I am fortunate enough to live in a very family-centered community, which constantly provides our neighborhood with opportunities for support and connecting with other families. Playgroups, outings, interactive storytime directed towards infants, and regular speakers having to do with family life are constantly provided to us. So I was excited about our speaker of the month, Kim West, aka “The Sleep Lady.”
The timing was perfect. Milo still awakens like clockwork every 2 hours demanding to nurse, and I’m starting to believe there is no end in sight! Oftentimes he ends up in bed between Andrew and me (with Proudie also stuffed in there) in the early morning, and I have no recollection of having brought him there! I know it happens sometime after the 4th awakening, when I am so tired I am not making rational decisions… but I wasn’t planning to co-sleep (except for maybe the occasional nap during the day), so I don’t want to make a habit of this. I love sleeping with Milo, but I don’t want a real problem on my hands when we have an 8-year-old still sleeping with us (no, seriously, La Leche League actually supports this!).
So I’m trying out what Kim West calls “the shuffle.” I first need to stop feeding Milo every time he wakes up (last night we skipped one feeding, but during the four hours he was not nursing, I was up 3 times, basically awake from 12am until 2am and again at 3am), then I will progress to “supporting” him while he teaches himself how to fall asleep. This technique is based on simple behavior modification without letting baby cry it out, but also without picking him up (unless he is hysterical). So I sat in a chair beside his crib half-asleep, patting, shushing, and humming until he put himself back to sleep. I hope this works, because man am I tired!
In the spirit of things, this picture is the aftermath of a long guitar-playing session with Andrew standing over Milo. Milo was so engaged and entertained, he did not fuss or show signs of sleepiness until he was just dead to the world. He loves a good tune!
Let’s hope for more of this bliss tonight!