Sleeping with New Baby Benjamin

Every mother knows the questions. It’s starts when you’re pregnant:

“When are you due?”

“Boy or girl? Are you going to find out or be surprised?”

“Have you got any cravings?”

Then when you’ve had the baby:

“Is he a good baby?”

“Does he nap well? Have you tried running the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine during naptime?”

And the big kicker:

“Is he sleeping through the night?”

After baby is born, everybody wants to know if you’re sleeping.  Millions, maybe even billions, have been made off of the American obsession with sleep.  I say American because I’ve heard in other countries the obsession is different (Italy, for instance, is all about eating solids–gotta start wolfing down the pasta.)  With Joe II, I was walking on air if I got three straight hours of sleep during the night. He nursed often, and only when we began co-sleeping did anybody in the house get a decent amount of shut-eye.  I could have slapped each and every single person who mentioned the Ferber method or  the Babywise book to me.  There was just no getting Joe II to sleep through the night, and certainly not in his own crib. I suspected that “sleep through the night” babies didn’t exist.

Enter Benjamin, the Big Sleeper.  For the first month of his life, he didn’t hardly wake up. One bleary eye would slide open to make sure the boob presented him did actually belong to his mother and then he’d be sleep nursing.  He slept during the day, he slept during the night. He eventually woke up, and now he wakes for an early morning feeding around 5:30, but he LOVES to sleep and consistently sleeps through the night.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you are currently experiencing life with a child who won’t sleep–you have my sympathy.  You also have my theory: there’s no method that will overcome their biology. Don’t let anyone beat you over the head with their get-to-sleep-quick-schemes. Joe II did go to sleep eventually, about the time he turned two.

Go ahead and cry, just let it out. And you have my permission to slap the next person who asks about sleeping.

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Sleeping Crazies

This is a great example of why  I call my parenting style eclectic mothering: nothing works forever. Although sharing a family bed was a great sleeping arrangement for us six months ago, we’re since taken a turn for the Big Boy bed.

Now, there are two feuding methods in the parenting world: the Ferbers and the Co-sleepers. They pretty much hate one another. We gave the crib a shot in the beginning, but co-sleeping family bed style worked better. Darling hubby actually starting sleeping through the night since there was no great caterwauling from the baby to wake him up. (Hey, having a well rested hubby is imperative. Somebody needs to remain sane.)  Around 16 months, our big butter ball baby started taking up a lot more space, kicking and turning flips in the bed throughout the night. Most mornings dear hubby would wake up with feet in his face and I’d wake up with a toddler’s head in my boobs.

After reading Elizabeth Pantley’s book The No-Cry Sleep Solution, which emphasizes the importance of a calm, pleasant bedtime routine, our son successfully starting sleeping through the night in his own bed.

Until sometime last week.

Now he won’t go to sleep without a fight, typically wakes up the second the parent on bedtime duty tries to leave the room, and even if he does go to sleep, he’s up screaming bloody murder by midnight. Yikes. I’ve got several possible theories as to why he’s so out of sorts:

1. Maybe hes getting more teeth and its driving him crazy at night.

2. Maybe the big age 2 milestone is rearing its ugly head in forms of separation anxiety.

3. Maybe he’s worried about the approaching arrival of a new baby (yes, I believe that he is aware and even suspicious of how his life is about to change).

What I need is some real live mommy advice. Whats the best way to help my  tyke overcome  this hump? Any other thoughts on what could be bothering him?