Friday, December 26, 2008

Mean Mom I am Not

For the last three months or so my days have begun with the words,
"I've had it! This torture has got to stop!"

What torture? One might ask, lady, you've just woken up! I am referring to the torture often placed by newborns in their first months of life a.k.a. sleepless nights. As I mentioned in the post written earlier, I am still awaken every two hours by my chubby cheek son who is eight and a half months of age.

In case you missed it, I said my son is EIGHT AND A HALF MONTH but has a sleeping habit of a newborn. When I mention this to my closest friends (you know those who tell you the truth in your face) I get absolutely no pity from them. They simply say that the fault does not lie in him but in me. Excuse me? As if I deliberately lay there and stroke his face with a feather until he wakes up. What my friends refer to is that I have broken every mommy rule out there in regards to kids and sleeping habits. All of my kids are/were rocked to sleep. All of my kids have slept/sleep in our bed. All of my kids woke up/wake up in the middle of the night for a nightly snack. All this happened/happens because I am not MEAN enough.

They say I have got to teach him by letting him cry until he is blue in color, his body shaking, snot all over his tear deprived face and too exhausted to protest and he'll fall asleep on his own. But how can ANYONE do that to this:

Not that we didn't attempt to do it. We've tried this technique with my daughter (oh, the fate of the firstborn) which was not only ineffective, but made her more clingy afterward. If you are a mother/father reading this, could you PLEASE comment with your suggestions on how we can teach our son to sleep through the night without being MEAN? I promise I'll make you a celebrity when my blog will actually be read by people.


  1. you won't be happy with my response but he is playinh you like a fiddle. I have had my triplets sleeping through the night since 3 mos of age.

    Your little guy does not need the calories he just wants attention plain and simple and that is what he is getting so he will keep doing it.

    I'm sorry I'm not much help but CIO is the way to go. he will catch on faster then you would think. A tough couple of days but he will survive and so will you and everyone will benefit tremendously.

    I wish i was closer I'd take him off your hands for a couple of days and get rid of his nasty habbit.

    He is an absolute doll, I can see why he is si hard to resist.

  2. OK, Tina. You are my closest friend, its official! They too beg me to take him to their place for a few nights.

  3. Zhenya,
    Do NOT listen to these people who tell you to let him "CIO"!!!! It is wrong, and it IS damaging to your relationship with him. I have several books written by very well educated and informed people that speak to this very issue. The thing is, that ALL CHILDREN ARE DIFFERENT, as you have certainly noticed now that you are on your third child. There IS NO ONE WAY to get a child to sleep. Some children are just good sleepers. It is the parents of these children who write the books on "all you have to do is...". It is these same parents who tell you "it's not that bad" and "it's worth it". That is CRAP!!! YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING BY RESPONDING TO YOUR CHILD IN HIS TIME OF NEED. Let me as you (and all you other moms) this: do a child's needs not matter once it is dark out? or does it depend on what time of day it is? is the want/need for love, comfort and a sense of security not a legitimate want/need? "he just wants attention" - what is wrong with that? don't we all? does it not make sense that a child who has only been on this earth for 8 months would want some "attention" and LOVE and comfort when he feels vulernable in the middle of the night?
    I could go on and on....
    Here are some book recommendations:
    "Three in a Bed"
    "The No Cry Sleep Solution" Elizabeth Pantley
    "The Nighttime Parenting Book" Dr. Sears

    I have all of the above books if you want to borrow them. I am sure you could find them at the library as well.

    And finally, know this: your children WILL sleep through the night eventually. You, as the caring, loving parent you are, are the one (ie, an adult who can be) who has to be flexible and patient.

  4. I wish that there were more people like Tina, Im sorry but waking up every two hours and three kids in my bed that is just not me thank you.

  5. And where do you find all this time to write about all of this?

  6. Okay Zhen'ka,
    This is my time to post! The following article is taken from "Focus on the Family" Dec'08 monthly magazine:
    Children and Sleep
    Whether you worry about an infant who can't sleep through the night or a teen who's determined to prove he doesn't need sleep, your concerns are legitimate, according to Dr. Shelly Weiss, pediatric program director at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
    "If children are not sleeping well....the consequences my be problems with behavior, attention, learning and memory," Weiss wrote in Better Sleep for Your Baby and Child. Studies have found that a lack of sleep can be linked to lower cognitive performance and increased hyperactivity. Researchers have also indicated that a lack of sleep can result in metabolic changes that contribute to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So how much sleep is really necessary? Are there recognizable symptoms in a child who's not getting enough sleep? And what can parents do to help? offers the following sleep requirements for children by age, as well as a list of signs that your child is not getting enough sleep.

    Amount of sleep needed per day:
    0 to 2 months old: 16 to 18 hours
    2 to 6 months: 14 to 16 hours
    6 to 12 months: 13 to 15 hours
    1 to 3 years: 12 to 14 hours
    3 to 5 years: 11 to 13 hours
    5 to 12 years: 10 to 11 hours
    12 to 18 years: 8.5 to 9.5 hours

    Symptoms of inadequate sleep:
    difficulty waking up the morning
    yawning frequently during the day
    a lack of interest, motivation and attention
    falling asleep or feeling drowsy at school

    If your child displays these symptoms, contact your pediatrician to discuss the possibility of sleep problems, which may include difficulty falling asleep, nighttime awakenings, and loud or heavy breathing while sleeping.

    Parents can help their children get adequate sleep by creating bedtime routines, eliminating caffeine from their children's diets and removing TVs and computers from children's rooms. Remember that your children's sleep habits will directly influence your own, so don't hesitate to establish healthy habits for your own sake and for the good of your entire family. Article by Pam Woody.

    Sorry for such a long post, but I wanted to show you this article for a some time now. Yes, it's probably written for bigger kids, but how are infants different from toddlers? Sorry, Timka doesn't need the attention in the middle of the night nor he needs a snack. I know you can do it, just try it!

    Galia O.

  7. lots of debate about little tim's sleeping! I agree that having all those kids in the bed sounds awful to me, and I am with Tina, Sylvie is starting to sleep earlier and earlier and she sleeps through the night, so I am available to help out with little Tim. I rock Sylvie as well, but I suppose the difference is that she sleeps for 6 hours at a go because she feeds so heavily before going down.

  8. I think it's great that they are in bed with you! After all it's not gonna be long till they wouldn't want that!
    Ours didn't sleep through the night till a little bit before he turned a year. I think as long as they get enough sleep, it's ok!
    But I am all for him making hisown schedule though (within reasons of course!)