Scott and I marathoned episodes of Parks and Rec during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. During the episode where Chris tried to pick up parenting advice from Ron Swanson I remember thinking "what's a ferber?". Having mostly avoided reading about parenting methods up to that point (well, up to this point, really) I wrote ferbers off as something obnoxious without giving it another thought.
Now I'm about six months into motherhood and completely entrenched in a sleep training saga. My poor baby can't sleep, and to be totally honest, it makes me feel really inept. I won't get into the gorey details. Sufficed to say that the last few weeks has been one long sleepless night after another, and my days haven't been much better - spending anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours putting him to sleep. Even naps are insane. Either they don't happen at all, or they end up taking place on my chest.
As much as I love cuddling up with my little honey bunny we just can't keep this up. I need time to sleep, time to work, time to reclaim my sanity. The worst part is that I look at CC and I can tell he's tired too. Somewhere along the way I was supposed to help him learn to sleep on his own and I just missed it. The last three months completely disappeared on me. He wasn't sleeping perfectly, but he was sleeping well enough for me to ignore the issue. I guess I just assumed he would naturally fall into a good rythym if I kept letting him sleep as he pleased. Little did I know how hard that would bite us both a little later.
I've spent a lot of my wakeful nights reading about sleep training. I ended up buying an e-book from The Sleep Lady whose method promised to be a gentler approach then crying it out. Instead of leaving the kid to wail in the dark you hang out with him - soothing him as he finds a way to soothe himself. Then you move a little further away each night until baby face doesn't need you anymore.
Sounds great, right? I'm sure this works for plenty of babies, but for CC (and for me) it was just plain torture. I'm not use how long I lasted, but there was no indication that our baby would ever stop crying. He only became more and more frantic until I just couldn't handle it and gave in. I picked him up, sat on the couch, and tried not to cry. I'm weak - and as bad as I feel for leaving him in a crib to scream his head off, I feel even worse for failing at his sleep training. We're still stuck in the same crappy cycle where neither of us gets enough sleep.
Being stressed out and overtired I decided to hand the reigns to Scott on this one. He's currently researching all of the sleep methods he can find online to see I what else we can try. Right now it looks like our two major goals are to establish a better bedtime routine and to stop letting CC nurse to sleep.
Another thought I had - purely to save my own mind - was to start using formula to let Scott feed CC before bed. (Giving me an extra hour or two to work every day.) Naturally I took to the internet to try and figure out what kind of formula to buy, and of course the answer was anything but simple. Apparently baby formulas contain all kinds of nasty shit, like BPA and chemicals used in rocket fuel. Awesome. The hippie moms say to make your own formula from raw milk and raw chicken livers. Even if I went for it there is no way Scott would.
I ended up taking a look at Earth's Best, which supposedly doesn't contain the nasty stuff in other formulas. Sounded great until I looked at the price. A tub of formula goes for about $40, and according to the moms in my hippie Facebook group it goes bad after one month. So I would be spending 40 bucks a month to give CC one bottle a day. Ughhhh.
If only I could pump - but when? When does one pump when every waking moment of your life is spent caring for the baby you are meant to feed? I honestly can't figure out how anyone does it.
Even amongst all of the sleeplessness part of me doesn't want things to change. He's not the only one addicted to having him nurse to sleep in my arms. How can it already be time to let that go?
This was like, yesterday, wasn't it?