OK, I've made reference to Sadie's sleep issues for a while now but have never addressed them. Well, the time has come. I'm exhausted and was feeling pretty hopeless but the pediatrician gave me some good suggestions this week so I now have hope. Before I get to that, here's some history: Let me start by saying that I know it is my fault that we are in the situation we are in. I also know it won't be easy to fix the situation, but for my sanity and health, we need to fix it.
So here's the lowdown. When we got home from Vietnam, Sadie would only fall asleep if I was holding her. Once she was asleep, I'd put her in her crib. If she woke up during the night, I'd have to hold her, standing (she would not let me sit down), until she fell asleep again. Needless to say it was exhausting and murder on my back. Oftentimes it would take over an hour to get her back to sleep and she would wake up more than once.
When we saw the international adoption specialist and the pediatrician in September, they both told me to put her in her crib at bedtime and let her cry it out. They felt her attachment to me was good and that it would probably just take a few days for her to get used to falling asleep in her crib. Well, I tried it once and it was a disaster. Crying it out is not for the faint of heart. She cried, screamed, coughed, choked. It was horrible. I did what they said and went in periodically, but she would just get more and more upset when she saw me. I eventually went in and picked her up and she fell asleep.
Shortly thereafter, a new sleep trend emerged. I'm not even sure how it started. Between 8pm and 8:30pm, I'd give Sadie her bottle on the couch. When she was done, she started crawling off my lap, sticking her thumb in her mouth and going to sleep. So she was asleep at a decent hour, but on the couch next to me. It doesn't sound so awful, but I have to stay right by her when she is on the couch as she easily rolls off. She's done it a few times! So, while she's asleep on the couch, I can't do a thing. No dishes, no laundry, no cleaning, can't even make her lunch. Pretty much all I can do is watch tv and blog. I love having the time to catch up on my shows and blog, but my house is a disaster.
When she first started falling asleep on the couch, I would move her up to her crib after about an hour; when she was deep asleep. For a while, she would sleep fine in her crib. She might wake up once, but if I went up to her room, I could get her back to sleep pretty easily. Well, that changed. Now, when I go to move her she wakes up and she will not fall back asleep. I have tried everything. Putting her back on the couch to fall back asleep, but as soon as I try to move her again, she's awake. I tried putting her in her crib and just standing there until she goes back to sleep. She will cry for a while, then start sucking her thumb and lay down. But if she hears me trying to leave the room, she sits up and starts crying again. I recently stood by her crib for over an hour, until 2:30am trying to get her to sleep. I eventually relented and did what she wanted...took her into bed with me.
She sleeps fine in bed with me. I got a side rail so she's safe. She sleeps through the night. Problem is, she tosses and turns and has kicked me in the head and/or neck more times than I care to remember. She also sleeps right up against me, practically pushing me off the Queen size bed. Another problem is, if I'm going to put her in my bed, I need to go to bed at the same time or she could fall off on my side. Also, I don't know what she would do if she woke up in my bed alone. I'm guessing she wouldn't be happy. So, what we've been doing for over a month now is: She falls asleep on the couch between 8 and 9pm. I take her upstairs between 11pm and midnight. She wakes up. I change her diaper and either take her back down to the couch (if I don't want to go to bed) or we go to bed in my room. This is not working for me anymore. I'm so tired and feel like I have no control over my situation. I also hate the condition of my house right now. There is so much to do and no time to do it. For example, the dishwasher is clean right now and the sink is overflowing with dishes, but I can't get off the couch or run the water with Sadie on the couch.
So, here's the plan. The pediatrician said she didn't want me to let Sadie cry it out. She doesn't think that's the best plan for her. This was a huge relief! She wants me to move our routine to Sadie's room. Starting tomorrow (I was just too tired to get it organized for tonight) I will give her her bottle on the futon in her room. I'll let her fall asleep on the futon next to me and either, move her to her crib or sleep in her room on the futon with her. The hope is that she'll get used to once again sleeping in her room and will eventually be able to sleep there on her own. I had to go buy pillows, a blanket and an alarm clock for her room and I've got to find a place for all of her clean clothes which are currently on the futon but will not fit in her closet or dresser. I'm guessing it is going to take a while to get her sleeping in her crib. This new plan won't help me get anything done because I'll now be stuck up in her room, but if it works, it will be worth it. So wish me luck! And if anyone out there has any other suggestions, please share!
Here's a shot of Sadie on what will hopefully be her last night falling asleep on the couch.