Monday, May 11, 2009

A Little Help, Please?!

I’ve done a bad, bad thing. From having a negative delivery experience and a hard recovery, I took the easy road and got into the routine of nursing Malachi to sleep. Now, he is unable to sleep at all without nursing. I don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway, the time has come for my beamish boy to learn that I’m not his only source for food and sleep.

Malachi has never done anything that I would expect of a normal baby- he never would eat baby food, but went to table food, right away. He does not like bottles (the last time I tried, anyway) and refuses to take a pacifier. I’ve tried to get him to suck on his thumb but, no cigar. And so I’m expecting this time to be h-e-l-l on earth or a total miracle.

Either way, it’s going to kill me- to leave him in his bed, alone, crying while he figures out how to soothe himself. And so, I’m turning to you, my mama-licious friends, for your advice. What did you do when it came time to wean? How about getting your little one to sleep by himself? Any stress suggestions for Malachi and me? I neeeed advice! Hints, tips, tricks- anything to make this easier on me!

Also, this is just a thought floating around in my head (I haven’t acted on it… yet): would it be absolutely irresponsible of me to give Malachi some melatonin drops to help him fall asleep or stay asleep at night? He is such a light sleeper and I have a feeling that not having me right beside him will result in a sleepless night- for both of us.

I will be so appreciative of any advice offered, by anyone!


Anonymous said...

First off it wont be easy no matter what you do. But if the time has come you must rip of the band aid (so to speak ) and let him learn how to sooth himself and how to put him self tosleep. It will be a long long long week for both of you, but its never easy learning new stuff at any age, and he needs these skills to be a good foundation for the rest of what he will need. I know that it is tough to listen to them be so so sad, but this might make him a more sound sleeper in the end.

Anonymous said...

If you are weaning him to a cup, fill it with water and make sure he has that when you put him to bed (not juice or milk). I would skip the drops on such a young lad though.

Sazaran said...

Thanks, people! Here are some other questions I forgot to add:

When I put him down, should I start with naps and then go for the long haul night?

When he's in his room crying, should I check in with him everyone once in a while? To let him know that he's not abandoned?

Actually, due to circumstances beyond our control, we only have one room right now- that we all sleep in. How the heck do I make him sleep in his bed while, at the same time, not letting him know I'm in mine? Or not giving in when he wants to come to mine?

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with my little man, when he turned one I decided that it was time he went to sleep on his own. Here is how I did it. I read him a story,gave him his bottle or breast fed or whatever you may do, cuddled him a little while making sure he was not asleep and then layed him in his bed. Like you I had only one room and he slept in our room. I would then set a chair next to him and hold his hand while he layed there just so that he knew I was there. After a couple of days move the chair away a little bit. After about a week or two you should be near the door and he should be ok with you moving further away. Then one day you will lay him down and he will be ok. It is hard couple of days but you will live and so will he. Be strong and dont show him that it bothers you so that he knows it is ok to sleep by himself. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Sazaran said...

WOW! Good advice! I didn't even think of that. SO glad I posted this blog for help :)

Anonymous said...

I just found this site yesterday and love her advice. I am following the book Baby Wise with my daughter so this was nice to have more emphasis and advice on other areas of toddlerhood too. I'm sure you can find some great advice one every question you have! Good luck and I hope it's an easy transition for the both of you!

Rachel said...

When my daughter was just over a year, I too decided that it was time to teach her to fall asleep on her own. So I took a little lesson from Super Nanny and tweaked it to my liking.

I started at nap time and layed her down after nursing with her still wide awake. Then I sat on the bed near her crib and read a book while she cried at me. I didn't make eye contact with her, or do anything to help soothe her since I had done all the sweet talking before I layed her down. After about 15 minutes, she fell asleep.

I did the same thing at night, but since it had to be dark in there, I sat down next to the crib. I didn't look at her or acknowledge her, just let my physical presence do the comforting. It was about 5 minutes this time until she fell fast asleep.

I would say by night time on day 3, I could lay her down and walk right out of the room without any crying.

Anonymous said...

I would skip the melatonin drops. All melatonin does is help regulate your sleep cycles. In the normal sleep cycle, melatonin is released into the body in the evening and signals the body to slow down and relax causing one to become tired. Melatonin does not work imeadiately, and may take several days to weeks to be effective. It is really only helpful in individuals with an altered sleep pattern such as insomnia. It is a natural substance and does work well, but I doubt your sweet little guy will really need it. The goal is to teach him how to soothe himself.

Anonymous said...

I dont see anything changing as long as he is in your room with you. Is there any way you can change that part of the equation? A child needs to learn that mom and dads room is sacred for them, not to meantion how daddy must feel sharing his wife with a little one in his own bedroom. The poor little guy just isnt going to learn to sooth himself if you guys are right there in the room with him.

Sazaran said...

Well, not right now. :-\ There is only one other room which is our closet/storage/drum room. When I wake up at 5am to get ready for work, I get ready in there. Soon, though, we'll have a better place and I do intend on having him in a separate room.

From reading some other information given to me by other ladies (thanks, ladies!!) I've realized that my son is what the doctors would refer to as a "high need" baby... therefore, I have a feeling that he may not be ready to wean. Ugh. The last time I tried to put him in his bed, leave the room, and let him cry it out, he crawled out of the bed and smacked his head on something hard- then, he was more clingy than ever for the next week. I might just have to wait a little while longer. :-\ In the end, I can deal with a little more sacrifice, I just want him to be okay with this; I don't want to force him to do something he's not ready for.

Anonymous said...

The little guy will soon be taller than you and eating you out of house and home. Savor this time even though it seems hard. Hold him as often as you can, kiss his sleepy cheeks every chance you get, and dont wean him unless you are ready. It's okay to wait :)

Anonymous said...

Baby's fit into your lifestyle not the other way around. If you are expecting number 2 then you need to do something now. To the person who made the comment about getting him out of your room, well if there is no other room and as long as he is not in your bed then I think he is fine until you get a new place. Good luck

Anonymous said...

"Baby's fit into your lifestyle not the other way around."

You obviously are not a mother yet.

Babies change everything about our lives. We make sacrifices for them, not the other way around. They are helpless and depend on us for their every need.

Sazaran said...

** Just to clarify something... that blog about expecting baby number two was an April Fools joke (notice the date I posted it??). I am not pregnant. **

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