Shine Like Stars

Shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life (Phil. 2:15)
We're not trying to be rock stars but just shed some light on a sad and lonely world. Stay tuned for how God works through weak and tired, sometimes really cranky vessels.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sleep, Sweet, Sleep

For the first six weeks that Melia Serawit was home sleep was very hard to come by. The first few weeks she fought going to sleep, and I mean fought! That little girl could really slap and pinch, anything to avoid sleep. Around week 3 she started feeling more comfortable with us and trusted us enough to snuggle and allow herself to fall asleep. It was sweet to watch her go from being angry with us to enjoying the snuggle time.

But then there was the staying asleep problem. From the first night we spent together we realized that what we had learned from AGCI about babies grieving in their sleep was very true for Melia. She slept very fitfully, moaned and cried while she was sleeping.

We had planned on co-sleeping with her. We read all about attachment parenting and wanted to invest all we could into her the first months she was home and keeping her in our bed was a great way to do theory. In reality it didn't work in our situation. For some reason, as much as she loved being with me she couldn't rest peacefully with me unless I was sitting up, rocking her.

So, those first 6 weeks looked like this.....rocking her to sleep, laying her down in the crib next to our bed, then we'd go to bed hours later. She'd usually sleep for an hour or so after we went to bed then would wake up and we'd bring her into our bed where she would flip and flop and climb all over me for hours (literally). Eventually she'd fall asleep a little before 6 then she'd hear Michael's alarm and would wake up again, then I'd give her a bottle and she'd sleep until I had to get up with the other kiddos around 8:30ish.

Needless to say, after 6 weeks of this crazy sleep cycle I was going insane. My family and close friends were beginning to worry. My sister, Megan tried to make my life easier by making us meals for a week (that really helped) and my friend Marie took me out for whine and dessert and did a psych eval on me. In which she determined that I wasn't depressed or crazy just sleep deprived.

Up until this point Addie (2 and a half) was still sleeping in the crib in her room, but we had a "big girl bed" set up in her room. We ended up kicking Addie out of her crib and putting Melia in the room she would eventually share with Addie. We still rocked her until she fell asleep then put her in the crib....she slept 12 hours that night. Apparently, she just can't be around me while she's sleeping. Thank the Lord for great family and friends, who keep me sane!

Since then it's just gotten better and better. Addie has now been moved again from our bedroom and the girls are sharing a room. Melia loves to fall asleep on her own. Violet (pictured below) has helped a lot with that..

We still rock her and cuddle with her, then she points to her crib and dives for Violet. She lays in there for sometimes an hour just playing and then peacefully falls asleep. I'm amazed by the way sleep issues have changed in the last 2 and a half months. Once I started sleeping again I started feeling like having four kiddos was a little more manageable. Now that it's spring time and we can go outside is good!

So, it took me a little while to feel okay with our sleeping arrangements. I really want to make sure that Melia attaches well and I wanted to follow the advice given to us, but this works best for our family and I'm learning that attachment has a lot do with flexibility, too. I need to trust my gut on what my baby needs.


  1. So true- it is different for everyone, and all children are different. Sleep is definitely a necessity! :)

  2. For our first daughter, co-sleeping was what she needed-- big time! We planned to do the same for E, but we've found that she really prefers to be in her own crib in her own room. She comes in bed with us for an hour or two sometimes, maybe like once a week, but for the most part, she's doing great in the crib.

    I'm so glad you found what is working for you! Things are much more difficult when you're too tired to think straight.

  3. Gotta go with what works. I am glad you are getting sleep! I hope to get a little more of it soon. :)

  4. Our Addi loves her Violet. We use it every night for bedtime music.

  5. So happy to read this post!! You are an incredible mom, and we're sure your "gut" will never lead you down the wrong path with your kiddos! :-)
    We are praying for Melia's continuing attachment!