Christopher is now thirteen months old, and he refuses to sleep for more than twenty minutes if he is not touching me or his Daddy. At first it was only affecting night time sleep, but it has spilled over to naps and the last few days he has cried for me and then immediately fallen asleep on my shoulder when I get him out of his crib.
At night, we have given in and resorted to just bringing him into our bed. Dave and I are sleeping so poorly with this arrangement (how can such a tiny person take up so much room?) but it is better than the almost zero sleep that we were getting when we kept getting up, rocking him back to sleep, and putting him back in his own bed, only to start the cycle again forty minutes later.
As if exhaustion weren’t hard enough, now that he has decided my shoulder is the only place he will nap I am falling way behind on my school work. I usually try to get as much done as I can during nap time, but with a snoozing babe in my arms I can only read, not type assignments.
To make matters worse, the solutions and expert opinions are all over the place, confusing my addled, sleep-deprived mind further. Some say that babies need to be close to their parents when they sleep and that is supposed to be the natural order of things. Others say he needs to learn to self-soothe and that I have to let him cry it out. Some experts tout a happy medium, but to me those all sound very similar to crying it out.
We let Leah cry, using the Ferber method. Some of my very first entries in this blog are about that. She turned out fine, and is in fact a great sleeper now. However, I continue to feel guilt for the nights where I sat outside her bedroom letting my own tears fall as she screamed out for me. To let my child cry goes against every natural instinct that I have as a mother. And yet, my own daughter is proof that it works, that she is still a happy and well-adjusted child, and that she continues to be affectionate. So then, why can’t I bring myself to repeat the process? A week or two, and this could all be over. We could have two children sleeping through the night, I could be getting my homework done during naps, and less cranky.
I don’t understand how this happened. Did I hold my babies too much as infants? To me, it didn’t feel like I got to hold them enough. That time passes so quickly. Maybe it’s genetic. Maybe I’m a pushover. Maybe I am not at fault in any way, and this is just how things are.
Either way, I would love to hear what you did in this situation.