Thursday, February 27, 2014

How NOT to Night Wean 101

I am exhausted.

Lucas, at 9.5 months, is crawling, standing, smiling, walking with a walker, blowing raspberries, smiling, eating, nursing, smiling, standing on his own, and, most of all, not sleeping.

Ok, so he gets up about twice a night. Some parents may think that that's awesome. Except he is a super restless sleeper until about 11pm, then sleeps until 1:30-ish am, then wakes up again at about 5:30am, then sleeps until 7:30am when I wake him up. Oh, and don't forget my daughter who wakes us up at 5:45am.

Not only that, but when Lucas DOES eat, lately he's been projectile vomiting all over everything. Is it allergies? Is it a sinus issue? (his nose is constantly full, and I started to wonder if he was swallowing mucous and snot and therefore getting a sore tummy.) Is he just over full? We seriously have no idea what is causing this! (we're trying him on Benadryl at night, but his second half of the night is so bad that I should be giving him a second dose; it does get rid of his super runny nose, but I don't particularly enjoy drugging him!)

I hate this schedule. I am exhausted. And since my beautiful redheaded daughter likes to wake up at 5:45am, regardless of her GroClock that tells her she needs to stay in bed, it makes for a very long, frustrating day. Oh, the bunny is still asleep? Well, let me serenade you at the top of my lungs until the bunny is in the sun. 

Every. Morning.

[If you saw our GroClock, you'd understand that when the bunny is sleeping in bed, she is to stay in bed. If the bunny is frolicking in the sun, she's allowed to get out of bed to pee. It's set for 6am. Yeah. 6. A. M. Yet 5:45 comes around and there she is next to our bed.]

But I digress.

Due to my extreme exhaustion, and extremely low level of patience, and serious lack of humour, and being on the brink of a nervous breakdown, I got the brilliant idea to night wean. This is how it went.

Step 1: Prepare Yourself.
I psyched myself out. I decided to give Night Weaning 6 nights. I knew the first 3 nights would be awful, and hopefully they'd get progressively better. If on the 6th night it still was unsuccessful, I considered faking spontaneous deafness... or, I'd give up and try again in a few weeks, or even a month. 6 nights of hell for a lifetime of sleep. I was ready.

Step 2: Put Plan into Action.
And here we go.

Night 1
Lucas woke up at 1:30am, just like I suspected. I picked him up, I walked around the room, I patted his back, I shushed him, I walked, and walked, and walked. He cried, he fought me, he bent his body down to eat and was thoroughly pissed off when he was denied.

2 hours later, he was back to sleep. I laid him down in bed, tiptoed out of the room, and went back to bed. I woke up at 5am to pump a bit just for some relief, and then went back to bed.

Lucas slept until 8am. Then ate a little bit, we went downstairs for breakfast, then he nursed at nap time at 9:30am and napped for 2 hours.

Cue zombie acting.

Night 2
Lucas woke up at 12:30, but didn't fight as hard. It took an hour and a half to get him back to sleep, doing much the same I did the night before. I laid him down in bed.

Parent Mistake #1: false hope.

Oh, it took an hour and a half this time instead of 2 hours? Wait until you lay the kid down. Then they wake up. Then you have to spend another 30 minutes putting them back to sleep without feeding them.

2 hours and 20 minutes later, I was back in bed. I did have to get up and pump again a bit at 5am, but Night 2 was over.

Night 3
Lucas slept until 5:45am. I was so ridiculously uncomfortable I had to go downstairs and pump a bit first. Then I went into his room, and stood there like an idiot trying to decide: to feed or not to feed.

I fed.

Parent Mistake #2: don't ever give in!!!

I gave in. I fed him. He fell right back to sleep, and slept until I woke him up at 7:30. Aryn woke us up at 6:03. Sweet thing slept in. Cue sarcasm.

Night 4
Lucas was up every 40 minutes until 11pm. Finally, at 11, I fed him. Then he slept until 4:30. Again, I stood at his crib, thinking about my options:

If I feed him, he'll go back to sleep and sleep until 7:30. If I don't feed him, I'll be fighting with him up to 2 hours. If I feed him, I get to go back to sleep. If I don't feed him, I need to walk around the room with him for 2 hours. 

Parent Mistake #3: YOU IDIOT!!!!! DON'T GIVE IN!

Night 5
Lucas woke up at 1:30am. I fed him. Then he was up at 5:45am. I fed him then too.

Night Weaning: FAILED.

So... tonight should be night 6. I have given up. I will attempt night weaning in a few weeks again. Until then, I will continue to be exhausted, and continue counting down to the day Ryan and I leave to go to Hawaii in February 2015.

341 days until I can sleep.

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