Sunday, February 22, 2009

my little sweet tooth

I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies this past week. In the process of doing so, I pulled out all of the various ingredients that I would need.

Noticing that I was running low on chocolate chips, I ran to our outside refrigerator to get a new 72-oz Costco-sized bag. As I was walking back to the kitchen, I could hear one of our small children's chairs being pushed across the tile floor. I was thinking to myself that one of the children saw that I was about to begin baking and wanted to pull up a chair to help.

But then I rounded the corner and was quite surprised to see that my baby had pushed the chair up to the counter and was standing on it.

High on his tippy toes, he was peering in to the almost empty bag of chocolate chips.

This baby. This little angel in my life, woke the entire house up with his cries last night at 11:30. He was up again at 1:30 and 3:15 and when I didn't pick him up, but instead gave him a sip of water - his pacifier - and told him "HUSH! GO BACK TO SLEEP!" he woke everyone up again at 4:00 AM screaming, "Mama! MAMA!! MAMAAMAMAMA!!! APPWLES!!!"

Charlie and I were completely exhausted today. As we were exhausted yesterday. And Friday. And every day last week, last month and last year.

Just as we will be exhausted tomorrow.

Our exhaustion doesn't have to do with training for a marathon. Or raising triplets. Or even working. While laying in bed at 4:30 this morning, we were animatedly discussing how and when we will ever get this child to sleep through the night in our small and almost completely doorless house. We discussed moving Henry's crib in to William's room (with a door) and moving William in with the girls. And then, we'll just close the door and give everyone a set of earplugs.

But I spoke with my sister-in-law today who has a little boy a few weeks older than Henry. A baby that she is also still nursing, in a house that is even smaller than ours. She told me that she just moved my nephew in to her bedroom so that when he wakes, she can scoop him up before he disturbs my brother and three-year-old twin nephews.

I really cannot stand to hear my baby cry, especially since I know that I have the ability to make him perfectly content. I have exactly what it is that he wants and needs and I know that it really won't be that much longer, relatively speaking, that he will need me in the capacity that he needs me, right now.

So ... I've decided that I am either going to move him in to our room, or put a bag of chocolate chips in to his crib. Thus far, it's the only thing that quiets him down like appwles.


  1. This idea will NOT help encourage the night weaning idea, but if you're considering moving him into your room just to give everyone a bit more sleep, then side car his baby cot to your bed. My co-sleeping night-nursers all slept in my bed (the next one will get a side car cot so we have more room in bed) and in the mornings, I couldn't really tell you with any accuracy how often they woke in the night since I barely woke when they came searching for "ap-ba" or, if tired enough, I didn't wake at all. And tears and wails in the night were very, very rare even when they were infancy, because they rarely woke enough to bother before latching on to the breast. The only time we ever had a child crying in the night was when s/he was ill.

    Or, you could take a hard line and just wean him and be done with it. But you're right, in the grand scheme of things, this really won't last that much longer. Quite honestly, when a parent is chronically sleep-deprived, I couldn't blame them whatever they do. Nothing's worse than no sleep!!!

  2. At first I thought Henry got into the new bag! That is too cute!

    As for the night sorry that is happening. It is so hard to be sleep deprived. I know with our kids we let them cry it out when they were down to one small feeding a night. (We didn't ever let them get hysterical or anything.) It was horrible for me, but after two nights it was done and we all felt much better getting better sleep.

    Hope he just naturally sleeps through for you one of these days and you don't have to do anything at all!

  3. You might Google Jay Gorden's technique for nightweaning. I think that's what it's called. My girlfriend just used it and it worked and everyone is sleeping all night now.

    Or throw the chocolate chips in his crib!

  4. Hello! I read your blog everyday and you are quite an inspiration and an amazing writer. Thank you for all your thoughts! We have two boys and I am currently nursing our second boy who is 9 months old. There is one thing that we have done with both of them that has seemed to work at nighttime. When I would go in and nurse them at night, I would reduce the amount of time on each side, gradually and eventually they just stopped waking up. For instance, if he was nursing 10 mins a side, at night I would move him to the other side after 9 mins and then put him back to bed after that side for 9 mins. I would continue on that for a few days and then move him down to 8 mins a side and so on. Also, I have never been the mommy who nurses in our bed or puts the child in bed with us. Both of our boys have been great at sleeping in their own cribs. In fact our youngest nurses and only nurses in his room unless by chance we can't be at home and then he doesn't really have a choice. I have always felt that consistency is always the BEST thing for them. Stay strong and good luck! The Hargreaves.

  5. As you know I have a little boy 4 months older than Henry that is still nursing ALL NIGHT! He sleeps with us in our king size bed. I've tried to put him in his bed and just move there or move him to us when he wakes, but that makes my night so much longer and it never seemed to help.

    One benefit of Andrew sharing our bed is that when I just get too tired or annoyed to nurse him, his daddy can pat his back and soothe him too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but at least helps me feel like I'm not alone at nights and helps beanie weanie get used to daddy comfort at night.

    Of course now that I'm pregnant my nipples are sore so it feels like he's nursing with spiky glass teeth. Loads of fun.

    Anyway, right there with you. I don't have 3 little ones in the house to worry about waking, but we still pulled Andrew into our bed to make our nights easier.

  6. Well, you have four kids so I’m sure you have tried or at least heard all the ways you can get past this. I’m on the it’s only for a short time and then you never get it back side of the fence.
    I’m really leaving a comment because OH MY GOSH! Those baby fingers and toes.

  7. Can't help you with the sleeping...but I say you have to record his Ma Ma and Buzz Light Year moments for the world to hear! It's a riot!

    Love the picture ~ little guy after my own heart! ;-) Marg

  8. I have no tips for helping a baby sleep through the night - ours were both frequent wakers.
    But I'm going to put some chocolate chips in MY bed tonight.

  9. Why wouldn't ya want him right next to ya??? It seems the simplest answer to the problem! :) He won't be doin this much longer, ya no. Enjoy it while ya can. :)

    ~Cindy! :)

  10. God Help us and save us---This too shall end---I guess?
    Perhaps I should come out and you and Charlie should go for a run for a few days---or weeks.

  11. that is so awesome to hear jen, good for you!

  12. I just get a letter from you asking for money. Greg spinned it with the kids and told them it was from Santa, and that he was checking in to see how they are doing so far this year.

    So what's up with the PayPal thing? I've got makeup money just burning a hole in my PayPal account.

    I also just realized that Henry was eating Nestle chocolate chips. Did you know those have fake vanilla in them now? It's called vanillan and it's made from paper product waste. It's nasty stuff. Maybe you should stick to awpples. I hear that stuff taste better than a MILLION melons!

  13. First of all, I thought I was the only choco-holic with the BJs-sized Chocolate Chips. Good to know there are other households that can successfully complete a bag that size!

    Second...I think I might try giving Cole Chocolate Chips tonight! =) Unfortunately, he doesn't take a pacifier nor is he "calm-able" in the middle of the night! RIDICULOUS!

    Hope your night's better tonight!

  14. Jen,

    In case you haven't been over on Carolyn's I wanted to let you know that Deana and Jack are going to MD Andersen in Houston tomorrow. Praying for a miracle.

    Lorraine B.

  15. Has nothing to do with Henry or chocolate or's Deana???

  16. Sorry - not NEED, WANT. Big difference. If you let him in your room so it's easier - what's the message he is getting - it's okay to wake up the entire house.

    Why don't you give him the keys to the car as well - oh that's right - he's 19 months old and can't know everything about what is good for him......But you do.

    Why can't he learn the rules, apples are for x and y times. Sleep time is sippy cup with water. Wake up Mum and Dad, sippy cup with water, wake up whole house, sippy cup with water.

    I do not say this because I am adverse to breastfeeding or kids in the bed. Neither are an issue as long as sleep for the everyone is respected. But sleep is precious and he is using your sleep to get what he wants, when he wants, where he wants. He's 19 months. He should not be running the entire house.

    Put him in the room with a door, give him a sippy cup. Mums apples are for daylight hours only.

    Yes, just my forceful advice, but I held off a whole 20 hours from giving it. But it needed to be said.

  17. I have a crash bed in Joel's room. When he wakes up I just go to him and he falls right back to sleep. If I fall asleep in the mean time that's ok with me... as long as we're all sleeping. As for the night weaning - it seems we've done it a few times.. Teething usually messes that all up. But for the most part I don't nurse him until after 6am. If you do nightwean, go the gentle route. Like the other commenter mentioned, I have heard the Dr. Jay Gordon technique is good.

    Here's another interesting link:

  18. ur baby is adorable. u r doing a great job writing ur about ur lives every day.i read ur blog each day with out fail!

  19. As someone going through a similar sleep disruption with my 19 month old twins, I agree with Jakarta. Without meaning to, you are reinforcing a behavior you would like to eliminate. If you really want your sleep, it is time to lay down the rules - daytime nursing, nightime sleep. It may take a few days, but he'll get the message. I think begining to cosleep at this point will make it very hard for Henry to transition back to his crib (and eventually his big boy bed) without many more tears than you'll get from cutting him off at night now. Your family (including Henry!) all deserve a good night's rest. Good luck and sweet dreams.

  20. I love love love those pictures. TOO cute! What a funny little man:)