Exhaustion and Ruby’s first babysitting job

I hate I didn’t get to post yesterday, on top of writing the whole newspaper, I am helping a friend write some stuff while she has been sick and I had a meeting, so I was kind of swamped.

Image (Ruby and Turner)

I am beyond exhausted. Andrew has been out of town traveling for work for the last week and a half. On top of working full time and being Turner’s personal assistant, making sure he is where he needs to be with whoever is babysitting him for the day, I am doing it on no sleep.

 Turner will be four months on September 30, and he has yet to discover the glorious wonder that is sleep. He sleeps maybe seven hours a day. Starting around 10 p.m. each night, he goes to sleep but wakes up at hour to hour and half intervals all night long. Last night between 12:30 and 3:30 we were up three times. When he gets up it is a dance to get him back to sleep too. I feed him, then sit him up, burp him, rock him and then pray when I lay him back down, he goes back to sleep. So each time he wakes up, it is at least a 30 min process before he goes back to sleep. For Turner’s entire life I have been holding him to go to sleep. I know co-sleeping is a no-no, but its the only thing that will work. So for the last three and a half months Turner and I have been sleeping on the couch co-sleeping. Well, lately I have been trying to still sleep with Turner, but work on sleeping beside him instead of actually holding him. This is the first step in getting him to sleep alone in my opinion.

Well Turner is just not having it. He will kick and turn and whimper until I hold him. Turner and I have stayed with my sister Ruby the last two nights while Andrew has been out of town. Well last night a little before 11 p.m., Ruby looks at me and asks, “Why is he still awake?” Well, that is an excellent question. Warm bottles, rocking, noise machines, him not sleeping all day long, none of it amounts to much at night. He sleeps when he wants, and well, he doesn’t want to often.

 I can get him to sleep sometimes after a car ride. That is when he sleeps the longest. And what has been even more awful as of late, he refuses to take a pacifier. Ever since he had the bit of Thrush, he has refused to take one, so when he is fussy or tired, there is just no solution. Last night, he took his paci for the longest he had in about a month, and it was incredible. Helped him sleep through dinner, thank goodness!

He will take cat naps during the day, and maybe he sleeps when other people watch him Monday through Wednesday while I work, but when I am around him, he wants to smile and play and never ever sleep. Due to the sleep deprivation, I think I may be going a bit crazy.

So Ruby, you know, my older sister who says she reads my blog now, kept Turner for the first time yesterday. My mom, who typically watches Turner on Tuesday’s is at the beach this week. So Ruby volunteered, and I am grateful that she did. With that being said, babies are not exactly her cup of tea. Ruby works a lot. As a photographer, even if she doesn’t have a session to photograph, she spends her days editing her fingers off. So watching a baby, who wants nothing more than to be held and talked to constantly, and certainly doesn’t want to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time, is not ideal for her.

When I called to check up on her yesterday, she informed me that Turner was just always crying. She would put him in his various toys and he would be ok for a minute, but then would cry. Well, that is true, because I have spoiled him and instead of letting him be more independent, I hold him and play with him and never let him cry about anything for more than 30 seconds.

Needless to say, after Ruby’s first real alone time with Turner, I don’t think we will be volunteering to watch him anymore.  

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6 thoughts on “Exhaustion and Ruby’s first babysitting job

  1. I am so sorry you are having such troubles with his sleep. When everyone is sleep deprived, no one is happy. I will offer a few suggestion here, but I’m also a believer in that babies have different temperaments, and while some babies are excellent sleepers and others are awful, I think only a very very small portion is due to what the parents are doing (especially at this stage of the game). I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. Had you had a different baby, they might have been sleeping better regardless. Sometimes it’s just the personality of the baby! And it makes perfect evolutionary sense that he would want to sleep in your arms. And, to give you hope, he won’t be 8 years old, still sleeping in your arms. Promise. Somehow it’s going to get better, even if you do nothing. My niece was the worst sleeper ever. CRIED AND CRIED and screamed and screamed before every nap. No fault of her mother’s. But here are a few possible things?
    1. Halo Sleep sack swaddle. I know Turner is getting bigger, but did you ever swaddle him for sleeping? I don’t swaddle Tabitha anymore (not for the past 3 weeks), she’s been so much better about calming down before going to sleep, but for awhile I would swaddle her up tight, walk around the room with her for 10 minutes jiggling her, with the paci in her mouth and then put her down when her eyes started to close. I know you said Turner isn’t taking the paci now =\
    2. If you can get him to sleep any way you can, then do it… because an overtired baby is very difficult to put down, and often doesn’t sleep well.
    3. A warm soak in the tub 30 minutes before bed? (you probably already do this)
    4. Sitting outside in the evening together as the sun sets, quietly. Watching the trees sway. Just winding down that way?
    5. I felt like Tabitha hated how hard the crib mattress was, so I bought one of those foam mattress toppers for a twin mattress ($15 at Target) and cut it to the size of the crib mattress and stuck it underneath the mattress protector.
    6. A walk in the stroller for naps? (omg it’s too hot where I live right now, wish I could do this!)

    Well, I’m out of ammo. Everything else you’re already doing, and again like I said, every baby is just different. Try not to fault yourself. I have a friend right now whose baby is impossible to put down for naps/to sleep and they are the best parents ever. Their baby will scream for 2 hours straight. She used to nurse her baby to sleep, but even that doesn’t always work. They often result to driving around, or letting her cry. It’s really hard on all of them, and there just isn’t an easy solution.
    Hang in there!

  2. btw, I don’t think you can spoil a baby by not letting them cry. At this age, crying is signaling they need something. Holding him and playing with him won’t spoil him right now. (my personal opinion). And he was probably crying with Ruby because he was over tired. It’s hard work to get a baby to sleep and someone with no experience certainly wouldn’t know how to help. So chin up, you’re being a great mom.

    • thank you so much for the awesome advice!! I hadn’t thought about swaddling him again, I hadn’t done that since he was just a couple of weeks, it may make all the difference!

      Where we live (in the middle of nowhere) I don’t think a stroller ride will work, I know driving helps, I just hate having him in the car, but it may be what I end up doing!

      After his baths he is more alert than ever because he hates them so much! He just likes what he likes and thats it.

      I will def try these out though! Thank you!

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