I hired a professional baby sleep trainer to help me get my 5 month old to sleep through the night. (And, lets be real: to keep me from completely morphing into a full-fledged, crazy-eyed, ultra sleep-deprived, zombie mom on the verge of passing out at any moment!)
We were doing pretty good in the sleep department up until about two weeks ago. That is when my adorable five-month-old decided that getting up only one time a night to breast-feed just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
Apparently he thought “this nice lady gives me whatever I want and I really like to breast-feed so I’m going to get up 20 times a night instead!”
And my already extremely sleep deprived, exhausted body has been in a downward spiral since. Like, the awake-all-night with a baby that only stops crying when I put him on the boob until 6:30 AM kind of downward spiral.
The sleep deprivation has since induced a few daytime hallucinations and even occasionally inhibited my ability to form complete sentences. It was kind of scary actually.
I knew I needed help, and I needed it fast.
I hired a professional baby sleep trainer. Again.
We hired a women named Natalie Wells, the baby sleep trainer, because she was able to successfully help us with our daughters sleep issues back in 2015. It was hands-down the BEST INVESTMENT we made in her first year of life (and there are a lot of GREAT baby investments out there: the dok-a-tot, the ergo-baby, the diaper genie… But seriously people, the gift of sleep should NEVER be underrated.)
I need sleep more then anything right now. I’m willing to follow a plan to make my full night of sleep dream a reality. I am optimistic that there will be a night of sleep somewhere out there in my future!
Thus, I spent my afternoon yesterday creating the optimal sleeping environment for our son.
I created a “room within a room” in our master bedroom.
My “room within a room.” When the curtains are closed around the crib it is completely blacked out inside!
Baby training is hard when your little one sleeps in the same room as you and your husband. But we don’t have a choice. We live in a two-bedroom townhouse and our vivacious 2 and a half year old is already occupying the second bedroom. Eventually (like a year from now) I would love to have them peacefully sharing the room together. But at the current moment there is too much noise and crying between the two of them and they would constantly wake one another up.
Before baby sleep training, we were to do the following:
- Black out babies sleeping area
- Use a white noise machine
- Have a video monitor to see the baby at all times
- No swaddling the baby
I bought 6 hooks and 2 blackout curtains (the kind that go from ceiling to floor). I put the babies crib in the far corner and screwed hooks that were slightly outside the periphery of the crib on either side. Now when closed, there is almost no light in his crib. I also mounted a video camera and a noise machine a few feet above his crib.
Our “room within a room” was born. It was an engineering marvel! I was proud. (My husband was a little surprised to come home and find me screwing holes into our ceiling, but thought it was a good idea too).
Our baby sleep trainer created an individual plan of action.
Our sleep trainer crafted an entire plan-of-action for us. It included everything from night time check in’s, to nap schedules, to feeding times and bath times. She even discussed how baby sleep cycles work which helps to understand why her methods are effective.
My husband and Nanny are both in on the plan. Little Oliver WILL be following his scheduled as closely as possible. For the first time in a long time, I have HOPE that sleep is somewhere in the not-so-distant future.
In two hours I will be putting our son down in his crib, kissing him good night, and allowing him the opportunity to learn to fall and stay asleep on his own (with our interventions already planned in advance when needed). Sweet dreams!
I am excited to announce that our baby boy arrived!
On January 8, 2018 at 10:59am Oliver made his way into the world weighing in at a sturdy 8 lbs. 1 oz.
He is chubby and extraordinarily cute, nursing like a champ and has the most adorable baby babble. I had forgotten how incredibly sweet baby sounds are. Oliver’s snuggles and baby noises are the best!
My (very brief) birth story:
We arrived at the hospital at 7:30 for our scheduled c-section. I was full term and 39 weeks. After getting checked in and set up we finally headed over to the surgical suite around 10 am.
I had a scheduled c-section (unlike my first, an emergency c-section at 33 weeks due to a placental abruption). It was a much more relaxed environment with fewer nurses and other staff in the room.
I was given a spinal block which numbs the entire lower half of the body from just below the diaphragm. It is the weirdest feeling to not be able to feel or move your entire lower half!
The doctors had a difficult time getting Oliver out. After the surgery I was told that he was wedged in at a difficult angle to grasp. After several minutes of effort to get him out they had to use suction just to get a grip on him.
Our baby boy arrived with a great set of lungs!
Our sweet boy finally arrived.
Oliver came out kicking and screaming, which is the most reassuring sound for a new baby to make. He was much bigger then the doctors had expected him to be. In fact, they told me that it was a good thing I was set up for a c-section because there was very little chance I would have been able to get him out on my own. They said I would have ended up having another emergency c-section anyway!
Oliver was exactly 2 times bigger then our daughter was when she was born so he felt like a huge baby! Looking at him I couldn’t believe that he had actually fit inside my stomach.
Fortunately, Oliver took very well to breastfeeding, which was a welcome relief (it had been difficult with our preemie). He seems to be able to self sooth with his fingers and has been relatively easy (knock on wood!) to care for thus far. As long as he is fed every 2-3 hours, changed frequently, gets his sleep and is held frequently he is a happy camper!
There were a few surgical complications that I was not anticipating.
I lost 2 liters of blood during the procedure. According to my doctors I had a few large vessels that they were trying to bypass but still ended up causing a large amount of bleeding. As a result I had even more post postpartum bleeding over the next 24 hours. This resulted in me needing to have a total 4 blood transfusions and multiple different anti-hemorrhage medications.
It was a bit scary and uncomfortable for another day and a half after my c-section. Luckily we were able to get the bleeding under control and I was able to be discharged on day 3 to go home. What a relief!
Zoe is doing great in her new role as big sister.
Our daughter can’t stop giving Oliver hugs and kisses every chance she gets. We do need to keep as eye on her though because she does try to squeeze him hard and force his pacifier into his mouth (out of love and her desire to help).
So far she has not expressed any jealousy towards sharing her time with a new tiny human (hopefully we can keep it this way!).
Zoe tries to help by letting me know when Oliver needs things like toys, a blanket, or his pacifier. It is so sweet and melts my heart every time.
My mom friends are so helpful.
Some very sweet friends brought over some of their old baby items that have really helped us out with Oliver. I am so glad they did because I never would have even known to get them myself. (FYI- the BEST invention ever is the Doc-A-Tot Grand. It has been a game changer!)
Life is good.
I am so relieved that our baby boy arrived safely and is a healthy baby boy. There is no greater gift then that!
My husband has been able to be home with us for the last week but he will be heading back to work tomorrow. It’s going to be a bit of a challenge caring for a very energetic two-year-old and a newborn for nine hours a day by myself.
I haven’t figured out how I’m going to manage that yet but lots of women do it so I’ll just have to figure it out day by day.
Wish me luck!