Getting our children to sleep is a constant struggle in our house. It has been for the past 3.5 years. Usually what happens is that we go with the flow until I am about to snap from sleep deprivation and/or lack of personal time. We are about at that point again.
I'm the first to admit that it is our fault. Our fault for not sticking to a schedule, for not being more firm in our expectations, and for giving in to the constant drama. It started with my wanting to nurse ES for at least 12 months. Because I'm a full-time employee, I couldn't nurse on demand. Certainly, I could do that when I was with her, but I wasn't always with her. Check the previous sentence. I work. I work full time. I felt guilty and so I allowed her to sleep with me and to nurse on demand all night. It was a compromise. I would be available to her whenever I was with her. I was with her mostly during sleeping hours, so she got to nurse as often as she wanted. That worked well until I thought I was going to lose my mind from not sleeping well! Then, we changed our approach. I put her in her crib and the very first night she slept all night! Seems she needed some space too.
The reason all of this is on my mind is because I'm about to go through it again with CC. She's 9 months old, only sleeps well when she is snuggled right next to me in bed, and she wakes ever 3 hours or so just to nurse for a few minutes before she falls asleep again. Honestly, right now it would be okay if I didn't have to still deal with ES. She wants to sleep with us. She is difficult to get to sleep. She wakes at least 2-3 times a night and wants to come into bed with us. The other night I didn't even hear her come in until I picked up CC from her co-sleeper (sometimes I can get her in there when she is dog-tired) and ES was snoozing right between L and me. That is where I'm drawing the line. We have the whole family in my queen size bed, I have 6 inches of space where I barely have enough room to lay on my back. Arrgghh!!!
Well, I've been preparing myself for the big change. We have to sleep train CC to sleep in her own crib and get not nurse during the night. We have to be firm with ES that she needs to learn how to get herself to sleep after we read books, snuggle, kiss and then say goodnight. We also need to continue to keep ES in her bed throughout the night. Honestly, it's all too overwhelming right now. I know that it would be better to just talk to L and come up with a plan, but I dread the whole process.
I want my space, adult conversation, time alone with my husband! This is going to have to happen soon because I'm starting to become very,very crabby every night when it's time to get the kids to sleep.