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Everett the sleep thief (& what is finally working)

Ahhhh. Nothing is quite as humbling as parenting.

I’ve made no secret about struggling with my little guy. He’s the polar opposite infant than my caroline was. He’s restless. He cries. He doesn’t go back to sleep. He’s up every hour. He wants to be held. He fights the swaddle. He hates the car seat. He hates the stroller. He wants to eat all the time. He is, in a word, exhausting.

By seven weeks, she was giving me regular six or seven hour stretches of sleep at this age. This guy? We’re celebrating two nights of four hours straight sleep. It’s the little things. Which brings me to every new mom’s struggle…is it me? What am I doing wrong? I am trying to let go of the guilt. Maybe it’s me. But maybe it’s just him. Maybe he’s just a tough baby. He’s brought me to tears more times than I’d like to count, mostly from sleep deprivation, but still. This job is tough & sometimes it takes a village. All my mommy friends have kept me sane the last few weeks. Meals. Support. Hugs. Thank you. Thank you all for the encouragement. Lord knows, we all need a little help sometimes. :)

& sometimes, we don’t know where to look for that help. Books? Other moms? The pediatrician? We’ll try anything. (I’ll try ANYTHING to get this kid to sleep.) So far I’ve cut out chocolate, onions, peppers & garlic from my diet with decent success–as the one thing he will do is EAT. But I was so at the end of my rope this week that I finally gave my friend Jessica, of Eat Sleep Love, a call. I’ve known her for years, but never reached out for her expertise. She is a certified sleep coach (among many other things) and a lactation support counselor. She is FULL of great ideas (and shares them on her facebook wall) & I now credit her with my longest stretch of sleep in over two months. In our 20 minute phone consultation she offered me a dozen ideas to try & just some general support. What I am doing that is good. What I could be doing better. Our secret so far? A later bedtime. Go figure.  I was forcing the little dude on Caroline’s schedule, but then he was sleeping when I wasn’t–not good for anyone. So later bedtime it was. That, combined with trying to keep him awake no longer than 90 minutes during the day has also helped. We’re not quite on the perfect babywise eat-wake-sleep routine like last time, but we’re making it work for him. Every baby is sooooo different. :)

But how about some pictures?! I have hundreds sitting on my computer from his newborn days. I can’t wait to share them. But he’s so awake and alert and has been pretty happy since he’s started sleeping a bit more. So happy Everett gets some blog love. I’ll get to the others later. But this is what he looks like right now. Finally a kiddo that looks like he belongs to me! We share the same eyes. I love him to pieces. Meet my sweet baby boy, through the lens on my fancy camera…finally!

Happy Monday!!

(I love this boy!!)

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  • donya - Great post, Shawna. (as always!) *sigh* I am hoping my experience is the reverse (my first born was just like Everett – maybe my second will be like Caroline!?). But I have a feeling that no matter what personality baby number two comes with, those newborn days will hit me like a ton of bricks. You’ve reminded me of that, for sure. But you’ve also reminded me of how lovely it is to have a newborn to photograph as well. Oh, I can’t wait (no sleep and all)!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - The instragram photo on the left is just the cutest.ReplyCancel

  • Krista - So cute! Keep up the good work mama, sounds like you’re on the path to more sleep, its tricky figuring out which path that is and I know we had our fair share of u-turns along the way, but just know you are doing a great job!!ReplyCancel

  • lacie - I’m glad that you are getting some sleep. Bronson was the complete opposite of Colter as babies and nowadays a toddler. You will rock it. They will keep you busy. And that is good. :)ReplyCancel

  • kaley - love the images, love the clean processing, and love those beautiful blue eyes!!!ReplyCancel

  • Asya - I’ve done daycare for young infants for a couple years, and yes, every child is so different, my own was even a couple 180 from what i was use to. Your fortunate to know someone who specializes in sleep. My son hated being swaddled but it was the only thing that would put him to sleep, so i would just swaddle him to sleep, then as soon as he was out, id unwrap him. And to calm him before bed, i give him a bath with epson salt.. those lavender shampoo and bath soaps are junk in my opinion. Good luck, your babies are both beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - ADORABLE! Such a sweet little guy!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Thanks, Shawna! Glad to hear things are starting to work a little better for you and Everett!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - Like this so much. This is why i read your blog. you are an open book and open minded! Its refreshing. (typed one handed, while my very different from his sisters, son nurses to sleep! no other place makes him happier than right on mama and he is 8 months!)ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - Great post, and keep up the good work. Although I wish you were getting more sleep, it is nice to hear about others’ experiences when you are in a similar boat. When my daughter was Everett’s age, I remember going into the Day One center, where they have a lending library of books, and checking out 7 different books on newborn sleep and reading bits of each just to try to understand what was going on. We did later bedtime too (about 10:00) in the early days, and then on the advice of friends and books, slowly moved it up as she slept longer stretches during the night. Good luck! And if I could drop off a meal from California, I’d be over in a heartbeat.ReplyCancel

  • Jordan - oh i so get this post. this has been the theme of my posts since wyatt was born in november. i actually read you post on caroline when wyatt was about 7 weeks and i felt like a total loser. the whole sleep-wake-eat thing seemed so simple, but my kiddo made it a little harder. and honestly – i know now he is consistently inconsistent. sometimes he likes to nurse right before a nap, sometimes he goes down without eating for 2+ hours. sometimes he likes to nap for 20 minutes, sometimes it’s 2 hours. i’ve learned to roll with the punches, and with the lack of sleep. you are doing an amazing job. hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • Emily W. - Thank you for your honesty and openness! I have a babe who continues to fight sleep at 13 months. Sleep deprivation was a killer when he was younger, and it seemed like all my friends had angel babies who slept through the night at 2 months! This information is so important, because those first few months can be brutal!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - I don’t have any great tips, but I had some similar struggles with my son. (dairy is what I had to avoid). We found a way to make things work, but part of that was changing my attitude. Dr. Sears has a section in his Baby Book about high need babies. Not that anything is wrong, they just need more from their mamas. (info may also be available at http://www.askdrsears.com) He also mentions that if given the time and love desired, these babies often grow up to be very compassionate, caring individuals. So far, this is proving true in my now four year old. Knowing this gave me peace and a sense of purpose when I couldn’t so much as make it through a movie without him waking up at night. It won’t last forever!ReplyCancel

  • Traci - Your little guy sounds just like my sweet baby girl..she just turned one yesterday! As you already know, they grow up fast and things pass. It sounds like your little girl was easy… We found cutting milk and ALL milk proteins out of my diet worked wonders. I did this for 3 months (through the holidays!) and then I decided to switch to formula for a BUNCH of reasons. We did a hypoallergic one…expensive! BUT SO WORTH IT! She was shortly sleeping through the night and taking GREAT naps! Good look and try to get sleep…ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Have you thought of trying an infant chiropractor or osteopath? What you described sounds similar to what we went through for 15 months with my first. I’d heard about infant chiros and osteos so finally I plucked up my courage (and my wallet) and we gave it a shot. After the first visit, Oh. My. Gosh. Why didn’t we try this sooner??? Second visit and he was sleeping through the night and hasn’t looked back since! Just a thought!ReplyCancel

  • Gillian - these photos are GORGEOUS! i love the colors, i love the softness… so sweet.ReplyCancel

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