Monday, August 06, 2007

she's a screamer

A few weeks ago, our sweet daughter went from a baby that woke once a night to a baby that woke three times a night. Since then, I've been a bit tired. I was attributing this sudden change in her sleeping behavior to her teeth bothering her, even though I admitted that she could have just figured out that if she cried at night, I'd feed her. After the first week, I started making her fuss for at least five minutes before I'd go into her room. That worked a couple of times that week, but not much, so last week I upped the ante to ten minutes. Still didn't help. Then I realized something: she's not that upset about her mouth during the day, so she's likely not waking up in the middle of the night in agony. She's also not waking up starving to death. The child is still nursing plenty and she's now eating solids three times a day. She's working the system.

"No more," I say.

Last night, I decided to end it. She would just have to learn that she has to sleep through the night. I know that she's capable of putting herself to sleep because she does it when we put her down. She just somehow got the idea in her head that it's my job to put her back to sleep if she wakes up. It's my fault. I know it is. I should've tried harder much sooner to get her off of night feedings. She hasn't really needed them for awhile. Anyway, last night was the night. I told M that I was going to let her cry. I thought she'd give up after about ten minutes, but I was wrong. She screamed, and I'm talking gasping for air, sobbing, "I'm producing as many decibels as possible" screams, for 45 minutes. I worry that she may have stopped because she passed out from a lack of oxygen. I held my ground, though, and she finally went back to sleep. Of course, when she woke up at 4:45, I fed her. It had been a little over 8 hours since she'd eaten, so I was afraid she might actually be hungry. The longest she's ever gone without eating is about 7 hours. I'm sure I'm just prolonging my own agony by letting this continue.

Stop the insanity. Someone bring me to my senses.

She's asleep now, though, so we'll see how tonight goes. Here's a shot of her after church yesterday.


Angie said...

be strong! you can do it!

love seeing little cutie in cute dresses!!!

Lori said...

You poor thing! We've been there. Giving up that night feeding crutch is so hard, but you can do it. It would be one thing to say it's working fine if you weren't exhausted, but you are. One thing we tried that worked for us was offering some water instead. After a few nights, she may not think that's worth getting up for. Another thing that worked was going in and trying to calm J down without picking him up. Not the easiest thing for me, but B was able to do it much more successfully by just rubbing his back. I think it was easier for him because he has no food to offer her. I remember having the same thought about the teeth, but I wonder if so much stimulation during the day makes them forget? Who knows. I seem to remember going through this around the same time as you when we added two to three meals. Maybe it takes awhile for the whole digestive track to get itself settled. More likely though, she has just figured out that she can make you come eventually. Turn off the monitor and try to sleep. Good luck!

allison said...

such a cute shot of her!

Sarah said...

Such a cute shot! Good luck, hold strong - I'm sure you can prevail! :)

feather nester said...

Sounds like you're doing great! You already figured out that it was a problem, you tried a solution, and although it sounds like it was torture for all involved, you held out. Hopefully it will get better. Just hang in there. She was probably just pissed that what worked before to get you in there suddenly wasn't working. Like I know what I'm talking about. But I imagine I'd be pissed. Anyway, what a freakin' angel in that beautiful dress.