Sunday, November 27, 2005

Crying and sleeping part two

I was quite pleased that Baby got to sleep within half an hour of us leaving her to nap on her own. But there would be further naps, and I didn't know how I was going to handle hearing my baby cry every single nap time.

The next nap she was to have today didn't go nearly as well as the first one. This was around 4pm, traditionally a very difficult time of day to get Baby to nap. She started protesting right from the start of the nap routine, when I wrapped her up in her blanket. She squirmed and yelled for a good quarter of an hour before I decided she was actually hungry (it's hard to tell these days, now that she's demolished her old feeding pattern); then I had to start all over again after her feed.

The crying was so much harder to take this time around. Not only did it start sooner, but she escalated from "angry" (my interpretation) to "utterly devastated" really quickly. Also, the boy had gone out to do the grocery shopping, so I was all alone in my vigil. I lasted about thirty minutes, including one walk-in, before deciding that she was too distraught, and anyway it was getting close to her bedtime routine.

As soon as the boy returned home with the groceries I had to quickly hand her over because my eyes had started watering. It actually took a little while for her to settle again, which made me feel even worse. Guilty, even.

Then I remembered one reason I'm so obssessed with reading parenting books at the moment; I need the reassurance that what we're doing is okay.

I'll have to do this to the poor girlie at least three times each day, and during the week I'll have to do it on my own. Thank goodness we have a good supply of tissues.


happyandblue2 said...

Sorry it's so hard.
Books are books. They can be helpful but the person writing a book isn't raising your child.
If you can, try to talk to other parents. Real people kept me sane when my children were babies. Plus it's fun to hear other peoples frustration for some reason. It makes your baby concerns seem livable.
I am sure that you are a great Mom. Talk to other parents and do what feels right for you..

Make Tea Not War said...

Once you have established a consistent routine she'll be happier. I'm sure I read in a million books that babies & toddler like feeling their routine is predictable. It helps them to feel in control.

Also, and this is something someone said to me about the crying and on observation I decided it was true of mine- the only way that babies have to communicate or to express their feelings is through crying so it doesn't necessarily have the same reasonance as an adult crying. What you are interpreting as utterly devasted could (for example, and I'm not saying this is so) be frustrated crying because she can't get to sleep, or just blowing off steam because she'd rather be up playing even though she really needs a nap.

My daughter had one really bellowing yet pitiful sounding cry which I thought sounded like she was completely miserable and abandoned until I noticed her immediately stopping in mid yell when she caught sight of something fascinatingly distracting- like the curtain. So it was actually just her "I'm a bit bored- entertain me cry."

I feel for you though. It is heart breaking to feel like your baby is distraught. Perhaps the boy could take a bit of time off work to help you through the rough patch.

Wicked said...

Happyandblue2 is right - you can take the advice of books only so far... only you and the Boy know what works best for Baby. It DOES sound like she's giving you a hard time! Hang in there. Your concern speaks volumes about what a great Mum you are.

Violet said...

thanks for your support, guys. I have tried to talk to other mums but so far everyone but me seems to have a baby who is a good sleeper. Either that's true, or they're lying. Either way, it isn't very helpful!

I've been trying to get Baby to stick to a routine for ages, but once she hit the 3-month mark it was like she was actively trying to avoid routine. I'm hoping a visit to the Plunket Family Centre will help me sort it out.

Gekko said...

I can't really offer much help except to say you really aren't alone in this. Although I don't know why I think that would be any help whatsoever, except that we went through the same cycle of wondering whether we could do something differently to make it all ok :-)
My newborn daughter decided it would be nice to sleep all day (and boy did she sleep - she could be bathed and changed several times without waking up) and then regale us all night with a display of drama worthy of any theatre company. No professional was able to give any real support, except to suggest meekly as an explanation that breast milk has a different consistency at night which she might prefer, hence her sleeping patterns. Whatever.
It was four months before she slept through 5 hours, from 2am to 7am. Pure bliss. It didn't last of course.
After 6 months things got better, although we discovered she had an intolerance to NZ milk at that point (previously we were in the UK) and she had to go on goat formula.
But anyway, the point of this ramble is that after about a year she decided to do the crying all night thing again, for the hell of it. It was eventually cured remarkably quickly with controlled crying (in less than a week). I know you may feel your baby is a little young, but they obviously still instinctively still learn rewards and incentives. Allowing them to cry in the controlled manner breaks the attention-reward cycle fairly quickly without them being abandoned to cry themselves to sleep.

Violet said...

gekko: thanks for sharing. It's good for me to hear about other people who've had similar problems. We're just doing this crying thing for her daytime naps; at night I'm awakened 2-3 times and I assume it's hunger because she feeds so little during the day. I think it'll be harder if and when we start letting her cry at night.

Anonymous said...

Have a look at 'The Baby Sleep System'. It's really good, there's a small fee to be a member then you can get daily personal advice from trained sleep counsellors.I have had massive problems with my 7 month olds sleeping both day and night but we're really getting somewhere with it now using controlled crying but we did the nights first as thats what they suggest.They say you won't get the naps sorted until the nights are sorted. Don't know how old your little one is, if she's older than 6 months she won't really need any night feeds. We are finally getting peaceful nights, I just need to remember how to sleep now! x

Violet said...

anonymous: it's weird getting your comment 2 1/2 years after I posted this. I'd almost forgotten how bad it was in the first 12 months (well, I'd forgotten the details anyway). Funny this is, when she turned 13 months old she became an almost perfect night sleeper, and from about 14 months until recently became an almost perfect napper!