Sunday, January 13, 2008

A new book

When I am feeling anxious and unsure about my situation in life, I often find myself reading numerous books on whatever predicament I am facing. Currently, I am consumed with sleep. I want sleep. I crave sleep. I long for sleep.

When Porgie was little, I read several books on sleep. None of them really helped me, but they made me feel more in control of the situation. Even though the books were of little or no help, reading them made me feel like I was doing something to correct the problem.

I recently purchased a new sleep book called, Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I am not very far into the book, but the author is already making me feel like an inadequate mother. According to the doctor, a child under 4 months of age should not be wake for longer then 1 to 2 hours. Izzy is regularly awake for much longer then 2 hours. I often try to get him to sleep, but something usually disrupts my efforts - like Porgie crying for a cup of milk or my dogs barking at the wind or the damn phone ringing. Some days, Izzy will only get a handful of 20 minute cat naps all day long. He is fussy most of the time, so I am sure he is sleep deprived.

The author of this book has also managed to make me feel more anxious about the future. According to his theory, the more your child cries as a newborn, the more difficult his temperament will be at four months of age. He went on to say that parents who effectively soothe their newborn babies, usually have more happy and alert children. Although I would like to think that I am good at soothing Izzy, I know that he has cried way more than Porgie cried as a newborn. But sometimes I have to let him cry. When I am reading Porgie stories and putting her to bed, Izzy cries. When I am fixing Porgie breakfast and trying to feed her, Izzy cries. When I am too tired and weary to comfort anyone, Izzy cries.

Maybe I shouldn't have purchased this book, because it is definitely not making me feel more in control of the situation.

25 comments:

Em said...

I hate books like this, they are normally written by some arse hole who doesnt have kids or has them that apparently always slept! Dont let them wind you up! You are doing a cracking job and keep it up! I do understand why you turn to book as i have a whole book case full of that kinda stuff and looked for answers, the only book i even found any help from was baby whisperer and i still supect most was luck rather than her been bloody right!

Suz said...

This is funny to me because this was one of my favorite books when the twins were little. I guess I skipped over the crying part because I regularily HAD to let the twins cry for the same reasons that you cite. What I liked about the book was that it gave me practical advice and helped me get the twins on a schedule. You are not an inadequate mother at all.

Sara said...

Don't feel like you aren't doing a good job. Everyone has a different situation and with two small children, I am sure it could make sleeping difficult.

I also read the book and actually really liked it. What is funny is after I started becoming aware of how she needed to lay down every 1-2 hours, I saw the signs really easily. (rubbing eyes, irritability, etc.) Is there a possible way you could lay Izzy down in another room with a box fan going on the floor to create some white noise to mask out any other sounds?

Rachel said...

I hate all of those books. I only allow myself to read them when I am just reading for info and not for a solution. I tried it and nothing worked.I know you are doing a great job and I am sure you will get sleep when they go to college or at least that is what I keep telling myself.

Rachel said...

I hate all of those books. I only allow myself to read them when I am just reading for info and not for a solution. I tried it and nothing worked.I know you are doing a great job and I am sure you will get sleep when they go to college or at least that is what I keep telling myself.

Cagey said...

I do not want to give advice, but I hate that you are reading a book that makes you feel like a bad mother. You should not feel like a bad mother. You love your babies and are trying your best. That is a GOOD mother in my book!!

I can tell you that over here we are in "whatever works" mode - which means I am driving a lot in my car because that will guarantee they will go to sleep at the same time.

Okay - I will say one thing that borders on advice. Have you tried the "unwashed shirt" tactic with Izzy? I have been doing it with Anjali and it seems to help.

Hang in there-it does get easier. Little by little.

Eva said...

You're doing great. Put the book down. They only way that book would work for you is if Izzy were born deaf and didn't have an older sister.

Mojavi said...

yeah... mostly you have to listen to your gut instinct. We co-sleep and nurse, she slept better this way. Esp since in the middle of the night when she was little I just nursed her and fell back to sleep while she was nursing! I got so much sleep from co-sleeping and nursing I wondered what all the hype about sleep deprivation was... but don't tell anyone I said that lol..

also Kya is sleeping back on track the last week had to be teething, she is no longer trying to stay up till 11 lol!!
go lay down :)

MN Clampits said...

Throw the damn book away. Fast.

Papa Bradstein said...

I agree: put the book down and walk away from it. Some kids sleep. Some don't. Mama's mom will tell anyone who asks that Mama never slept. Ever. They found Mama at 2 a.m. on the stove. They would find her in her room in the morning with all of her drawers emptied, the contents piled up against a wall, and Mama in the midst of them. It was tiring, I'm sure, for Mama's mom, but now you wouldn't know that about Mama unless you asked her mom. Izzy will be fine. You will be fine.

Bon said...

i have that book. my SIL gave it to me, and...while i found bits of the big picture helpful, it made me anxious, too. it has that ridiculous "if you don't do xyz just right with baby, then he or she will grow up to be an axe murderer. and it will be your fault" kinda feel to it.

i say take it with a grain of salt, but perhaps see what you can use from it (like Sara, i found the description of baby sleep cues helpful) and just toss the rest, mentally. you're feeling overwhelmed, and if the book isn't helping you feel MORE in control, then you don't need it right now.

and i second everyone who's said you're doing your best. your kids will be fine, good, wonderful kids. this rough patch will pass. i swear.

Mama Kalila said...

I agree w the others, don't let it get to you. You're doing a great job from what I see. Every baby is different, no book is going to have it all right for every baby...

Ok, I have to ask Cagey - what is the "Unwashed shirt" method? I have never heard of this & so curious now!

Not So Perfect said...

I feel your pain, I really do. My daughter lived off 10 minute power naps until she was 10 months old. She was and still is very fussy.

Survival tactics I used. The swing, the car, pacifier, and co-sleeping. I tried a bunch of other things too that didn't work. These are just things that helped.

It could be a million things that are causing him not to sleep. Or it could be that is just who he is.

Try not to blame yourself so much. I know it is hard, but you might notice as he grows that this is just a part of who he is and has nothing to do with something you are doing WRONG or RIGHT for that matter.

You are a wonderful mama!

Anth said...

I agree with suz. That book helped saved my life when Baby E was a little baby. He is not saying you're a bad mom because Izzy cries! He is saying 2 hrs awake is what you aim for, and when you don't make it, try try again!

At first I was like, Baby E shouldn't be awake for more than 2 hours at a time??? It was hard to do at first. But once I got the hang of it, she started sleeping sooooo much better and I was sooooo much happier. It is definitely a trial and error process.

Another thing I love about that book is that it gives you the support you need to find your baby's ideal bedtime (once they are abt 4 months old). Baby E still goes to bed at 6 pm thanks to Dr Weissbluth. Pretty much no one supported me putting her to bed so early (most notably my mother, who is still so annoyed by it???), but through trial and error I found that 6 pm is what is best for Baby E. I think Weissbluth is a great support for doing what is best for your baby, even if it's not the norm, or other people think you're doing things wrong.

JL said...

I'm wondering if you're not in the "right place" to read the book. I know I never took the book how you are but I didn't read it when I was really sleep deprived as a lot of things can be taken wrong when you're in that state...my DH could say hey hon I'll take the kids to the grocery & if I'm sleep deprived I can read into it all sorts of BAD things!!!
All books don't work for everyone but for me it made me realize the importance of sleep & taking steps to help my kids get it. This book showed me mant different methods as 1 method doesn't work for everyone. It's all trial & trial & consistency & ERRORS!
Good luck!

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