Thursday, January 28, 2010

You're a First Time Mother, Aren't You?

I can hear it now.  The shaking of heads, and the "Awww, you're a first time mother, aren't you dear?" I can almost feel the patting of my shoulder from the mom's in my world.  But in an effort to be honest, I'm laying it out there.

Jack doesn't sleep through the night yet.  He's 12 and a half months old now, and hasn't slept through the night ever.  Maybe it's because I breast feed him.  Maybe it's because I let him fall asleep while nursing.  Maybe it's because I never let him cry it out.  Maybe it's because he just doesn't want to sleep through the night!  I'm sure someone could run down the list of what I do wrong, but as a mom, I just simply do what I think is best for our family.  By the way, I've written of my frustrations before here, here, and here. 

So, what's new you ask? Well, let me show you.

Here's the story:

I recently began to realize that Jack doesn't necessarily need to nurse every time he wakes up through the night - he just wants to know I am there.  And now, since he's drinking whole milk during the day, I don't find it as necessary to nurse him each time he cries out at night.   I knew that Jack hasn't needed to nurse two to three times a night for a few months now.  And part of why I was still nursing him is that I knew it would be a quick and easy way for me to get back to my own bed.  He'd fall asleep nursing, I'd transfer him to his crib, and I'd crawl under my warm electric blanket in 10 minutes tops. (otherwise he might scream for an hour and a half- trust me, I know) But something changed recently.  I grew weary.  I just didn't want to continue the painful nursing through the night (teeth and clogged ducts), and I REALLY want him to learn to sleep through the night. So I decided to change the way we handle night time wakings. 

Now when Jack wakes up, I hug him, lay him back down on his pillow, and then sit down in the glider and wait a few minutes for him to fall back to sleep.  That works about half the time.  Sometimes he pops his head up to see if I'm still there.  If I'm not, he will wail.  I have fallen asleep sitting in that glider more times than I can count.  Since I'm already visiting the Chiropractor once a month, and I don't feel like shelling out more money to him, I had to come up with some other sleeping arrangement.  I don't want to sleep on the floor, and I don't want to take Jack to the guest bed to sleep with me as I'd been doing before.  The goal is for him to sleep the whole night in his own bed.  So, a friend suggested an air mattress.  YES!!!  I'll lie down on the air mattress for a while until he falls asleep!  If he needs to see me, I'm right there, and if I happen to fall asleep, it's more comfortable than the floor or glider. 

How's it working, you ask?  Pretty good actually.  Most nights, I don't have to nurse him until the morning.  Some nights he needs a little nursing time.  He is still teething after all.  Sometimes I end up just laying down for a few minutes, while other nights I end up sleeping on the air mattress for a few hours.  Last night I ended up sleeping in the glider for an hour and a half. 

Jack will eventually sleep through the night.  I will eventually take the air mattress out of the nursery.  I will get to snuggle in with my husband and stay there the entire night.  We will eventually have another child.  I won't always do this for my children.  I'm praying for good sleepers with the rest of my children!

But for now, this is what is working for me and my family.  If you'd like to leave a comment about what you've had to do, are doing, or would never do in a million years, feel free!  I'd love to hear them.


  1. I can't say anything and can't give advice. But then again I have a 6 year old that is on Trazadone to get her to sleep through the night. her fancy smancy diagnosis "Ideopathic Sleep Disorder". Translation: we don't know why she doesn't sleep.

    I'm all for whatever gets the most sleep.

  2. I think you are doing it perfectly. You have found something that works for you and your family. You know sooner rather than later, Jack is going to sleep through the night. This too shall pass.

  3. I'll add something to your list of maybes: maybe he's not developmentally there yet. ALL people, including all babies, wake up during the night. Some of us, some of the time, can just roll over and go back to sleep. Some of us, some of the time, need to get up to pee or get a drink of water or even get a snack. Some of us, some of the time, have a lot on our minds or an ache or an illness or just have trouble getting back to sleep for seemingly no reason at all. Babies have all those experiences too, but being babies, they more often need outside help. Nothing at all wrong with giving it to them! And nothing wrong with finding a way that works for both you and Jack.

  4. Amanda,
    As with everything, you do what is right for your family. We all have different experiences, have used various methods and found what is right for us. You do that for your family. If it works and everyone is doing fine, then go with it.

    Thanks for coming by my blog. In cas eyou did not Google what I blogged about, Tebow and his mom are doing a commercial that tells their story. She had some complications during pregnancy and they said TIm would not be normal, they advised her to abort. She didn't. Many pro choice organizations are upset that they are showing that commercial during the Superbowl. I guess when they say pro-choice it has to be their choice that they are referring to. Tebow's mom made a choice, just not the one they promote.

    Take care and enjoy mommyhood, they grow up fast.
    The Park Wife

  5. You just do whatever you want. He is your son and you know him best. You know your life and what works for you. :-)


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