I took Thomas to the pediatrician today for his six month check up. At the top of my list of things to discuss: sleep problems. Dr. Miyamoto listened sympathetically, answered my questions as to why (why why WHY???) was this happening, and then asked me how badly I wanted to be able to sleep again. I'm guessing my face told him the answer, but I added "this can't go on" for good measure.
His advice sounded fairly middle-of-the-road as sleep advice goes. He's not a cry-it-out advocate, but he doesn't think the parents should just deal, either. His recommendation:
1) get rid of the pacifier and definitely don't nurse him to sleep.
2) put him down sleepy
3) don't rock him - basically don't do anything that you don't want to have to do again in the middle of the night.
4) lay him down and walk away.
5) if he cries, come back in five minutes. Pick him up and snuggle him for about 30 seconds, then lay him back down and walk away.
6) repeat until he's asleep.
I don't like this advice, because I don't like listening to my baby cry. And I have a nagging feeling that I'm not being a good mom if I let him cry at all, ever. It may well be that I've simply read too many attachment parenting books...but that is how I feel. Good moms don't let their children cry alone. Good moms do something. Good moms don't mind never sleeping more than an hour or two at a time.
I'm afraid I'm not a good mom, at least by those standards. So today for Thomas' afternoon nap, we gave it a try. I turned on the "night night" cd (the same one we used for Jonathan), laid him in his bed, and gave him a diaper that smells like mommy (we lay it on the bed with us when we nurse). And I walked away. And he cried.
But while his wails began as WAHHHHHHHH!!!!!
By the time five minutes had passed (with me standing by the door, waiting for the clock to say I could go in and comfort him) he was sounding more like *hiccup* wahh *hiccup* wah wah *hiccup*
And I was pretty sure that going in would simply rev him up again. So I didn't. He was asleep at T plus 8 minutes.
And I feel rather betrayed. Here I am, trying so hard to be a good mom, rocking him, nursing him, snuggling him, sleeping with him, and getting very little sleep myself, and as soon as I give up and go with a method that makes sense but doesn't feel right...off to sleep he goes.
I'm glad he's sleeping. I really, really, hope that it works tonight too! But I wish that a method that felt right instead of "necessary and logical" had worked, instead.
I told you I wasn't rational. Maybe things will look better in the morning?