Sleepless Nights

Breakfast in BedDoesn’t this picture speak for itself?
This is how I’ve felt every morning since my family became ill with the flu. Some nights, I wondered why I was even going to bed anyway! Mary Cassatt captured the feeling well in her “Breakfast in Bed” painting above. (available at allposters if you just click this link or the pic)

Pregnant mommies, and parents of newborns know the feeling. The nice thing is, you really appreciate the good nights when they’re few and far between! Last night was the first night my toddler went to bed at 8 P.M. and didn’t get me up five times in the night for bathroom runs. (She drank a lot more while sick!) She also slept past 6 A.M.! I almost woke up in a panic! (Remember that feeling the first time your newborn slept through the night?) Blissful.

I scheduled my three babies from day one in the hospital, according to the “feed-wake-sleep” cycle lined out in a parenting book I was blessed enough to get my hands on before giving birth to our first. The goal of the “feed-wake-sleep” cycle? To promote health and sanity (my words!) and the bonus of getting an infant to sleep 10-12 hours straight through by eight weeks of age. Worked like a charm with all three of my children. Baby #2 took till she was ten weeks, but was sleeping 8 hrs a night before that. Sound too good to be true? It’s worked for thousands of babies.

Healthy sleep, healthy weight gain, predictability as far as knowing when baby’s naps or feedtimes will happen…I’m so glad I did it, and I tell all my expecting friends about it. And since I started implementing this from the hospital, I didn’t have to deal with any crying as far as re-training goes when you’re trying to teach your baby to fall asleep without sleep props (nursing to sleep, etc). The basic premise: Feed your baby, keep them awake even if only five minutes (face it, most newborns want to sleep all the time), then put them to bed for their nap. When they next wake up, feed them, keep them awake, etc. As they get older, you keep them awake longer. Try to go 2-3 hrs from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next. This is directly related to how well they sleep at night! Hospitals do this with preemies!

Anyway! Have a great day, and here’s to uninterrupted sleep for all of us!

13 thoughts on “Sleepless Nights”

  1. Sleeples nights were for me the worst part of being a mother.
    You were lucky things worked for you, but one never knows.
    Our boys were not that easy…

  2. I agree that we were blessed, but not that they would have been easy keepers anyway. I alluded slightly to the fact that my second child was a bit harder to sleep train than the others. It’s all in the training, and, I believe, possible for most babies. Of course, colicky ones or ones with other health problems, would be the exception.

    All this talk of it is making me want to have another!

  3. I’d say something like “You go girl!” but I really dislike that comment used by so many teenagers today! LOL Well, I hope I will never have to borrow that book for myself again,;)but it does sound good. I would have liked to have used it for the youngest since she has been the one that has thrown all my parenting beliefs out the window and walked on them! She’s a daddy’s girl and I think that’s been part of the problem in some areas! But, ‘this too shall pass’ and we’ll go on into the teenage years. I pray she has this all worked out of her system by then!

  4. With my first son, I was working 40 hours a week, at a factory, using a pump on my breaks! Ughh…and the every two hour wake up call, I was dying for some serious rest! I was probably too tired to dance a jig when my little guy finally slept through the night.

    However, I still got up in the middle of the night, at least twice, to make sure he was covered and properly in his little side cushion.

  5. You’re all great mommies! I was just so glad to find a “plan” that worked, because dh and I really value a good night’s sleep!

    Pumping is so exhausting in itself! That is a dedicated mom, Leticia! Wow.

    Deborah, thanks, but I didn’t want to come across as bragging…it’s just a system that WORKS…and I’d love anyone to be as blessed by it as we were. In fact, it worked like a charm for dd#1, but I refrained from touting it many places because I thought maybe it was a fluke that it worked with her. But when it worked so well for all 3 girls, I figured it wasn’t me or my children, it was definitely a good thing to latch onto!

  6. NO…no…no…I was saying “you go girl” about wanting to have another baby!! I KNOW the book works…I’ve used many of the techniques myself over the years and I’ve seen the results in your children. :)

  7. Ah well…who knows about having another baby! Especially after last night when my toddler got me up six times! 4 just for the bathroom? So not good. I’m blaming it on red and yellow food dyes. The girls convinced me to buy some orange/strawberry fruit juice that was on sale, and I let toddler have some about 4 nights ago and she had a rough night. Last evening I let her have just one cup (after keeping it away from her for all these days!)…so I’m really wondering if it’s the culprit?

  8. Red and yellow food dyes can bother some people, especially little bodies. Their nervous systems, making them agitated, angry or hyper. The book I’ve been reaing has attribute ADD and other problems like that to dyes. If you get away from something like that for awhile and then eat it again…you usually see a big difference when your body has detoxed from it. Sometimes too you can have an incompetent bladder if you need an adjustment. But I would think you would be pretty aware of that since you go to the chiropractor often.

  9. I hadn’t thought of how long it’s been since I’ve taken toddler to the chiropractor…hm.

    Thanks for the info on dyes. She’s had a rough day…as you could tell when I dropped “A” off.

  10. it doesn’t work for everyone. the ezzos have even backed off of their own intructions due to the criticism of the aap. the fact is, breastfed babies are often underfed by being scheduled. who is looking out for their well being? also, for the sort of baby the methods don’t work on and the baby ends up screaming in bed. the ezzos do say to just let them cry, alone, and possibly, hungry. i don’t understand how any kind and normal mother could get on board with that.

  11. Parents need to be able to think outside the box, and that means taking every bit of advice with common sense. Not all infants-toddlers-children are the same. I believe many infants thrive on the Ezzos method, but certainly, all don’t. God bless the poor parents that blindly follow and ignore the warning signs of an underfed, stressed out baby. I honestly have not seen any of this advocated in the Ezzos books. I think it’s the parents that take it too far. Some crying may be necessary, but not to the point of torture and neglect.

  12. it seems that the ezzos themselves have seen it and backed off of their own positions though… i’ve read the book and it does tell the parent not to back down as far as the infant’s demands. there have been cases where well meaning parents have followed the advice and damaged their children which is why i cringe when i see people advocating it. yes, i understand that it worked well for your family, but i care about the well bing of all children. i’m also somewhat of a lactivist and scheduled feedings are a recipe for interferring with breastfeeding. again, it didn’t happen to you apparently, but there have been many cases where it has happened, so that’s the other side of that one.

    i believe infants know what they need. there is no such thing as spoling them with excessive love, cuddles, rocking, nursing, or breastfeeding. it’s what fosters attachment to momma. G-d knows what he is doing better then the ezzos.

  13. We definitely agree on that one, God knows better than anybody, and until then He’s entrusted them to us. As Christians we can all only do our very best. The Ezzos and Pearls helped me. I’ve shared how they did this. I read the books back before they had to take back whatever they had to take back (I’m taking your word for it).

    Some of the things they said I thought twice about. Here’s a story for you. The Ezzoes said at 8 or so months of age, your baby might start waking up fussy twenty minutes into their naptime. At this time most mothers go in and get the baby up, even though they know twenty minutes isn’t a very long nap. The Ezzoes contended that something must have interrupted their sleep pattern and if left alone for a short while, they’ll resume their sleep and sleep yet another 45 minutes to an hour.

    I read that and wondered. Was it true? Because my 8 month old had started waking up fussy after 30 minutes, when previously, she’d slept a good hour and a half each naptime. So I put it to the test. I didn’t take their word for it, I just experimented. The next time she woke up fussy after a short nap, instead of getting her up, I stood outside her door and listened.

    Amazingly, she fussed ten or less minutes and then slept another hour or more and woke up happy.

    The Ezzoes call it the “wake up happy rule”. Which sounds mean, to have a “rule” about waking up happy, but if you take it in context…that the child needs an additional 45 minutes to an hour and if they get it they WILL wake up happy…then it makes sense that something disturbed their nap prematurely.

    It worked for me every time. Now if she’d continued crying and if the crying had increased to frantic proportions, I would have fallen back on mom’s intuition and comforted the poor baby.

    I can see both sides of this, but my experience with it has me comfortable promoting it. I realize other parents are more black and white than I am.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge