It is too early and I am too tired to come up with a witty title. I couldn’t sleep last night to save my life. Then at 2:30am Elliott Richard decided that he wasn’t going to sleep any more. Ha. Nice try buddy. From 2:30 – 3:00 Rob and I tried the usual: patting his butt, bouncing him gently etc. No cigar. So at 3am I decided that it was time to introduce Mr. Elliott Richard to the world of “self soothing”.

For those of you who are unaware, I am a “Good Earth Mother” as my Mother puts it. I breastfeed for as long as possible. I co-sleep. I practice attachment parenting. I do not use cloth diapers, although I may try it with Ladybug – at least while we are at home anyway. I am not a zealot by any stretch of the word. I believe in these practices but I do not believe they are the only way or the only option. They work for me.

I breastfed Elliott Richard until he was 15 months old. I would have gone longer but medical reasons prevented me from doing so. I breastfed Gavin until he was 6 months. My hope with Ladybug is that I will be okay medically and not need to cut things short. We co-slept with Elliott Richard until a few months ago. I co-slept with Gavin until around 6 months. That was my goal with Elliott Richard as well. Co-sleep for 6 months, give or take, then transition him to his crib. However, due to circumstances outside our control (Gavin’s nervous breakdown last summer etc.) we were unable to move Elliott out of our bed/room. Waiting until he was 20 months old before moving him to his own bed was *way too long*. I know this. When the opportunity to transition him out of our bed, the crib was no longer an option. We had stopped using a playpen because he could get close enough to escaping that it frightened us. The same was true with the crib. So we transitioned straight to the toddler bed.

So far, he hasn’t figured out that he can get out of bed in the middle of the night. He acts as if there is some unseen force keeping him in his bed. I’ve decided (last night at 3 am) to use this to our advantage. Unfortunately, in my quest to have the closest, most stable emotional relationship with Elliott possible I failed to teach him to self-sooth. Again, this is my fault. I should have taught him this early on. Extreme worry sprinkled with guilt after his release from the NICU clouded my judgement. So we are learning this very important skill now.

We did pretty well last night. We toughed it out from 3 -4am. I would have gone all night because I still didn’t feel sleepy but Rob reminded me that we have a full day today. Maybe last night wasn’t the best night to try this. lol So at 4am we gave in. (I’ll pay dearly for this down the line, I know.) Let me tell you, there are very few feelings better than having your baby curl into your body and sigh because he is finally convinced that he is safe. But the ground work has been laid (and then disturbed) and baby steps will be made. Our hope is have Elliott in his own room, in his toddler bed at night before Ladybug makes her grand enterance. Then we’ll move the crib into our room. Co-sleep until 6 months. And learn to self-sooth THEN. lol

Needless to say, Rob and I are exhausted. We will be running non-stop, as a family from about 10:30am to 4:30pm. Hopefully we all make it out alive and unscathed. lol

Advertisements