Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sleep training

OK, so Ian and I reached our breaking point this week and we now have a "sleep plan" for our little family. It sounds so wierd to say that because we have always been people and parents who, well, don't really get with sleep plans. We just kind of do our thing and trust our instincts, and basically make fun of people who read these books and follow these plans to make your parenting life a breeze by scheduling your babies to death.

I wouldn't say that we're necessarily eating our words now, but we have moved into the "read a book because we're desperate" position. The voices in my head have been saying, "they're just babies...they're twins and they already have to cry a lot during the day...they're on antibiotics...Tori doesn't even weigh ten pounds yet...maybe if I feed them they'll go back to sleep so I can salvage some rest from this night...". But then the voices started sounding more like, "what the heck is WRONG with her...and what the heck is wrong with am I ever going to make it through the day tomorrow...why didn't I get some Krispy Kremes to make it through the night...these kids are almost 6 frickin months old and they need some sleep...I can't believe I'm almost 40 and I'm still getting up with children...come to think of it, I can't believe I'm 40, period."

So, to make a long story longer, I heeded the suggestion of a couple friends and got the book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I have to admit that I do like it because, as my sweet friend Harriet says, it covers all different scenarios. (When she came over the other day, she saw the book on my table and told me she'd read it cover to cover three times!) If something's going on with your child, it's touched on in the book. And, the author/doctor allows for different parenting types. See, that was my problem with all the baby books. It seems like the books want you to be so rigid about your child's schedule that you can't flex for anything. That bugged me, but now I am so desperate that I am willing to give up any semblance of a social life in order to sleep. That's not really true - we did get the girls a nap yesterday morning, but then dragged them to Maggie's soccer game and on to the Jacksonville Fair. But, point being, the book has at least gotten us to form a plan and try to stick to it.

Now we're getting them up at the same time in the morning, putting them down for a couple naps a day, and putting them to bed early - then letting them cry if they wake up at night (unless there's something wrong, of course). It's going pretty well. They have cut their crying time down to about 30 minutes and then they go back to sleep. Ian and I split up the night and one listens out while the other wears earplugs. It makes for some great sleep! Even if it's 4 straight hours, it's heavenly to not have to listen out.

Basically, now I am one of those annoying moms who when you ask how she's doing, she tells you her babies' eating and sleeping schedule for the last 24 hours. But the reason for that is because that's literally all I think about and focus on. It's like an obsession, but that's just the season I'm in right now.

Now that I've bored you all to tears, I'll sign off. I'll try to live some exciting life between now and the next time I blog, so that this will be a little more fun to read. Don't hold your breath, though.
By the way, here's a pic of my cute sister, Jeannie, and her adorable family on Halloween. She is due any day now with boy #3. Wow. And welcome to sleeplessness, J! Love you!


Anonymous said...

Buf, you are obviously a stronger, better, and more patient woman than I (not that there was ever a question about that by anyone who knows both of us), because I put Will on a schedule when he was about 9 weeks old so that I didn't throw myself off a bridge, and Mollie was on a schedule by the time we left the hospital with her! You will not regret it, and you will find that your social life will be much easier because you can actually make plans in advance. Good luck and hang in there - I don't see how you do it! Much love, Neal

Anonymous said...

Girl, I too have a love/hate relationship with "the schedule". I'm a hard core schedule person, but only because I'm too much of a wimp to risk winging it. I'm into predictability...but the price I pay is being trapped in my house while my 3 month old naps in her crib every hour and a half. AAGGHH! But the "Healthy Sleep Habits" book saved my life with Thomas. Glad to hear you are seeing some positive results! Keep me posted!
Love you!