Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Okay, so Riley has changed up his sleeping patterns and this is posing a problem. Here's the problem: until now he has easily fallen asleep in our bed while nursing, then slept through a transfer to his own crib in the boys' bedroom and stayed asleep in his crib until after midnight. Now he will not always sleep through the transfer, and when he does he only stays asleep in his crib for about 10 minutes before waking up and wailing. I need that few hours after all the kids are in bed unencumbered, and I really really prefer to have access to my bedroom during that time. Otherwise, sex is an elaborate exercise in relocation, getting ready for bed must be done on tiptoe in the dark, and any objects like books or crochet or the laptop computer require some navigation to acquire. I don't mind doing all this for a newborn (who generally sleeps through all that anyways), but I DO mind doing all this for a 14 month old toddler. So. Problem.
Tonight I tried a few solutions. First, I nursed him to sleep in my bed and tried for the transfer. He sort of woke up for the transfer and only lasted 10 minutes. So I tried comforting him and putting him back in his bed, but he was having NONE of THAT. So I crawled inside his crib with him. I did that with Matthew a few times when we first adopted him, too. It works, but getting out without waking the baby is ridiculous. So I laid in his crib with him, repeatedly making him lie down, for over an hour before he finally fell asleep. Then when I tried to sneak out of the crib, he woke up and stood up and wailed. So much for that hour of my life. Jeepers. So then I tried the pick up/put down for awhile. I know that this method can work really well, and I also know it can take hours each night for several nights in a row. I was willing to put in the time, but I couldn't keep it up for more than five minutes because he's so HEAVY that it hurts my arms and back to pick him up and put him down repeatedly! So I went downstairs to see if Brent had any ideas. He offered to take a turn trying to get him to sleep in his own crib, and five minutes later he was back. Yup, five minutes of work and Riley was asleep. His technique? Hold him until he relaxes, put him in the crib, hold his hips firmly with one hand so he can't get up, and pat his bum with the other hand. Viola.
Was it that daddy has no boobs? Or is magical? Or that the 2 hours I spent trying to get him to sleep wore him out? All of the above, I think. Tomorrow he's going to gramma's house because Brent and I are going to a U2 concert, but Thursday night daddy's on duty again. In fact, I may put him on duty for naps also, to really get the message across that the crib is his bed now and that we are quite serious about him falling asleep there. I'll nurse him first, so he gets the same amount of milk in a day.
The joys of parenthood. Good thing I have such an awesome partner in crime.


Lou and Marilyn Sawchenko said...

Good problem solving on the sleep issue, Melissa. Here is to some good rest! And here's to your partner in crime!

Louise and Gary Chapman said...

Have fun at the concert, it'll be awesome! Also, I find it is best if Gary puts Koen to bed, not a whimper out of him. Koen knows there's no milk from daddy!

Tonya said...

I tell you, the fact that at some point they go to sleep better for Daddy than Mommy is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because, obviously you're thankful they will go to sleep at all! A curse because #1 - Daddy is many times not home to put them to bed and #2 - HELLO, we gave them EVERYTHING for the last 2 years - do they not appreciate it at all?

All that to say that Liza goes to sleep pretty well for either of us if we try the same technique as Brent. Hold them until they relax, PIN them down (ha ha ha) and pat their bum.

Matt and Colleen said...

Daddy putting the kids to sleep is always the best for us. It took me an HOUR to get True to go to sleep the other night. Matt had him down in 15 minutes, fast asleep. With Zoey (7months) we are trying to get her to realize that she doesn't need to nurse in order to go to sleep.

It sounds like you guys are doing a great job!

Deb said...

Brad's way better at putting Aria to bed too. I think boobs may have something to do with it.

Sucks for us!! I'll nurse Aria, and then give her a kiss, and tell her to go find daddy, and she'll walk out of the bedroom, and find her dad, and he'll put her down. She's pretty smart!

Dana said...

ohh, no fun. Amen to awesome partners in crime!

Rachel Clear said...

That is way cool about Brent. That is one thing that both Tamie and Jon marvelled at after they visited you. They said you guys basically kick-ass at the whole co-parenting thing and it is just awesome how involved Brent is with it all.

I must say, maybe it's because we don't yet have kids, but I just CANNOT even imagine my husband putting a baby to sleep. I just can't. I want to, but I can't! So tell me. Did you foresee Brent being so great before you guys had kids? I mean, not just in theory (because I FEEL like Cam will be great) but in reality?