Tuesday, August 23, 2011

not so E.A.S.Y.

One big change around here is that we're started Elijah on a schedule. I feel like I'm eating my words in a way -- because we're trying to get him on a routine that we have dictated, rather than follow him. He's 16 weeks now, and his sleep/eat routine is just too erratic. He keeps taking cat naps of 45min rather than 1.5 - 2 hour naps, and he is a terrible snacker (much like his mummy). I've been halfheartedly
following the routine part of E.A.S.Y., which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep, You (time for me!). I can do that part, but we decided to add in some time constraints, since we can never plan to do anything because of E's arbitrary naps.

Last Monday we (well, me really, since Gary is back at work now - summer's over) started the schedule. Starts at 8am, with naps at 10 and 2, and a cat-nap at 6 -- and following the eat, activity, sleep routine. Bedtime is at 8pm.
Doesn't seem hard, does it.

Oh, but it is.

It's very hard.

Like trying to navigate a crowded subway with multiple line changes while lugging 2 huge suitcases, a carry on bag, and your purse. And the subway stations don't have elevators - just stairs. Flights and flights of stairs, and long hallways.

[I have actually done that - Quite possibly it's worse than water torture.]

Anyway, since we have a mighty sleep fighter, trying to get him to nap has always been a task of Herculean proportions. We have been able to coerce him to sleep by bouncing with him on an exercise ball, but that has created a monstrous problem... he can only fall asleep this way. I see pictures of infants asleep in all kinds of poses and places. Not this lad. He can be exhausted, yawning, droopy eyes... but he will not sleep unless he's swaddled and being bounced.

Part of the E.A.S.Y. method is the "pick-up/put-down" method, in which you put the baby down, but pick him up when he cries -- soothe him, then put him back down. Repeat until asleep.

The problem is, he screams bloody murder when we put him down. The neighbors probably think we pinch the baby just to make him cry, or worse, since we are weird foreigners.
Anyway, Elijah gets so worked up that it takes forever to console him. Poor wee lad. Then when he DOES fall asleep, he only stays asleep for 30-45 minutes. Whereby I am supposed to do the pick-up/put-down thing with him until he falls asleep again, or nap time is over, whichever comes first.

The whole week has been awful. He does his short nap, then I spend the next 50-60 minutes trying to get him back to sleep. It is like running a marathon. Not like I know what that's like, but I feel like that's an appropriate comparison. I'm beyond exhausted, and probably being quite catty to Gary.

It seems like this method just isn't working for us. In the book "The Baby Whisperer", this sleep training is only supposed to take 3 days. This is day 6. On Thursday, I gave up following the time line so strictly, instead giving a leeway of 30 minutes on either side of the hour. I've read that this is NOT how to do it, but you know what? It appears to work for us.
Yesterday was not bad though, so maybe we're getting somewhere? He even went to sleep after I put him down awake! Granted, it was only once, and he was pretty drowsy, but it happened! I can't even tell you how proud I felt watching his little eyes close.

However, we've got so far to go. I would love to hear your experiences and your advice on napping and sleeping.

So, to all parents out there.... HELP!!

(random pictures of week 16 for your viewing pleasure)


  1. Hi Kris I'm glad you a parent now .it's normal for your baby to change his way of sleeping .my advice is and based on my experiences is to just let him play on his crib til he will tire. Don't force him to have a nap morning and afternoon coz if he wil sleep longer during the day and he will be awake the whole night and he will tire you .don't carry him all the time unless necessary establish a routine like after a bath in the morning let him play for awhile until he will tire and fall to sleep .the carry /putdown will tire you because babies love that rhythmic movements and won't let go of it .! That's why when you carry him and he's asleep he'll wake up when put down. The best thing to do is lie down with him in bed so he can fell your body warmth and not the rhythmic movements I tell you he fall asleep easily .this may be a long advice for you and how I wish Im physically present with you to demonstrate it .send me a message if you need more of my motherly advices. Love, Cora Go

  2. from one sleep fighter to another, i feel your pain. we tried A LOT of things over the past year. i'm sure you've done your online research, but when i get a few moments today i'll send you a message with all the things we tried, hopefully one of them might help you in some way!

  3. Oh... how tough for you guys! I had a lot of feeding issues with Vincent (who had GERD) - he would only nurse when he was sleeping, and he couldn't sleep without nursing. We finally would get him to sleep by rocking him in his carseat (because of his GERD he had a love/hate relationship with my boobs, and if I carried him when he was hysterical he'd smell my milk, which would make everything worse since he wouldn't nurse while awake.) After he was asleep I would dream-feed him, which worked well for us to extend his sleeping periods.

    I hope things with Elijah start looking up and that he'll start being able to sleep more easily, for all your sakes!!! It sounds like you guys are doing everything right!

  4. thanks for the support and tips ladies! It's reassuring to know I'm not alone, and that what we're doing is ok! :)

  5. I'm so sorry. This is such a difficult stage. There are so many different techniques and suggestions out there. I'm glad that you are changing things around to do what you think is best for your family. You are the Mama and you do know what is best for Elijah. Trust that instinct. Though I'm sure that it feels like time is moving by every so slowly by, this stage will end too. You are a wonderful Mama. You are in my prayers. - Doro

  6. Hello, dear Nolee!
    I sure admire your disciplined approached, and also your willingness to adjust it to fit Elijah. Every baby is so different, although his sleep resistance does remind me of you! :>) I wish I had known about E.A.S.Y. when you were a baby! We're praying for you and for Elijah. May the Lord give you wisdom. Love you and miss you, Mormor xo