I put the kid to sleep at around 8:30pm last night.
We’re working on the whole putting her down while still awake thing.
This involves some crying.
So what I’ve been doing the past few days is sitting in the crib with her, doing the bedtime breastfeed, then putting down, and if she gets up, putting her down again.
She inevitably gets too upset, so then I pick her up and cuddle a bit more, sing her some songs, tell her a story, give her a stuffed bunny to hug, and repeat, sans the breastfeeding part.
Eventually she gets nice and sleepy and relaxed, and stays down, with a bit of whimpering and kicking, and with baby beluga until I’m blue in the face, she goes to sleep. I exit the crib when she’s falling asleep.
It’s getting better. I think it took less than an hour to get her down last night. Also, she’s really taken to the stuffed bunny. She’s old enough and mobile enough (!!!) now that I don’t worry about the extra thing in her crib being a suffocation hazard.
I decided to screw it all (the hours of schoolwork needing to be done) and just go to bed, myself, as well, because if anything, the first time she goes down, she stays down the longest, and not having had a proper sleep in forever, I thought it a reasonable idea.
Holy crap she stayed down from 8:30 ish until 4:30 this morning. My clock was unplugged for whatever reason, so I have no idea when she finally went down, but assuming 9pm at the latest, that’s 7+ hours in one stretch!
That’s no small feat for a tiny child who hasn’t slept through the night since before she started popping teeth (7 months) and before starting daycare (9 months) and catching illnesses non-stop since starting daycare (she’s on her 6th cold-like illness since august, poor thing) all which have been SEVERELY impacting her sleep patterns and habits (waking up 4-8 times a night etc).
Also cause for celebration for the momma (actually, the poppa too!) who hasn’t had a solid 7 hour sleep since before the kid started teething. And major insomnia during those precious few months when the kid WAS sleeping through the night!
Then at 4:30 this morning, the human alarm clock woke up the momma for a breast feed. BUT I was able to put her back down in the crib afterwards with no fuss for another 3 hour stretch. HUZZAH. HUZZAH.
However, at the 4:30 mark, I woke up with horrible sore neck and congestion and the beginnings of a migraine. Which was a horrible way to kill the buzz of discovering the whole 7 hour sleep thing that had just happened. I was on a roll, too. 5 days this week with no headache. Also went for my second massage therapy appointment in 2 weeks (this thursday and last thursday) where the therapist worked mostly on neck and shoulders.
So when I finally got up this morning, I did all I could to try to not have this day be a total write off. I don’t think the sleep was really awesome either, because I can still remember the long and very detailed dreams I had upon waking up at 4:30 and 7:30.
- Took a long and very hot shower to loosen up all the congestion and stiff neck muscles. Definitely helped.
- Took a new NSAID medication prescribed by the doc after the last intense 2 week spell of migraine misery. Cambia. Powdered diclofenac that tastes like liquorice toothpaste that you mix with 2 oz of water and knock back. Blech.
- Caffeinated (am about a 1/4 through a Monster energy drink…so about 40mg of caffeine so far. Not much. But caffeine is supposed to help so yeah, energy drink as medication…)
I feel pretty pain-free now, so that’s good. All that remains is a weird floppy head-too heavy for neck feeling and some residual soreness in neck muscles. But my brain is mostly pain-free except for a dull throb here and there, which is the important part that says the Cambia is working! Unfortunately, I think Cambia is quite expensive. Fortunately, I have Pharmacare and extended health coverage.
Anyway, back to the sleep issue…here’s where we are at with sleep:
- Daycare: 2 naps per day. They are now able to put her down without fuss, and she goes to sleep clutching a stuffed dog. This took work on their part…a lot of work. Rocking her to sleep, some crying, a lot of one-on-one attention, but they have been very consistent and have
- Home naps: either I or Steve will put her down. Steve is much more tolerant of cry-it-out than I am. She goes to sleep eventually after crying. Today she fell asleep using bunny as a pillow. Very cute.
- Night time: Steve will dance around with her to Chopin until she falls into a dead sleep on his shoulder. I do the crib thing mentioned above. Cry it out or variants thereof don’t seem to work at night time. I think there’s something very scary about going to sleep alone, which I can fully understand. So I think I’ll keep working with the in-crib thing until she’s more comfortable with going down with less help. It’s very encouraging that she’s been okay with returning to her crib after a night feed too, recently. For a while she was NOT OKAY with that, and nothing would do except be snuggled next to me in bed, attached to my boob. That was NOT OKAY with me, because I wasn’t getting sleep.
Anyhow, raising this kid is definitely interesting, and I ultimately am very happy and grateful to have this as part of my human experience. Living with chronic pain, too, is an experience. It quickly interferes with one’s will to live, but it does make me more grateful for the pain-free days. Pain-free days where my thinking is sharp and unclouded… feel like christmas gifts.