Thursday, October 18, 2012

Here goes nothing...

**Please note that this is a post that represents our family and what works best for us and in no way am I slamming anyone who doesn't parent the way we do.  What works for us, or for you, may not work for everyone**

Since Pierce was about 5-6 weeks old we started having more and more troubles getting him to sleep on his back.  He refused.  So, no crib no cradle.  For a week or so he would only sleep in his swing, so we moved it into our bedroom.  Then, he started not wanting to sleep in there and would only sleep on my chest or on his belly.  His head control isn't quite where I want it to be for him to sleep on his belly on anything soft (i.e. matress) so he would sleep on the floor while I slept on the couch next to him.  He would wake up and eat, and the only way I could get him to sleep again was on my chest.  So I would sleep on the couch a lot and it started bothering my back.  Naturally, that progressed to me having him sleep on my chest in bed so at least I could be more comfortable.
Finally, we got him back to sleeping in his swing...with a few nights turning into co-sleeping again.  One thing we said, while we were pregnant, was that we would NOT co-sleep.  Why?
It's really important to us to keep a marital bed.  It's very important to us to have space just for J and I.  When you have a baby in the bed with you, you can't have those things.  Also, for us, we couldn't sleep as well as we would if there wasn't a tiny boy in our bed.
When we were packing for our beach trip we didn't have room for anything other than our luggage since I didn't want to leave the stroller.  It was bring the stroller or bring the swing (it's a full sized swing that converts to a travel fold up swing) for him to sleep in.  I thought it would be horrible if we chose the stroller over the swing and figured, what-the-hey he's been sleeping in bed with us as it is.  Well, problem came when we got to the hotel and the beds were doubles and not a queen like we're used to.  We had less bed space and neither of us were comfortable with putting Pierce in the middle of us.
So, what did my genius come up with?  I figured he slept really well in his car seat on the 8 hour drive to the beach so why not have him sleep in it?  Plenty people do it, right?  I spied the large, heavy, wood framed chair in the room and decided that it would be the base to this "bassinet" I was going to rig up.
I pulled the straps all the way out so that he wouldn't be laying on them, and rocked the carseat all the way back so he would be laying nearly flat and we wouldn't have to worry about his neck and his head being in his lap!  I put one of his blankets in the carseat so maybe it wouldn't feel like the car seat to him.

That worked really well all 3 nights.  He slept better than he had slept since getting home from the NICU!
Side note: I think they have to dope babies in the hospital, they sleep so dang well and as soon as they get home BAM no sleeping.  It has to be drugs.  lol, I'm only kidding...or am I?

So, we got home the day Pierce turned 9 weeks.  It was a long ride back, he got home got his bottle and just fussed for a few hours.  Nothing was wrong, he was just over tired, over stimulated and just fussed.  Finally got him happy and sitting in his bouncey chair and he fell flat asleep.  After he had been asleep for over an hour I looked at J and said, "Let's try the crib?!"
So, I carried him to his crib, J started the mobile and sound/light show on it and after laying Pierce in his crib, covering him, he didn't move.  Slept there until 3 or 3:30 when he woke up for a bottle.
For his bottle, we decided to not change his environment, not light up his room, so we just turned on the hall light and J gave him his bottle in the dark.  It took about 5 minutes of rocking to get him to sleep in my arms, but when I laid him down, POP those eyes were open and he fussed.  I refused to give in and pick him up.  J nor I spoke.  We just took turns laying our hands on his chest so he knew we were there, and just soothed him back to sleep.  20 minutes of this, and he was sleeping.
As soon as we walked out of the room he started fussing, but never cried and his fusses would stop after a few seconds.  So, I never walked back in there and got in bed figuring he would be in his swing or our bed within 30 minutes.  Not the case!  We all slept like babies in our proper beds!!
Pierce woke up hungry at around 7:30, J went in, changed him, and brought him to bed to nurse.  That's my snuggle time with him, our morning nursing.  We snuggle, he eats, and then we sleep until 10 or so.  So, I guess that's still co-sleeping.  lol

Fastforward to nap time.  I call it nap time, it's whenever Pierce falls asleep time around here, as we just go by whatever happens that day, we have few schedules other than bathtime at 9 on bath nights.  How that happened I don't know, but it usually ensures that Pierce is asleep for the night at midnight.  He's starting to set his own schedules which works for me.
I've wandered off path here...nap time?  Yes, nap time.  He was fussing and I got him to sleep in my arms.  He wasn't asleep very long when I decided to try the crib again.  Laid him down, fussed, hand on the chest, no talking, mobile with music on...asleep!  He's been sleeping now for over an hour and I've had to go in once to put my hand on his chest and settle him back to sleep!

Because of all of that, J and I decided since he'll be home tonight (Thursday) through Sunday night, we're going to do the crib thing.  Pierce will be sleep trained this weekend...or we'll be whipped.  One of us will win this war this weekend...and I'm not too proud to say Pierce could win.

I'm not dead set on him sleeping in his crib every night until he's 12 weeks.  He'll be 3 months old and start to have better muscle control.  It just seems like a good age for him to be sleeping in his crib if we can't get him there before then.  If we get half nights in the crib until then, we're happy with that.

I felt bad when I got into my 3rd trimester because I had yet to read any sleep training books, no parenting books, nothing.  I had done enough research on Attachment Parenting and on the Cry It Out method that I knew what would work for J and I and it would be mostly CIO, with maybe a few small AP things thrown in there.  We were going blind into this parenting thing, hoping it came naturally for us.  I mean, I had babysat, we both have nieces and nephews, it doesn't take a degree right?!
Nope, it doesn't.  We're doing this our way, with what works for us, and for Pierce.

Wish us luck on the sleep training this weekend!!

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