Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Definition of Insanity

Albert Einstein famously stated, " Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

By this definition, then, Nathan and I are insane. Every night, we go through our routine with Eliza and the boys. And every night, we hope that at least one of our children will go down without a fight and stay asleep throughout the night.

Even though I am complaining (just a little), Eliza has come so far these past few weeks, and I feel incredibly proud of her. Although she goes to bed without a bottle of milk, she thinks of every trick of the book to get us to stay with her longer. She wants eight songs, three prayers, and ten books read to her before bedtime. She wants a sip of water and to sleep with her Foofa--no, a pink Barbie car--no, the paperback copy of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms! It's obviously out of control. We have finally learned to say "no" to her, which is undeniably hard. Some nights, she is satisfied with only a couple of songs, three books, and a prayer, but other nights (like tonight), she cries herself to sleep. It is heartbreaking! I sit at the bottom of the stairs listening to her sobs, and I all I want to do is run up and comfort her. I know she is capable of falling asleep alone, so I try my hardest not to give in. 

Once asleep, Eliza can usually go a solid 9 hours before waking up. This started a couple of months ago, and it is so nice! However, Ezra and Elliott are a different story altogether. 

They are six months old, weight eighteen pounds, and are incapable of sleeping longer than three hours at a time. Several people have told me, "Breastfed babies just don't sleep as long" which I know isn't necessarily true. I have two three month old nieces who are breastfed, and they both are able to sleep a seven-eight hour stretch at night. We've done the sleep training, and it did work for a couple of weeks. We've tried it a second time now, and we are not having good results. The boys want to nurse all night, and I am desperate for sleep, so I let them. Last night, Ezra woke up every hour, so of course he ended up in bed with me (and Nathan took Elliott and a bottle and went to a different bedroom). 

So many people have recommended that I let them cry it out; it just doesn't work for me. I'm trying to stop comfort nursing them at night, but when they wake up, they are definitely hungry. I really don't understand. We introduced solids last week, but it made no difference whatsoever. I think they are just in the habit of waking up. In South Carolina, they mercifully slept a four to five hour stretch each night. The first night back in Othello, they were back to their old ways. It's like they knew they were home and could do whatever they wanted. Silly boys. Lucky for us, they are happy during the day and seldom fuss or cry. They are the cutest little guys ever.

So yes, I may be insane, but I am convinced Ezra and Elliott will sleep through the night sooner or later. It only took Eliza two and a half years....

And on an even crazier note, I am glad Eliza's horrible sleeping habits prepared us for more sleepless nights with the twins. We would have been in for a very rude awakening! :)


  1. I hope it goes better with the boys. No sleep = no fun. I'm glad Eliza is finally getting better. Not going to comfort your children is so hard, but I think as long as you are letting them know what's going on then you are doing it right. I love you guys!!

  2. I feel your pain. you're doing a good job it's so hard when you're so tired you just want to do the easiest thing. Thanks for the post, its great that you are so real and don't coat over the hard parts. Makes me feel like i'm not alone and!PS. you don't know me, I've been reading your blog since just before you had your boys (my twins are just a few weeks youngers than yours).

  3. Oh man, that's tough. You're right; breastfed babies do not equal sleepless babies. I know lots of breastfed babies that sleep through the night, and many formula babies that don't. Each baby is just different. Maybe your kids are just so super incredibly smart that their minds can't rest for very long...Right?? :) So sorry. Being tired is so not fun.


A Penny For Your Thoughts