I don't normally use this blog as a place to whine... but I need help. I (naively) thought that I would be granted never-ending patience when I gave birth. I never dreamed I could yell at my kid. But sleep deprivation makes you do some crazy stuff...
I'm going to preface this post by stating the obvious- I love Spencer. Every time I think about just how much I love him, I get all teary-eyed. And I get really defensive when someone (other than me) calls him "fussy" or any synonym of fussy. I give my standard response "he's such a good baby- he's just tired." And it's true- he is a good baby. He's got such a cute personality and he's a joy to have around... except when he's tired. Which brings me to the reason for this post...
Spencer is having difficulty sleeping. He's never been a fan of sleeping, not since day 1 of his little life. All the books and articles I've read say that babies' sleep is pretty disorganized for about the first 3-4 months of life. I think I was subconsciously thinking that once he hit 4 months of age, all his sleep problems would somehow be resolved. Now that he's hit 4 months (and is a few weeks past 4 months), I'm finding that's not the case. And I'm going crazy.
I've got 2 friends that have little boys the same age as Spencer. They are able to fall asleep on their own, take nice long naps, go down to bed early and are generally great sleepers. Spencer does none of those things. And when they talk about their awesome-at-sleeping babies, I find myself thinking bitter and resentful thoughts (which in turn makes me feel like a horrible person).
Spencer can't put himself to sleep yet... I have to rock him to sleep, until he's passed out cold. If I just lay him down when he's tired, he screams. Bloody murder. And instead of screaming himself to sleep, he gets more and more upset, 'til I have to go pick him up. His naps last only 30-45 minutes (which is barely enough time for me to brush my teeth and shower, let alone sleep myself). If we put Spencer to bed earlier than 8:30pm, he either cries forever, or he sleeps for 30-45 minutes, then wakes up. He thinks he's just had a nap and stays up for hours more, until he finally passes out.
He's been sick for a week, which I know hasn't helped. Then I got sick. Then Cory was out of town. Then Cory was sick. It's not been a fun week. But now we're all finally getting better, I'm going to try the "sleep training" again.
I've read lots of articles on sleeping tips, online and in various other baby books. I've read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. All of this only makes me feel like the worst mom in the entire world. I feel like I'm failing my child. I want him to be well-rested, so he can continue to grow and develop. I feel awful, because I know he's so tired. I feel guilty for being unable to get my kid to sleep. I get all these emails about how much sleep babies need and then I stress out over it, until sometimes I can't sleep. He rubs his eyes all day and by the end of the day, his eyes are so red. He can't seem to get over his cold, because he won't sleep. Poor baby!
Like I said... I've got major mom guilt and one overtired child. I want him to sleep. I don't know what to do. We can't seem to get on any consistent schedule, despite me trying every day, all day. I've come to dread nap time, because it's usually a battle. I spend 30-90 minutes (depending on the day) trying to get him to go to sleep. And then he's only asleep for 30-45 minutes. It's extremely frustrating. And meanwhile, I'm ready to pull out my hair and he's getting more and more tired.
Like I said, I need help. Advice. Or words of comfort. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's gone through this. How do I help him learn to fall asleep on his own? What time do I put him to bed? How do we get on a schedule? What am I doing wrong? Please help :) You all are experienced moms (and dads) so must have lots of good tips. Help us!