Scary stories from a lovely place

The sleep thief

I need sleep. A lot please. Unbroken preferably. Lately I sleep from about about 10pm until midnight, then from midnight to 5am, then from 5am to 7am. If it’s not that good I get up a few other times in the night as well. During the day I might nap for 15 minutes here or there, but never here and there. I’m starting to look like the bag lady.

Co-bleary eyes

To try and get my sweet Silas to sleep for longer snatches during the day I’m trying to implement one of those horrible things called a ‘routine’. Up until now I’ve been a fly-by-night, slap-dash, do-whatever kind of parent, which is also how I go about most of life. Now I want Silas to sleep for longer than 20 minutes during the day so that I can have longer than that time in peace and unsquirmyness. I don’t know how it’s going to work though. So I’m starting by keeping a record of when he usually does sleep and after a week or so of that I will try and structure my life around him so that he can get longer sleep.

That's not sleeping

There are generally two school’s of thought when it comes to parenting. Well, that’s a massive generalisation. But from what I’ve read there’s a scale of attachment vs independence that each book/author/sage will place themselves somewhere along. At the attachment end of the scale is co-sleeping, baby-wearing, exclusively breastfeeding, feeding to sleep, feeding to comfort, feeding for fun, feeding for any reason, being with the baby while he or she is crying and not forcing too much of a schedule too early on. At the other end is the opposite of all those things and trying to get the baby to sleep by independent methods like letting them cry until they are exhausted (usually called ‘cry it out’ or the more politically correct ‘controlled crying’), using pacifiers instead of breasts for comfort and getting into a routine early. The first school claim that while their methods are very intense for the parent (read: the mother) they lead to children who are more emotionally capable and therefore able to be more truly independent later on. The second encourage training the baby to be independent right from the get go and not answering to their every cry for fear of spoiling them.

Cute, but that's not sleeping either

I’m more towards the attachment end, but I waver to and fro. I don’t know which is right. Both claim they are. Both have irrefutable evidence proving their way. Both have irrefutable evidence disproving the other way. This is the annoying thing. Baby stuff is all so damn relative.

That's better

Anyway. I need more sleep.

See also…..

My Purple Friend – On babywearing
Baby minefields and Ignorance is bliss – On baby opinions
Oh sleep, hallowed be your name – On sleep


11 comments on “The sleep thief

  1. Mim
    November 10, 2010

    Ah Kim I’m hearing ya!!
    Can I just say, “this too shall pass”.
    You’ll be getting a full night sleep eventually 🙂

    My little one didn’t sleep through regularly until 2 &1/2yrs …. before that he was waking just about every 2-3 hours. My body just somehow coped, although I think I was in a walking daze most of the time.

    It is gradually leaving my memory (like childbirth) so that I only have nice thoughts about the first few years haha

    Hope you get some decent sleep soon. And just do what works for you and Silas. My best advice would be (don’t read any parenting books)… and that is advice to me also for when I am lucky enough to have another bub!!!

    • kimlovesjozi
      November 11, 2010

      Yeah I agree Mim. I like being in the dark. But I’ve been pretty confused lately and it’s easy to turn to books (well I only have one and it is heavily on the attachment side of things). This is why I need to live closer to my family!

  2. Mim
    November 10, 2010

    oops…. not sure why I put those brackets around don’t read any parenting books……
    can I blame tiredness? 😉

  3. Bec
    November 11, 2010

    Ok… so not yet done the parenting thing… but I know a thing or 2 about attachment.

    I’m not an expert for sure but I’d be leaning towards the attachment theory too… my knowledge is generally on the neglect scale of things, but in general, you know what… a baby is needy! and they need to feel comforted in order for them to not have to put all their effort into having to comfort themself.

    I’d say it’s probably a biblical principle too… we’re not independent beings, we’re not made to be completely self reliant, we rely on relationships with family, friends and God… it’s the way it’s meant to be… Of course I don’t have a great, specific verse that links it all in perfectly. But I think it just makes sense.

    Having said all that… I do think it is important to foster independence in a child… but they will start to tell you when they’re ready for that… when they’re ready to start to explore the world a little more themself. You’ve just got to be ready to support it when they are. Get the “secure base” in first and they (most likely) be ready to start trying out independence sooner.

  4. Jenny
    November 11, 2010

    I don’t think it should be assumed that the two are completely mutually exclusive. Meeting a baby’s needs for love, comfort and attachment are totally a parent’s mandate. But ‘controlled crying’ is not leaving a child in their cot unattended for hours on end. It’s also not necessarily about them ‘crying it out’ until they are exhausted. Some people may do that, but I think there is a sensible middle ground whereby you want to carefully help your baby develop good sleeping habits. This might mean not responding immediately to them when they grizzle. All the stuff I have read on ‘controlled crying’ is about going in and comforting them, letting them know you are there. It’s not crying alone in a dark room until too tired to do anything else.

    I think like most things in life there are extremes and then a sensible middle ground. As with so many decisions in parenting, this one is difficult and no matter what you’ll probably have some degree of guilt or second-guessing involved. And of course those who will question your decision. So trust yourself, Kim!!

    All our actions in some ways mark our children but I think it is the whole of our actions in relationship with each other that have the greatest impact, whether positive or negative. My personal parenting decision has been to encourage good sleeping patterns gently within the context of love and attachment.

    But that’s just me and no doubt I should (and often do) feel terribly guilty about my various parenting decisions. You’re really smart and intuitive Kim, go with what feels right and makes sense to you. xxx

    • kimlovesjozi
      November 11, 2010

      Yeah you should write a book on getting kids to sleep, yours do sleep so well. I think most of what I know about Cry it out comes from a book that leans the other way, which is obviously problematic. Though I have read about it in What to Expect as well. What book/s did you read?

  5. Kim
    December 2, 2010

    No wise comments about attachment vs. independence parenting, although as a fellow sleep lover you have my boundless sympathy.

    I just wanted to say, my goodness Silas is cute, Kim!!

  6. Lyndall
    December 19, 2010

    Hey there Kim!

    In addition to attachment theory books, I read a book called ‘Babywise’ by Gary Ezzo. It lands very firmly on the side of flexible routine but offers some interesting Christian perspectives. Ezzo’s basic premise is that parents can teach children to regulate their metabolisms and their sleeping patterns to gain maximum benefit of booth, ie a child who sleeps well, feeds well, and feeding well leeds to more sound sleep. As a flow on effect, parents are not as exhausted, giving them energy to care for children during the day.

    Philosophically I find the biggest issue with attachment parenting is that if I as a parent centre my life around my first child, what is the consequence when this must change (and eventually it must), for example when a second child arrives, or the child goes into daycare or preschool.

    I appreciated Ezzo’s notion that each child learns to fit in around the family. Each member of the family compromises, including the bub, and a greater sense of a whole family unit is encouraged.

    I don’t agree with everything he says, and the issue of demonizing the other is rife in this book, but in my own parenting I have found some of his ideas really helpful.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents.

  7. Nomes
    December 30, 2010

    I know I’m joining the comment party late but my limited experience of one baby boy taught me some things.

    By 8 months of feeding to need (aka demand feeding/ whenever baby wants it) I was still getting up every 2-3hrs at night and wasn’t a very happy person in the day. I went to the clinic and said I didn’t like the idea of “controlled crying” but what could I do. She suggested staying in the room, sitting on the floor next to the cot and resettling with a short pat and “mummy loves you” every 5-10mins til bub sleep. Not to pick him up from cot and set a time, eg 10-6, that you will not offer boob but only water in a cup. The result was 2 days of grossness followed by sleeping through from 7-6 most nights!

    I’ve had to redo this a few times with various modifications eg after sickness or holidays, but it gets easier as he gets older for him to realise I’m not going to cave. And it’s always worth the more sleep. I don’t think he has any attachment issues, he’s pretty independent and loves me a

    Day sleep usually follows good night sleep. But I agree with the others, you are the best judge and if something doesn’t feel right don’t do it. They do get more and more fun so hang in there. There is a season for everything.

    Good luck, god bless. I’ll let you know my theories once I have 2 to worry about! Only 3 weeks left!

    Belated merry Christmas and happy new year!

    Love Nomes xxx

  8. Pingback: Silas sleeps « Kimlovesjozi

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This entry was posted on November 10, 2010 by in Baby, Beefs and tagged , , , .
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