Last week a crazy thing happened. A good friend of mine, let's call her Friend A, told another friend of mine, let's call her Friend B, to call me and ask for parenting advice. I admit, that in itself that is not all that weird. Except that Friend A has five children, one of whom is an infant almost the exact same age as Friend B's infant who she was looking for help with. So why on Earth did Friend A refer Friend B to me??? Clearly, Friend A has plenty of experience. More than me, really. But apparently I got up on a soap-box in front of Friend A not too long ago and she claims it basically changed her life. Apparently I gave her my "baby's need schedules" lecture. It goes something like this:
Even a little tiny, brand new infant is begging for a schedule. The world is a confusing place. They don't know what is going to happen next. They don't know when or what they are going to get fed, dragged from place to place, handed from person to person, sleep, etc. So any way that you can help them understand what is going to happen next helps them relax. They crave a schedule. A very specific schedule. Your infant should have a sleep schedule from day 1. Even if at the beginning that schedule has less to do with time and more to do with things and places. For example, a two month old isn't going to always go to bed at the same time every night - it's a little too early for that. But they can be comforted by always going to bed in the same place, with the same blanket, carried to bed in the same way, and hear the same words/songs/noises as they drift off. They crave that regularity. And they'll sleep better now and later in their life because of it. If you do this right you can put your kids to bed when they are awake and they'll learn to go to sleep by themselves - which is best for both of you. I claim that this is why my children are such good nappers. Because they know that immediately after lunch we go to bed. And they know that a story, song and prayer followed by PJ's is all leading up to getting in to bed and not seeing me again until morning. There are never exceptions. Seriously. Never.
Anywho, if you want more of that lecture give me a call or an email. The point is... Friend A took my advice and is so happy that her baby is sleeping better than any of her other children ever did and she credits me with that. So she told Friend B to call me.
The thing is...Isaiah is no longer sleeping through the night. I am now a total hypocrite. Prior to this, he'd been sleeping through the night since he was 3 months old. But now my own advice isn't working for me! Ever since he had Rotavirus he's been up and wanting to eat in the middle of the night. Sometimes twice! When he had Rotavirus he wasn't sleeping well and I started feeding him in the middle of the night because I was paranoid about him getting dehydrated like Asher had been. And now I can not seem to break him of that habit. I tried just plain not feeding him. All I succeeded in doing was waking up everyone in the house - and I gave in and fed Isaiah at about 3am after being up with him multiple times before that. If a friend called me with this problem I would advise her to just rip the band-aid off - no more feeding the baby in the night. The first few days will be horrid, but after that he'll be back to sleeping through the night. It's not like a nearly-1-year-old needs food during the night. He's not going to waste away to nothing. But I just don't seem to be capable of taking my own advice. So...HELP! Tell me what I need to do. Tell me your magic trick. Tell me anything that might help me get this kid to sleep. We both need the sleep!