Milestones this week: William rolled from his tummy to his back. Emilia too, but it could’ve been the way I placed her on the mat. Unlike William, she didn’t do it again.
I’m on the brink of a meltdown this week. The periods between the boys’ night wakings got shorter and shorter. They wake every 1-1 1/2 hours after 12am. I fall asleep around 8-8:30pm, and get up around 12:30pm-1:00am, roughly. I get between 3-5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Then the madness begins…from both me and the boys. I guess you could say they get it from me. I’m a terrible sleeper. And one of those people who needs 8 hours to do anything requiring a bit of thought, like school-related stuff (a.k.a., my job). I’m totally unproductive since all live-in help left, and only have the nanny 50 hours a MONTH. When she’s here, I plan to work, but I’m so tired I end up sleeping instead.
When Jason wakes, he goes right back to sleep, no problem. But because he’s such a hard sleeper, he doesn’t wake to the babies, monitor or not. One night on my sleeping shift (with my door shut and the fan blocking noise, i.e. crying), I woke to a baby crying anyway. My super-hyper brain couldn’t rest until the crying stopped. And it didn’t. After 10 mins, I got the baby and brought him to the living room, where Jason was. The baby was crying loudly, but there was Jason, on his shift, fast asleep on the couch. LOL Talk about exhausted. He didn’t even wake when I brought the crying baby in the same room! (Of course, this has never happened before; Jason does an amazing job with the babies, and he’s the reason we live so well:)
I have the exact opposite problem. When trying to sleep between wakings, I hear crying when there isn’t. Every noise sounds like a distant baby cry. Just as I start to drift, I hear something (anything – the fan, Jason) and my brain becomes fully awake until I determine (9 times out of 10), it’s not a crying baby. I get up at least once a night to find it completely silent in the babies’ rooms.
They should make alarm clocks that sound like crying babies. Something about that noise makes it impossible to sleep in.
So back to the nights. Here’s what happened Wed. night:
6:00pm: Everyone ate (as much as I can get them to eat, like every daytime feeding).
7:00pm: Everyone went down for the night (HAHA).
8:00pm: I headed to bed; Jason took over.
11:30pm: Both boys woke. Jason fed Jackson 4 ounces, William, only 2 ounces.
12:30am: Jason woke me. Jackson was crying loudly.
12:30am: Jason climbed into bed as I climbed out.
12:40am: I got Jackson and he gobbled down 2 ounces.
12:50am: I went back to bed, but couldn’t sleep. I took a sleeping pill, hoping for another hour of sleep, at least. Instead, I tossed and turned until…
2:00am: William started crying loudly. I fed both William and Jackson 2 ounces, hoping neither would wake soon, and I might sleep.
2:40am: No such luck. William woke again, only 40 mins later. He wouldn’t be soothed, wanting to eat. I fed another 2 ounces.
3:00am: I was frustrated. I took another sleeping pill, desperately hoping for an hour of sleep myself. But, instead, I again tossed and turned in frustration until…
4:00am: Jackson woke crying loudly, wouldn’t be soothed, and ate 2 ounces.
4: 20am: 10 mins after I finished feeding Jackson, William woke, and started crying. I gave in and fed 2 ounces, thinking they may as well be on the same schedule.
4:30am: I went back to bed, but decided it wasn’t worthwhile. So I got up and worked on this blog, and things related to school. If I can’t sleep, at least I can be somewhat productive.
5:30am: Emilia woke screaming. I fed her 2 ounces, thinking she may as well (roughly) be on the same schedule as the boys.
6:00am: Both boys woke and start crying. I decided to get them up, instead of trying to sooth or feed. They usually wake at 6:30am anyway. Emilia was awake, but stayed quiet in her crib until I got her around 6:45am. The day begins. Maybe a total of 1 hour until the last feeding at 6pm do all babies sleep at once again.
You can see how screwed up our nights are. It’s CRAZY I’m feeding so much and so often at night. It’s demand-feeding gone terribly wrong. I made two poor decisions. First, I assumed night waking meant they wanted to eat, so I always fed. Second, I cut back on the amount. This resulted in a) babies who can’t go back to sleep w/o a bottle, and b) babies who nibble all night because they never get enough. Not good.
I need to sooth instead of feed. To be fair, I do try soothing before feeding. I rock and offer pacis. Occasionally it works. I’ve tried swaddling, too, but it doesn’t make a difference. The boys wake up crying, very difficult to get back to sleep. After 15-20 mins of soothing w/o feeding, I give in and feed just a little, as I’m hoping to sleep myself (HAHA).
Obviously a wrong turn. I must correct. Thanks to everyone’s suggestions, I’m devoting nights to soothing and holding them off, and only feeding if all else fails. I’ll accept some crying (but not crying-it-out yet). Starting tonight, I’ll sooth as long as I can before offering only 1 ounce (instead of 2). If they’re really hungry, they can come out in the living room with me and eat. No more feedings in the rock-n-plays/cribs. I’m trying to break the association between the bottle and sleeping. Any other advice would be much appreciated! Thanks everyone!