Monday, October 17, 2011

Sleep and the Baby Experts

Lucy has mostly been a good sleeper.

I barely knew how lucky I was when we brought her sweet little newborn self home and enjoyed her sleeping from 10pm-7am.

Recently things have not been so sweet.
I think it might be my fault. I have not much idea on what to do about it. I'm surrounded by scary baby experts.


You might have picked up that I'm a bit of an Attachment Parenting fan. Lucy seems to have responded really well to being close to her mama and dada and I've tried to listen to her signs and respond accordingly... until ... she kept waking up.

Lucy would wake up at night and not go back to sleep without a nurse.
At first I would just nurse her and be done with it. She would sleep the rest of the night in our bed happy as Larry. But then she started waking earlier and earlier. I began to worry. I began to fret.

Then I started talking to the experts. They told me that I MUST NOT feed my little one to sleep. She MUST sleep in her own bed. She MUST be awake when I put her there.

For a few nights I tried to put her to bed awake. She cried, she wailed, she kicked around. I cried I wailed, I kicked around. I panicked and Myl had to come to the rescue. The burden of my baby girls future weighed heavily on my shoulders. I told myself I was ruining and spoiling Lucy. She would never sleep properly unless I got her to sleep better. So I found a book.

The No Cry Sleep Solution. I read it cover to cover in a day and set about following it. The first night Lucy woke up six times. I gave up rocking her to sleep after a bad half hour of 10 minutely wakings. She came into our bed, had a nurse and fell asleep for the rest of the night. The second night was better. The third night she refused to go to sleep at all and wailed for a good hour before falling asleep in our bed.

They said it would be difficult for a week or so but after three nights of worse than rubbish sleep I gave up.

As frightened as I am to say it, Lucy sleeps like a charm nestled up next to me.
I'm frightened of the baby experts who say she won't ever leave.
I'm frightened of the baby experts who say she will sleep terribly.

I found the Sears website tonight and read the co-sleeping section with tears pouring down my face. People with medical degrees were telling me that co-sleeping is ok! People with grown up children were saying that co-sleeping hasn't ruined them.

I still feel that pang of guilt every time I put Lucy to sleep with a nurse. I find it hard to explain my behaviour to others. But every night I see the face of my sweet little girl calmly sleeping next to me I like to forget them all.

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