Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Crying it out? Or never a minute to myself?

I have two happy healthy children, for which I am very grateful.  I realise I am lucky having children when so many other people wish, hope and pray for a child at any cost.  I must admit the lack of sleep thing is something I have learned to live with. When Son 1 was born, the fact that he didn't just pop off to sleep at night was a complete revelation, what was I supposed to do with him?! It all seemed endless, I aged about 5 years in those first few months. Then over time it started to get easier, he still woke in the night for a feed, but then went straight back in his cot and straight back off to sleep. I still felt exhausted, but at least I knew what to expect.

Now I have two children I am even more tired, I have cried through tiredness it is so severe.  The problem that I have is that Son 2 has never slept in his cot since he was born, he is now 7 months. He instantly wakes up as soon as I lie him down and screams hysterically if I leave him even for 10 seconds. Even in the day I have to feed him to sleep and then hold him until he wakes up, or else go out somewhere in the car  or pushchair. It's only since he has been big enough to go in his highchair that I have been able to get any "jobs" done at all. Most of this blog has been written one handed while holding baby with the other arm! I have chronic tendonitis in both wrists and hands through the strain of constantly holding him. The other problem is that he won't take a bottle, I have tried every brand of formula and bottle and he simply WILL NOT DRINK from them, in fact he screams in terror at even the sight of a bottle! That means that I can never go out for the evening, or have a night away, or even a LITTLE BREAK which I so badly need.  So basically Son 2 is sleeping in our bed while my husband sleeps in the spare room, he will only sleep lying on my arm next to my body ready to feed at a moments notice. When he is in bed he actually sleeps quite well usually waking only once or not at all, but I feel stiff and sore in the morning from lying in an awkward position.

Anyway last night I was so tired and he just wouldn't go to sleep in his cot.  I was at my wits end as my husband was working late and so I was on my own and just wanted some "me" time. I knew Son 2 was really tired so I just put him in his cot and shut the door. He screamed for 35 minutes although I kept going in to check on him (though this seemed to make him more angry!).  Eventually I just laid my hands on his back and he suddenly went to sleep! He woke at 10pm for a quick feed then went back off again.  I assumed it was a one off until just a minute ago when I lay him in his cot again, he complained loudly for a second and again I lay my hands gently on him and he immediately went to sleep.
I really hope I have cracked it as I am SO TIRED....but I still don't like the idea of crying it out.

The idea is I suppose that the baby learns no-one is going to come no matter how loud they cry, but this is an awful thought - learned helplessness! I wonder what other people think? I used to be pro cry it out as it worked with Son 1 but it only took about 5 minutes, with Son 2 he could honestly cry for hours and hours!

1 comment:

  1. I suppose what I do to calm Holly down if she can't settle in her cot is similar to the back stroking. I'll hold her hand or let her grip my finger then rhythmicly rock her arm. This and some hair stroking and 'shush its okay' seem to bring her down without picking her up.

    I see your popping him on his belly.. a problem we have now is she is mad keen on rolling on her front but doesn't like sleeping in that position then kicks off because she can't get back on her back ... !

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