My husband and I sleep with our feet touching. It is all that is left of our “perfect spoon”—the position we would curl up in each night when we would lay down to sleep, ceiling fan whirling, blinds pulled tight. The position we would sleep in for afternoon naps, windows open, breeze blowing in. All we have now are those toes touching. The spoon is gone. The naps are gone. The sleep is gone.
It’s not all bad. I mean, the divider between us when we lay down in bed just happens to be the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen. She is the sweetest little thing. But she HATES sleep.
Lyla is now 8 months old and still in our bed (I hadn’t even planned on being a co-sleeping family) and has been waking every two hours since month four (she never was a great sleeper, but we used to at least get 4 hour stretches out of her). I have grown a bit attached to having her sleep beside me. On the [rare] nights we lay her in bed before we ourselves lay down for the night, I sit in the living room watching TV, longing to go curl up beside my girl--to put my hand on her belly and feel her breathing. But two hours after lying down she awakes, rolls on her belly and crawls on top of me, looking to nurse. Sounds kind of cute, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is. But lately by the second wake-up I find myself seething. I am so frustrated that I can’t even see straight. Muffled curse words spew from my clenched jaw. I lift up Lyla and hand her to her daddy for fear that I might squeeze her just a little too tight. I immediately feel remorse for being so impatient with her. “She’s a baby,” I tell myself, “She doesn’t know any better.” But there’s just something about being woken up in the middle of the night that puts you in a different mindset. Personally, it makes me a crazy person. In the morning I'm fine. Lyla is an angel and the horrible night before is a long lost memory. But the night....
Something has got to change. So far our efforts have been in vain. We tried techniques from “The No-Cry Sleep Solution.” We tried crying it out. This past weekend I tried to wean her from nighttime nursing and gave in on the second night. I feel like Lyla’s sleep has gotten worse with each attempt to make it better. She is a willful little baby. So should I just keep following her cues (at the sake of me and Andrew’s sanity…and intimacy)? Or am I being a ‘softy’ and I need to work harder at sleep training? My sleep-deprived brain can’t think properly—am I missing something obvious?