Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We Signed Up for This

It's a good thing I already feel in love with these children because man, o man, we are not getting much sleep. Norah sleeps through the night so soundly we check repeatedly to make sure she's breathing. She then seems to feel no need to nap for more than 10-15 minutes throughout the course of the day. Atticus, on the other hand, has been getting up 4-5 times a night wanting to be rocked and then needs a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.

I really think this is a symptom of adjustment. It seems like he just wants to be reassured (over, and over, and over again sooooo late at night) that we're here and will come to him. Once one of us picks him up, he's generally happy as a clam and ready to smile beguilingly and laugh. He's so darn cute and charming and huggy that it's impossible to hold a grudge.

At 6 AM I was just getting him back to sleep when Norah woke up for the day. Poor Paul awoke a few moments later to the sight of all three of his family members crying. I'm feeling better now and my mom is coming over soon to let me nap. Bringing our kids home has really made me appreciate living nearby our parents. That offers some comfort these days when it just keeps snowing and snowing and snowing and I think about offers we've had to transfer to a warmer climate.

For those of you who have adopted, I would love to hear your strategies for getting your kids on a predictable sleep schedule without making them cry it out. At this point, I don't feel making Atticus cry it out would be the right thing to do. We're already working on establishing a concrete routine during the day and for bedtime and both kids currently sleep in our room. Bringing him into our bed helps a little bit but he still wakes up and wants to be held.
P.S. Above is one of the few moments when they both napped at the same time (in the bathroom). Did I race off to my own bed for a nap? Of course not - I ran to get the camera!


Carolyn said...

We've only been parents for 6 months, but we agree, we do not let her cry it out. I know this is a controversial topic, but we feel strongly that she needs to know that we will meet her needs - immediately. Our daughter screamed herself to sleep for the first several weeks. It was horrible. Now it is better. It still takes about an hour for her to fall asleep, but it is a mostly peaceful hour. A special blankie and thumb sucking are two things that really helped. Also, making sure she was really full before she fell asleep helped. She can not handle waking up hungry in the middle of the night. I think this is very typical, multiplied by two for you. Good luck.

hipgradmom said...

have you guys considered letting Atticus sleep in bed with you for the first few months? Elijah was the same way the first 3-4 months, waking up every hour or so, wanting to be reassured. We could only put him in his crib once he had passed out. So we gave in and let him sleep with us for a while, and after a few months of building confidence, he was perfectly comfortable sleeping alone. That did NOT change the waking up throughout the night, however. Not to say that this is going to happen to you, but up until 12 months Elijah has consistently woken up 3-5 times a night. I told the doctor that, and she thought we were insane for not letting him cry it out. So we tried that one night (a year of no more than an hour or two of good sleep a night had broken us!), and we found out he's a headbanger. HUUUUGE bruises on his forehead. Thank God that has all finally changed, and we are ecstatic that he's only getting up once or twice. To make a long story short, maybe it's what Atticus needs until he feels really confident you aren't going anywhere.

Rebecca and Andrew said...

Hi again,
I'm reading back through your previous posts of when you first came home...They are making me sleepy! =) This gives me a great idea of how life will soon be. I also have a 12 and 10 year old who will be in school all day until husband travels out of state each week but will take off a month to be home with us. I'm getting a little anxious about all the what if's....=)