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 that....in 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 again....life 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.