4.5 Month Old Days…

by Esther on Wed, Oct 6th, 2010

in Baby,Challenges,Month 5,Parenthood,Sleep

Oh internet, where does the time go? Oh! Wait! I know where it went…

I lost it to the so called 4 month sleep regression. This, of course, came in tandem with my triumphant return to the VAIN beauty world and our baby’s first cold.  Seriously, the world of baby parenting decided to throw me three difficult things at once and see if we would sink or swim.

We swam.  We swam our hearts out!  We swam even when we felt we were sinking.  We adults navigated through exhausted rows with each other, necessary naps that were foiled by the ever-present boogers, and nights peppered with our sweet baby waking every 45 minutes to nurse.  We swam because we had to.

There were days when I wondered how I was even standing by the end of my shift at work.  There were even days when I dove right into a glass of wine as soon as the baby went down.  But one thing that came out of it was this:

The further we went down the path of no sleep, the further we went down the path of shifting the baby from one partner to another to facilitate sleep before a productive day at work…  the further we moved from fighting with each other to actually working with each other.

I meditated soundly on keeping my mind quiet.  Every time my exhausted brain tried to tell me some story about why things weren’t working for ME, I went for a walk, took a bath, or just left the stupid laundry and dishes to fester.  In the meantime, my husband, who is really so amazing, did his absolute most to give me a break when ever I looked like I was going to break.  We worked better on the mechanics of parenting together, and I would say that ultimately this month of sleep regression/boogers/work has come out making us much stronger.

Of course, it helps that our child looks like this:

Yep.  Not sure.

I mean. Seriously.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marissa Thu, Oct 7th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

so. friggin. cute! my ovaries are totes exploding.

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2 mariah Fri, Oct 22nd, 2010 at 8:33 am

he looks like such a bruiser! love it!

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3 Brenda Sun, Oct 31st, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Hi Kelly, it’s Brenda from RCM!

I am in the middle of this “sleep regression” stuff as I type and I can’t tell you how great it was to read this. Holy smokes I feel like my brain is a skipping record! Has it gotten better for you guys? What have you done to make it better. I read somewhere that it could resolve or not…. How come I don’t remember this with my two older boys??? I know, this is how humanity keeps procreating. Amnesia.

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4 Milton Tue, Jan 4th, 2011 at 10:19 am

Hey Brenda! It’s K, logged in as Milton because I can’t remember my password, geez.

Gosh, this comment was made FOREVER ago and I’m sorry I missed it.

The whole sleep regression never really ended for us. We’re just maybe, sort of rounding the bend now, when Niko is almost 8 months of age.

I have had a lot of thoughts about sleep and parenting in the past few months. I’ve felt mentally ill. At my worst, I’ve felt that mothering was an exercise in misogyny. I’ve had 3am mommy meltdowns that have SHAMED me when 9 am rolled around again and I made myself a cup of coffee.

I’ve rallied, again and again, telling myself that I CAN handle it! If he only wakes every other hour, I CAN handle it. And it’s true, if he only wakes every OTHER hour, I can do it and still go to work and smile and cook and go for walks. But where does that leave me when he wakes every hour? Every 30 minutes? Because, believe me, that has been more the norm than him waking every other hour.

Two things that have helped me:

1) Calms Forte. This is a homeopathic sleep-aid. I take three every night before bed. They have helped me avoid MOST mommy meltdowns and have kept me groggy through all the feedings, whereas before my sleep deprived brain would get mighty anxious and keep me awake with all it’s incessant and bitchy blather.

2) This is a new development, but now Milton is taking a long middle of the night parenting shift. We are going to gradually start night weaning so that Mr. Crane ultimately doesn’t ask for it between 12 and 7am. Last night I fed him at 11, and then again at 2. Then Mr. Benson came up from his couch and I went down. Between 2-7, Mr. Crane punched his pop when he woke, but knew he couldn’t get any, so ultimately went back to sleep. I fed him again at 7 and we had family bed time until 8.

I feel GREAT today. This might just work for us. I am closing my ears to anyone who tells me that I shouldn’t night wean until he is a year old because I really don’t think that my crazymaking stress hormones are good for any of us. Mr. Crane is a 25lb 7.5 month old, and he will get through this alive and sweet, I am SURE.

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