No, I haven’t died or anything.

Though, my laptop did. Jon Boy and I are now sharing his computer, which means less time for time-consuming activities online, such as blogging. What’s more, Lego has recently decided that it’s BORING when Mommy’s on the computer, and he pesters me by grabbing the mouse, begging to nurse, pushing buttons on the keyboard, and pushing my chair around in circles until I get off. Anyway, I just haven’t been online much, and when I have been, I’ve been playing Scrabble on Facebook.

The main thing I’ve been wanting to blog about recently has been Lego’s sleeping problems.Because I’m pregnant, I’ve found that suddenly my body can’t handle waking up three or four times each night to nurse Lego. I never really liked doing it, but I was used to it enough that I was coping. But when I’m pregnant, I need even more sleep than usual. The days were dragging, and I had no energy to do my housework or to play with Lego.

I did a ton of research and even got some advice from Lego’s doctor, so we started on a strict regimen. Lego was to eat every three hours, no less (he’d always been a “grazer”), we would comfort him when he woke at night, but I would not nurse him until he’d been in bed at least eight hours, and I would “calorie pack” everything I fed him (this was because his weight gain was approaching abominable). Mmm, half and half mixed with whole milk to drink. Mmmm, butter on everything.

To make a long story short, the regimen did a good job of getting more calories into Lego. It didn’t do a great job getting him to sleep. After five days of rocking, singing, and snuggling Lego to sleep when he’d wake (still three or four times a night), I was exhausted. Nursing is a LOT faster and easier than that, and he wasn’t really waking any less. I relaxed a bit and figured I’d start with a five-hour stretch as the goal instead of eight and then gradually lengthen it. That allowed me to sleep better (only two wakings) for a few nights, until he started waking every three hours again, and by then I was so tired I didn’t have the will to fight it. Lego was back frequenting the all-night diner with a vengeance.

Last week, I reached the end of my rope. I did something I never felt I could do before: I tried the horrible, cruel, painful method of just not going into Lego’s room at all from bedtime until morning. I knew he would scream his lungs out all night. I knew he’d probably feel abandoned and hungry and scared. But I also knew that he’d soon learn that there was no point to waking up if there was no reward for it. After a week of doing this, Lego still wakes once or twice, albeit briefly. He quickly puts himself back to sleep.

Meanwhile, he’s protesting solid food a bit (though that’s slowly getting better). And now he has a cold. But I’m sleeping at night, and I’m feeling so much better during the day. As mean as I felt those first few nights, I’m wondering if I should have done this earlier.

4 Comments

    Little Dude had terrible problems sleeping and I ended up doing the “crying it out” thing out of sheer desperation as well. He wasn’t nursing, but he couldn’t go to sleep without an elaborate routine of rocking and cuddling, plus he’d wake up three or four times a night for it. It was horrible, but I also got results after a week or so. Now he actually gets excited to get in his crib and bedtime is so much easier for us. I hate the idea of crying it out for young babies, but I guess it’s sometimes OK for toddlers. He still loves me.

    I hope you start feeling better with more sleep. I also can’t use my computer much while the kids are awake because they destroy the room while I’m on it.

    Maybe next time around skim over the Baby Wise book. It pretty much says what your doctor was saying–feed the kid every three hours and make sure he gets a full feeding. I’ve heard people swear by this and other stuff in the book and say their kids start sleeping through the night at two months old. My little guy is two months old and doesn’t sleep through yet, but he was born early and still barely weighs seven pounds, so it’ll probably take him longer to get it. But he does only wake up every three to four or five hours at night, and it’s nice to know I only have to get up twice at night. Good luck with Lego. He’ll figure it out.

    I’m so glad you’re finally able to get enough sleep. : )

    Wow, this sounds SO familiar. Collin is the exact same way as Lego. I’m so glad there is someone else I know who has gone through the same thing as me! He was a great sleeper in his crib until he started teething, and because he never took a pacifier there was no other way to soothe himself besides nursing. Now he won’t even sleep in his crib; I have him on an air mattress all night so I can just lay next to him while he nurses. Anyway, I think it’s cool that you’re nursing him for so long, and that your body was able to get pregnant while you were nursing. Even though we probably taught our babies some bad habits, it is nice to snuggle with them so much! I will miss that when Collin is finally sleeping on his own. Even if I have to make him cry for a week in order to do it. πŸ™‚

    On a side note, my mom ended nighttime nursing woes with my brother a different way. She told him that when he turned 18 months old the milk would stop working after dark. The night he turned 18 months he slept through the whole night and woke up when the sun came up, calling “Mommy! It’s sunny! Time for milk!”

    Anyway, this comment is long and jumbled. I just have a lot to say because I’m so excited to have a comrade! If you want to talk more send me an email.

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