Month 8! Sleep Deprivation makes the Absence grow longer!

by Esther on Tue, Jan 4th, 2011

in Baby,Challenges,Month 8,Parenthood,Sleep

Hello everyone! Happy New Year!!

I was stopped so many times in the past few weeks and asked about this blog! I didn’t realize that there were so many people following our story and want to thank you all so very much for your support!

We haven’t been updating over here for a few reasons. First of all, Milton has started a new company and is really dedicating every second of his time to making that company work. If you’re interested in checking out those digs, I would really recommend it, especially if you are resolved to improve your health during 2011.

Second, I have been in sleep deprived mommy swirl. I barely remember these past few months. I have skimmed every book that anyone ever suggested to try and get our Crane to sleep more than an hour at a time, with little success. He’s just not a good sleeper. Yet!

Here is a comment I shared in an entry below that I thought should be shared on this blog, in general:

The whole sleep regression never really ended for us. We’re just maybe, sort of rounding the bend now, when our guy 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 recently helped me:

1) Calms Forte. This is a homeopathic sleep-aid that my naturopath suggested I try. 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 its 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, Milton came up from his couch and I went downstairs. 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.

I hope to be blogging a little bit more over here once my brain is kept clear for a bit longer. Until then, here is a holiday photo of our lovable dude:

Mr. Crane meets Santa for the first time!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TMae Tue, Jan 4th, 2011 at 11:22 am

Good luck in your efforts! 8 – 10 months was the apex of my sleep deprivation; I totally relate to meltdowns, etc.

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2 Esther Tue, Jan 4th, 2011 at 11:30 am

Oh gosh, if it gets any worse over the next 2 months I fear for the sanity of all involved.

How old is your little one, if you don’t mind my asking?

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3 TMae Tue, Jan 4th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

He’s 15 months. Cute as a button, and prefers to be awake. I wish we had made some sleep changes earlier. Something’s gotta give here, soon. :-)

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4 alicetiara Tue, Jan 4th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

OMG, Esther, that pic of Master Crane is the adorablest.

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5 Alli Tue, Jan 4th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I’m so glad this blog isn’t dead! I love your writing :) XOXO

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6 Rachel Tue, Jan 4th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Oh my gosh, lady- I can’t believe anyone would give you grief for night weaning at this age. I AGONIZED over the sleep and nursing stuff, wanting to do the right thing and feeling guilty about weaning, teaching her to sleep on her own, etc. It’s crazy hard raising a wee one, nursing and working. Everyone has to do what’s right for their unique situation. We night weaned 100% around 8 months and she finally started sleeping through the night for the first time ever. Rock on mama, you deserve to sleep!! Never let anyone make you feek guilty for taking care of yourself in whatever way feels right to you.

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7 Carly D. Thu, Jan 6th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

So glad you’re back! Love your blog… Considering home birth myself (sooo not anything I would’ve considered before!) and love how open you both are on this blog about your experiences. Sending good sleep wishes your way! Love seeing seeing all your updates!

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8 Jen Fri, Jan 7th, 2011 at 7:20 am

We missed you! Sorry to hear that the sleeping isn’t going so well. The good news is that he’s adorable, so that helps, right??

I’m digging the health game by the way. Just signed up :)

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9 Jackie Fri, Jan 7th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

It’s not a coincidence that sleep deprivation is often used as a torture device–it’s no joke! I promise this will pass, even though it doesn’t seem like it now, and Niko will be a wonderfully happy monkey, night weaning and all.

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10 Rachel Ehlin Mon, Jan 10th, 2011 at 11:36 am

Oooh, I feel your pain. Our little guy has been going down between 730-830 pm and sleeping until 1 am and then waking every hour to 45 min. He pacifies himself by nursing and then falls asleep until he wakes 45 min later and does it all again. He then is up and ready to go at 5am. I/we (especially me the human pacifier) are exhausted. The other morning in the wee hours I had a massive meltdown. It was so bad that Zach took him from me to let me rest. I think he thought I needed to go to the loony bin. Anyhow, the past few nights have been a bit better. We live in a loft too and co-sleep. We did just recently turn half of Zachs studio into a bedroom for him. He has yet to spend a night in there. The things that have been working for me the past 4 or 5 days are.
1. Following a 90 minute nap schedule. So from the time he wakes up I time 90 minutes and then put him down for a nap. The crazy thing is he actually naps. We do this about 4x a day. Yesterday and today he took a two hour nap.
2. We’ve been following a night time routine. Bath, lotion, read, snuggle/feed and then put him to sleep
3. Warming his crib or co-sleeper with a heating pad so its nice and toasty when he goes in.
4. We put him in his room last night and he stayed there until 230am when Zach felt bad that he was in there alone and brought him in bed with us. He then woke every 2 hours. He did sleep alone in his room from 730pm-230am so that was 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep for him. I think he would slept way longer if I just nursed him in there and then put him down. We’ll try again tonight.

I feel your sleep deprived pain. Hang in there! They have to sleep somday right?????????????????????????????

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11 Mariah Wed, Jan 12th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I’ve said it before, but I am in awe that you are working while sleep deprived. I am a wreck when I don’t sleep, I just cannot function at all. That is the sole grace of Asa; he sleeps with little trouble.

I support night weaning. Linus started night weaning at… 2 months? I NEVER felt bad about it, particularly once I became rested enough to think clearly. I imagine it would be harder while cosleeping; access has drawbacks.

Your 7 month old weighs only slightly less than my 2.5-year-old. CRAZY. He looks completely healthy and adorable.

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12 Heather Long Fri, Jan 21st, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Holy god can I relate. The 8-9 month sleep regression was the absolute WORST of all of them for us (during that time, my son was up every 45-90 minutes!). At 2 1/2 years of age now, I’m still not getting much sleep with my little guy…but its better then it was. I found your blog through VAIN. I’m actually in dire need of a haircut (I used to go to Carly downtown, but she moved to NYC!). So I’m going to try you! We have SO much in common (home birthing, placenta love, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, sleep deprivation, etc.).

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13 Eris de Suzerain Sun, Jan 23rd, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Oh man, people gave me guff for NOT nightweaning my kid by the time she was four months old! The fact that you are continuing to breastfeed is awesome, and being sleep deprived and not throwing yourself out of a window makes you a superwoman in my book period.

Keep up the great work, love your kid, love yourself – Motherhood has been far to over romanticized in our time, people don’t give moms half enough credit for making it through the Hell parts.

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14 katie Sun, Jan 30th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I’m so glad you haven’t abandoned your blog! We night weaned around 4 mos and it was the best thing I ever ever ever did! Whenever is right for you and your Crane, will work well and he’ll be sleeping 12-14 hrs at night in no time. Good luck!

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15 katie Sun, Jan 30th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Oh, and to second what Rachel (above) said, we follow a strict 2-hr wake time schedule for our girl and she’s like clockwork now. This, after MONTHS of not napping and me thinking I should be checked in to the nuthouse. I know it’s hard when you’re working out of the home, but it works wonders. Also, have your hub put him down if/when possible so the lure of the boobies isn’t there.

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16 cheryl Tue, Feb 8th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I’m adding this one to our best of blog feature. Even if you are sleepwriting, don’t stop!

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17 cat Tue, Feb 15th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Honey, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about night weaning. We did it at 3 months. I’m so glad I checked back here! Hope to see you post again soon and I hope you’re feeling better now that you’re sleeping a bit more.

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