpose other than making me feel like a crappy parent. But that’s a whole other post for a whole other day.) And I know that by letting my child cry, I’m causing her brain damage, teaching her the the world is a fundamentally untrustworthy place and probably setting her on the road to attachment disorder and blah blah blah.
But we’ve tried a lot of things. And those things haven’t worked. So. Onward, PEMZ.
What I’ve come to realize is that most days, I’m so tired that I can’t keep organized. I can’t think normal thoughts. Cooking dinner becomes a challenge of epic proportions. NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT for 14 months means I can’t function properly. Can’t summon the energy to play babies for more than five minutes at a time. So. We’re doing this thing. Fore everyone’s benefit. Bye bye NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. Bye bye Zombie Mother.
And here’s the plan so far:
Stage 1 - Git in ur rooooommmm! (Currently underway)
- Stella will be sleeping in her room. In her own crib. The whole night through.
- She naps well in her crib already, so this shouldn't be a biggie.
- We have a cot in her nursery as well, so if she needs a parent in her room, we can accommodate that.
- Wake ups will be responded to, but not the moment she peeps. We’ll give her a few moments, but if she’s escalating, we’ll go get her.
- Nighttime nursing will continue on demand as normal.
Stage 2 - All night on your own (Beginning Tonight)
- As above, but when she falls asleep, the parent will sneak back into the bedroom.
Stage 3 - Night Night, Milkies
- No more nursing at night. Last orders are at 11 pm. Bar re-opens at 6:30.
Stage 4 - Lose My Ever Loving Mind Because I Don’t Know How We’re Going To Make It Trough These Nights And I Don’t Know What Our Strategy Will Be (Coincides with Stage 3)
- I have no idea what we’re doing
- Someone help me
- Oh gawd
- Brain aneurysm
- I need coffee