Monday, April 7, 2008

Getting There

At Amber's 9 month appointment, the Dr. asked if she was sleeping through the night. She's not. She does sometimes, I know she can, but mostly she wakes up anywhere from midnight to 3AM for a tasty bottle in the middle of the night. I've posted about this before. It's frustrating because she's only gotten up once since the day she was born. She started out as a really easy baby, only wanting a feeding once at night from day one.

When I explained to the Dr. that the reason I'm still getting up when I was able to let the boys cry it out by the time they were 9 months old, is that the truth is I don't want her to wake up Tyler. Spending 15 minutes in the middle of the night to cuddle and feed her and put her right back down is no big deal. Dealing with a full on toddler tantrum in the middle of the night is an entirely different story. So, I've been getting up and quietly hoping that she'll eventually grow out of it. But she's not.

The Dr. thought that she's probably now just using me, or the bottle, as a pacifier to go back to sleep. She certainly doesn't need it from a nutrition standpoint. (Which is another post, she's already eating table food...). I digress. The Dr. suggested that I slowly decrease the amount of formula that I offer her in the middle of the night. If I'm giving her 6 oz., then the next few nights go to 4, then 2, then 1 oz. of water, etc. I thought that was a very reasonable thing to try and something that I can certainly do.

So a few nights ago, I decreased the amount of formula to 4 oz. She was angry when she drained it. She cried, grabbed the bottle, tried to get more out of it, threw it, then I laid her down and she put her thumb in her mouth and went right to sleep. Good. :-) About 4 days of that, then I decreased her amount down to 2 oz. on Saturday night. Again, she was really mad at me, but when I laid her down, she went right back to sleep. Last night she peeped a little bit, but went back to sleep. I didn't have to go in at all.

I know this won't be the last, she'll probably wake up in the middle of the night again, but I feel like this approach is working for us. If she wakes up again tonight, I'll give her the reduced 2 oz. again. I'll do that for a few more nights, then go to water.

A friend of mine said that when she gave her baby water in the middle of the night, she never woke up again.

After we get Amber straightened out, we'll have to work on Tyler. He's getting up anywhere between midnight and 4AM to come sleep the rest of the night in our bed. I don't have the energy to focus on both in the middle of the night, but once Amber is sleeping, Tyler will have to sleep all night in his own bed.

1 comment:

nancy said...

Horror story time (it's what we moms do, right?)

Ella was a great sleeper. Slept through the night at 11 weeks.

Allison, on the other hand - nightmare. Did all the same things and yet, she still woke. She went to bed great, but woke. All the time. And not even to eat - at first it was for that, but after awhile, it was just so I'd soothe her. I tried cry it out. I tried mini CIO (let her cry 5 mins) and major CIO (let her cry all night. Yes, it was terrible, but after a year of no sleep, it gets crazy). I tried dark. I tried light. I tried food, I tried less food, I tried warm, I tried cold, I tried cool. I tried everything anyone ever offered as way of advice.

Yet, she woke. 2-3 times on average, but one night she woke up 11 times.

2 years this lasted. On her 2nd birthday, I wrote in her card "I can't wait to see the new things you do this year. Hopefully sleeping through the night is one of them." And guess what? That night she slept. And has continued to since.

It's only been 7 months since she slept through the night and I can't even remember waking up anymore. But that's probably because 2 years of no sleep turned me into a zombie.

So, I hope Amber starts to sleep for you at the mere 9 month mark. I know it's hard, but sleeping now would be a major triumph (in my eyes). Good luck!