I'm feeling like the worst mother right now. Four times in just over 12 hours, I've tried to let William cry-it-out. Last night he woke up at 9:20, which is unusally early even with his recent increase in wakings. Mike couldn't calm him, so I nursed him back to sleep even though he had eatten well two hours before. He wakes again at 1020. I tried to rock him to sleep. He falls asleep in my arms, but wakes the second he is placed down. We do this twice. I then decide to let him cry. Half an hour later, he is still screeching. And I give up. Mike rocks him back to sleep and William wakes up ten minutes later. William stayed with me for the rest of the night next to me in the bed.
I'm so frustrated because I do NOT want to start co-sleeping. Not only is it uncomfortable and I worry about him falling off the bed because he's such a squirmer, but I do NOT want to deal with breaking the habit later. And, I'm getting tired of holding him while he sleeps. Now, nursing him to sleep I don't mind. But after a half an hour or so, it starts to get old. I have to pee or my butt hurts. I can't get comfortable to sleep or I need to sneeze or cough. Or its during the day and I have other things I need or want to do. And, sometimes I have to go get Natalie up from a nap or she has to wait for me to change a poopy diaper. This just isn't working well for us anymore.
This morning I tried to put him down for a nap about two hours after he work up and he just howled. Thought maybe he wasn't tired yet and his sleep pattern is shifting. Tried again over an hour later once he'd been up for three hours and again he just screamed and wiggled around his whole crib. Then I nurse him and he goes to sleep for 30 minutes waking up when I talk to Natalie, who is being very patient about having a poopy diaper. We miss going to story time even though Natalie says she wants to see her friends.
After Natalie goes down for nap, I take William into his room. I read to him as I nurse him. He eats well. He falls asleep. I drift off some too. Half an hour later, I don't really want to be sitting in there anymore, so I try to move him. He wakes immediately and then screams for 20 plus minutes before finally quieting and sleeping.
I just don't know what his deal is. Two months ago he was waking only twice a night. A week ago he was going down for naps in his crib often without a peep, but if not, then only a few minutes of mild crying.
Maybe he is old enough to miss me know since he is six months old, but that is all the more reason we can't go on this way. With Natalie, I used to hold her for two hour plus long naps daily until she was 7 or 8 months old. But with Natalie I also had nothing else to do all day. And, Natalie also slept through the night, so I didn't mind getting some snuggle during the day since I had free time and a full night of sleep every night.
I just dread going to bed in his room waiting for him to wake up.
And today I've felt like all I've done is stop children from crying.
William had been doing better playing again, but is just so hard to please. Natalie was such an easy baby to play with. She was happy with a few toys to chew on. But William usually has no interest in his toys. He tries to move around on the floor. He wants to chew on your clothes, constantly. Whenever we nurse, he is pulling my collar into his mouth or pulling my sweatshirt around to his mouth. Its maddening. Play with him on the floor and he's chewing on your knee or trying to get your ankel in his mouth. He pulls up the blankets on the floor to chew. Finds Natalie's pjs and socks. Its ridiculous. But the 50 or so toys, he could care less about most of the time. And he wants you to hold him up to stand, but then bends over. Our play group facilitator says he is one of the strongest babies she's ever held. I want him to be happy, but I just can't sit there all day holding him up to stand, especially when he just squirms. He won't sit on my lap and play, but he seems to miss me. I feel like I never give him good attention because I get so frustrated with trying to play with him. He pulls books away to chew when I read to him. Isn't interested in toys I offer. Flops over to roll when I sit across from him.
Add to this, Natalie's legs are bothering her. We first noticed it when she had the torticollis, but thought it was a reaction to keeping the rest of her body stiff to guard her neck. But now that we are confident that her neck is fine (she never mentions it anymore and is so much happier in general). So, we thought the trouble getting out of bed was drama to get attention, maybe a little stiffness or growing pains. But then we looked at her 2 1/2 year milestones and starting thinking about how she moves. She still doesn't jump. She seems to have regressed on stair climbing. She cries when we ask her to pull down her own pants or take off her shoes. Sometimes she walks in this tiny little stiff steps. But other times she is racing around with no problems. Mike look it up and it sounds spot on like juvenile arthritis. We have an appointment on Friday to look into it. But I feel horrible about it. We are trying to push her to get up out of bed, to dress her self, to go up a couple stairs on her own, and she just resists and cries as she's doing it. Are we pushing too hard? Are we expecting too much of her "being a big girl"? Or is she really in serious pain? I want to keep moving ahead with her being independent, but also want to snuggle her because she could be in pain. But, I don't want to go back to four months ago where she was stationed on my lap constantly and William was virtually ignored.
About twenty minutes of silence from William and now he is screeching again. I've peeked in a few times over the last hour and his eyes are closed. I think a huge part of the problem is that Natalie sucks her thumb and William does not. A few months ago, he was sucking his thumb, but I've noticed recently that he is not doing it now. I have no idea why he stopped. Teething pain? But he'll still nurse to sleep. Anyway, not sure how long I should let this crying go on since he's only napped a total of an hour all day today so far. He usually has a nice long nap at least once a day. I feel like I'm torturing and abandoning him, but going in and getting him will only 1) wake him up to come play thus keeping him from the sleep he needs or 2) give in to his crying like I did last night reinforcing him to keep doing it to get me to hold him while he sleeps. Again, he must be so confused that sometimes crying works for me to nurse him and sometimes it doesn't.
I was worried that this night waking was a nursing problem. He has been struggling with day time nursing because he is so insainely curious that he doesn't nurse much during the day. Sometimes just being in the same room with Natalie is enough to make him stop and arch to see what is going on. Ditto with the TV. But Natalie still isn't comfortable with me leaving to go nurse him in his room in the dark multiple times a day. I do it sometimes, but she doesn't like it unless the TV is on, and watching too much TV without playing is already enough of a problem. So, I thought this waking at night was to get more to eat to make up for the day time. I was handling that, though I didn't like it, but waking up after only an hour? Refusing to be put back in the crib? That's something different. Natalie and I were just sick with colds, so I've considered him getting sick, especially with him coughing, but there are no other symptoms. No phlegm. And the cough is only when in bed. Its like that attention seeking cough I've read about. And of course I worry about food allergies. We are trying baby led weaning. Its been very hard for me to just go with the flow and let him try what we are eatting when we are eatting it instead of the one food a day for 5 - 7 days we did with Natalie. That just doesn't work with BLW since we don't have the same food available for that long. (For example, we don't eat carrots for a whole week or Natalie doesn't eat crackers for a week at lunch). the idea is for the food to be the same as us. But of course he is going through this craziness right after tasting a chunk of pancake on Sunday and cracker today at lunch. No other symptoms of allergy, and he didn't actually eat anymore than a crumb probably, but I can't help myself from worrying about it. This whole BLW approach makes sense and I want to continue with it, but I'm just frustrated. All it is is finger foods at 6 months versus 9 months. But without a pincher grasp, we have to give him big pieces to suck and gnaw and we worry about choking. Today he gagged and spit up on a piece of banana, but he didn't seem to care any. I just feel crazy for doing it and don't even want to think about solid food for him anymore. I just want to skip it and come back to it in three months. I just remember Natalie eating everything with her hands at 9 months and it was so easy.
He was quiet again for ten minutes and now he's crying out again. I'm dreading bed time tonight. Its usually great with very little crying, and that is only when we force him to hold still for diaper and pjs. But I just foresee him being overtired and refusing to be laid down in the crib. I envision him howling all through Natalie's bed time. And, I'm supposed to go to book club on Friday. I feel horrible thinking about leaving Mike home with him as William wails like this. Maybe it will be over by Friday; its still three nights and two days away. I just feel like I'm damaging poor William. First he gets so much less attention than Natalie did at this age, and now this. Millions of people use this technique, but I still feel horrible leaving him alone when he is so obviously emotionally upset. I can hear a clear difference in his cries. Its one thing to block out his tired cry or his fussy cry. But this is a powerful, loud, angry cry. But part of me still wonders if it will ultimately work. If we stuck to it, would he actually let me put in down in bed without crying, or is this just a phase that would pass in a day or so anyway? If we did this, would be sleep through the night? I just feel like the answer is no. We are going through this for no reason. Or, just for my convenience in not wanting to hold him as he naps or have him sleep with me in bed all night. Is this part of the inconvenience you take on as a parent? Part of me feels, that yes, it is, and I'm being selfish and making him suffer for no good reason. But another part of me says, no, I'm not expected to just hold him for hours when he is no longer a newborn. And to top it off, we'll never know if we just caved if he would have gotten over this on his own in a day or two because maybe it is just a cold or a new tooth or a growth spurt or a new mental leap (Wonder Week).
That last bit of crying was very short. I must say that I've been day dreaming of having both kids sleeping in their beds in the afternoon for a while now, but I didn't want it to happen like this and I didn't want to have to use my free time as blog-therapy.