Sunday, February 03, 2008

De-cluttering and a plea for help.

First off I will address a few things. I want to thank those of you who left comments and thank you for your concern and for your advice.

I do agree with Kim about a schedule being very important. We have tried a schedule off and on and it is so hard to keep. One night out seems to throw it right off but I do admit it is nice when we abide by one.

I actually rarely drank coffee until this past summer and have only been drinking it regulary for the last few months. Only in the morning....occasionally in the afternoon....on really bad days. I never drink pop....ok, not never, maybe once a month I will have a bit of fountain pop when we are out for dinner, but I am a huge water drinker.

I was worried about coffee affecting the kids and was wary about drinking it but the reason I started to was to help cope with the exaustion I was feeling after being up so much through the nights.
Water just wasn't giving me much of a boost. I have skipped the coffee many days just to be sure it didn't affect the kids, but it is about 10 hours between my coffee consumtion and their nurse time. I usually only have 2 cups... I know more will affect my sleep so I really try. Then again there are exceptions....on bad days.

However none of this seems to help any with sleeping.

So here is the deal. I will tell you how our nights go and how our situation plays out and if any of you have any advice or can share what works for you, please, I would love to find a way to get them to sleep through the night.

I know many of you are fans of the cry it out method. I have no issue with this method.
However it does not work for us.

I have read sleep books and they said to do this method by 6 mos and 12 at the latest. Well when Kailtyn was six months old I hit my second trimester with Ethan.
She was just starting to sleep long periods and I was quite happy. However she was a breast only baby and with going into the second trimester my milk turned back to colostrum.

She got quite upset and since she did not take a bottle (we had been trying for two months every day to get her used to one) she started to get pretty hungery. After a few days of not getting any milk and only sipping water off a spoon and just starting to eat a few things I was getting worried and she was super fussy.
After a doctor's appointment we where told that this was common with such close pregnancies and she would adjust and within two weeks be on a bottle.
We percivered but she was stubourn.
Long story short and after nearly daily doctor visits for 32 days she finally broke down and took a bottle.
She had become listless and was rarely soiling her diapers. She was trying to nurse ever few minutes and was upset around the clock. I was freaking out at the doctors for not booking her in, but they said that when she was hungery enough she would cave.

It was the longest month of my life!

Anyway the next 6 months were all about getting her to eat and drink more than an ounce at a time since her belly had shrunk so bad. She was taking her bottle every 2 hours around the clock and still nursing for comfort.

We decided to try the cry it out method and cut the night feedings. We ended up going to the hospital since she hyperventilated so badly---for almost 4 hours.
The doctors there scolded me and said that the cry it out method is not for every child and definitly not for her. We were to try and calm her down as quickly as possible to and try to avoid letting her get so worked up.

I felt like the worst mother in the world!

Then Ethan was born.

He has no problem crying it out...he will cry for up to 10 mins and then zonk right out, however....he wakes Kaitlyn when he cries and she is worried for him and starts to cry and then we have to calm her down so she doesn't hyperventilate and her crying only works Ethan up more and then I end up shoving a boob at each of them to get them to calm down and get back to sleep.


They both are extremely light sleepers and will wake if you creak a floorboard in the hall as you walk past thier room. We run the furnace fan to create white noise to cope with that.

Now another this is that both Dave and I are night owls and I for one have always been a very light sleeper. I remember as a kid waking up throughout the poor parents...wait, now I am going through it. Hmmm!

So anyway.....what we do now is rush in to see whomever wakes up first and get them back to sleep before they wake up the other and get the cycle going.

They do not need to be nursed but just comforted for a few minutes and they are alright and go back to sleep...usually. Sometimes they want to nurse and other times they are just wide awake.

Thing is they wake every few hours so Ethan sleeps with Dave and I. This way I can just roll over and get him back to sleep and only have to get up a few times with Kaitlyn.

I want them to sleep through the night so bad. I am sick of not sleeping and getting up every time I feel I just was getting to my deep sleep.

Maybe the fact that they are only 12 months apart plays into this a little, maybe I am just crazy!
They are awesome kids during the day, happy and good natured, unless they are sick. Then they are clingy!!

So please, I want to know....if any of you have any advice, I really want to know what works for you!

Anything, really I am all ears!

Now I am going to totally change the subject. We did some major decluttering this weekend.

I think the cabin fever thing was what got it moving. Being cooped up in the house day in and day out made me want change. So I decided it was time to rearange. We started with one shelf.

Nice and clean, hmmmm, maybe it should go, we could move things around and it would look cleaner.

Ya, that is looking good.

Hmmm, looks a little unbalaned on either side of the fire place.

And the clutter......I am sick of looking at stuff.

It goes to.

    Ahhhhh, thats better! Now we can reorganize and clean up.
    I will do the reveal later, gotta get stuff all moved around, I feel good! Lighter!


Family Adventure said...

Hey Anna, I'm on my way out the door, so I have to be quick: I don't really have any sleep advice for you - my kids slept through the night from 10-12 weeks. But sister did the CIO method on her 8 month old boy, and that worked. But obviously, that is not going to work with Kaitlyn. So, for what it's worth, this is what I would try:

1) I think you need to find out a routine that works for you, and then STICK TO IT. By that I mean, for the first few weeks, you have to stick to it religiously. Plan everything else around it...
2) Can you separate the kids' sleeping arrangements so that Ethan will not wake up Kaitlyn and vice versa? That way, Ethan will be able to sleep properly.

Other than that, I am at a loss...though I'm sure other bloggers will have suggestions for you.

BTW, good job decluttering :)


Hannah said...

Great job with the decluttering! It always makes me feel good when I do that - even though it's exhausting! Your house looks great!

As for the sleeping ... we did CIO with Tyler but it's obviously not right for Kaitlyn. I agree with the previous poster who suggested separating the kids so they don't wake each other up. But of course that may not be logistically possible.

So I really don't have much advice! I'm sorry! :-(

Badness Jones said...

Anna, I just wanted to cry with you reading about the kids sleeping I said before, Bad is a really poor sleeper, but luckily the Princess sleeps through everything. (She's like her dad that way - I've dealt with every single night waking since she was born 4 1/2 years ago, all by myself!)

Before Christmas I was almost in tears everyday with exhaustion and frustration over Bad's night waking and nursing. I tried letting him CIO, but it didn't work for me, and he's so busy in the day I think he needs the night feeds - he's prone to losing weight, we went through a huge scare when he was 3 months old and lost weight and was tested for CF, and Celiac disease, so maybe I feel more worry and guilt than necessary.

Anyway, I decided to temporarily give up and just roll with it. I put Bad to sleep (around 7 pm) in a double bed in his room, and I go to sleep in my room. And I go to bed early, almost always by 9, because his first stretch of sleep is always the longest. When he does his first wake-up (usually by midnight) I either bring him to my bed or crawl into his for the rest of the night. This isn't ideal, but I've accepted it for the time being, because it's the only way I get enough sleep to function during the day. The Princess slept through the night from 7 weeks old, so I was unprepared for this. I know he'll get a little bigger, and drink more from a cup or bottle in the day, and eventually we'll lose the night feedings. Until then, we just do what we have to do.

Big hugs. And your de-cluttering looks great, wanna come help me?

Cousin Kim said...

Thanks for sharing so in depth!PLEASEcheck out:
It gives reasons they don't sleep at nite, some being:
1. Seperation anxiety, 2. Fear, 3. Potty Training, etc. - PLEASE read the description/reasoning for each!
It then gives loving ways to handle it. I heard at a parenting seminar once that as adults we don't remember what it was like to be 2 - they aren't mini-me's - they are new to life, fragile and delicate. They can fear things we can't imagine fearing.
You mentioned a furnace fan - we use a plug-in fan in the room on high. We watch TV here quite a bit, but I know some kids brains have trouble de-stimulating from night-time TV or any stimulous for that matter (play, lights). We dim the lights in the whole house and make evenings as calm as possible - playtime, eating, etc ends, then there's a calm transition and we make bed time fun and something to look forward to. We cuddle and talk so they are really comforted. We leave a lite on so they aren't scared in the dark, etc. It sounds like none of this may help and maybe there's something else going on. I remember not sleeping b/c I was terrified of someone breaking in. Fear could be something hard to identify b/c they may not know how to describe it. A friend said her girl woke uo until she was 7 with nightmares every nite. Processed, pkgd, sugary food can affect dreaming and sleep too. Tom remembers thinking Satan was under his bed from a very young age. He even remembers being in a crib seeing dark creatures trying to get his dad (later his dad confirmed Tom's description of the crib as the one he was in only untuil he was 2!!!) Cam cries in his sleep sometimes, and is starting to tell me he sees "bad guys". There is another world out there that we can't see that is trying to get in our homes, minds, and yes even kids. My best advice summed up is; reasearch the heck out of sleeping probs in kids and "reasons for light sleeping", plan EVERYthing around a daily and bedtime routine (until they are on it and you can vary things a bit), make sure the white noise drowns noise enough, and really try to find out if there are fears involved to concentrate on relieving. I do NOT have a perfect situation either, but I cry with you and your exhaustion and wish I could come up and help you. I hope you can get to the bottom of it all soon. Don't forget, this too shall pass. You love them like crazy, and that is most important!!!

Cousin Kim said...

The link didn't copy:

Kim said...

Here's the rest:


The Chatty Housewife- said...

Whoa! The shelves are gone! It actually does look good, and it opens up the room more. Are you going to put them in the basement?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
Here is my perspective. David was not a great sleeper, however, he did respond to a schedule. I would recommend that you talk to those people that you know, your mom, aunt, grandmother etc. They have tons of experience and can tell you what works. In the end, you have to do what is right for your family and your sanity. I do think that if you can get them on a better schedule, that will make a huge difference. They need to know that you and Dave are the decision makers, not them.
I love what you have changed in the house, it has opened it up! Look forward to seeing you soon, I hope.
Lots of love and kisses.....believe it or not, when you set the rules for the children, they will only love you more.

Anonymous said...

Boy, I sure do feel your pain with the sleepless kids. The cry it out method just didn't work for our kids, although we did try it more than once. I got pregnant when my first was six months old, and she nursed all through the pregnancy, although I finally got her to take a bottle, and she was supplemented with two formula bottles a day.

Good job on the decluttering! Although living in a tiny house with the five of us, I am so jealous to see those lovely shelves!

Angela Fehr said...

Wow, Anna - your kids are close in age! I thought mine were close - 3 in 3 1/2 years - but the shorted span between them is 17 months. I read some advice to moms at this stage of parenting and the gist was this, "There is no magic formula. You just have to get through it." That has been so encouraging to me, as depressing as it initially sounds - it means that I don't have to feel like I'm being a grand success every day - we try to get through everything as it occurs. The sleep thing is the worst - if you can get enough sleep, it's a lot easier to handle everything else. My kids didn't sleep through the night until they were no longer breastfeeding - about a year old. But they slept soundly otherwise, about 12 hours a night. They always seemed to sleep better when they were in routine and well rested - the most restless nights were the ones where they hadn't napped well (or at all) during the day. I usually put mine to bed at 7:00 or 7:30 for the first year, and no later than 8:00 after that. And that includes my 5 year old - I think an 8 p.m. bedtime is good until they are out of elementary school. But I know your husband works shift work so that makes it hard - I agree with the "stick to a schedule" people - it's worked for us, and we all know what to expect.
Thanks for the link, by the way!