The Screamapillar Saga Continues

Well, I�ve gone back and forth all week. One thing I can say for certain is that Gabe screams unless he�s in our bed. Now there is a selfish part of me that wants him in bed with me because a.) I don�t like sleeping alone and my husband works nights and b.) It is much easier than listening to him scream. On the other hand, I don�t want him to get accustomed to sleeping in our bed, because on the weekend, I want I need to be able to cuddle with my husband and get some alone time. Our time together is so limited since we work opposite shifts. When I get home from work, we have a little time together, but he�s usually pretty tired and soon thereafter takes a nap before work. We do pretty well with it though, because we both love being parents so much. It is a hard to miss each other when our time apart is occupied by our son. I still long for any time we can get on the weekends�even the couple hours during the weeknights after he comes home from work, before I have to get up for work. I just need to feel him close to me.

I also worry that if I start giving into Gabe�s demands when he is merely 7 months old, we are in for a lifetime of trouble. We tried Tracy�s suggestion and it worked�ONCE. Then our kid was like, �No way, you aren�t pulling that one on me again.� While I rubbed his tummy, tried to sooth him… anyone want to guess what he did? He screamed. He was like, �WHAAAAAAAA, put me in your bed, WHAAAAAAAAA, NOW! WHAAAAAAAAAAA!�

Last night, I gave up and put him in bed (I know, I know�that is poor form as a parent)�but I was feeling flu-ish and had even thrown up and I had to get some sleep. In fact, I think lack of sleep was the reason I wasn�t feeling well to begin with. So, when Mike came home from work, he took him upstairs at 1:30 am. Gabe started screaming immediately. After about 30 minutes, I turned off the monitor in the bedroom, but I could still here him pretty clearly through the monitor in the kitchen. It was close to 3:00 am before he stopped and Mike came to bed. I might as well have gotten up at 1:30 am and hung out with my husband�because I pretty much just laid there and tried to sleep without much luck. So, basically we both lost an hour and a half of sleep, plus tack on the time I lost trying to get him to sleep between 9:30 pm-10:30 pm, when I finally gave in.

The crazy thing is that just two weeks ago, I would have bragged to you about how well he slept. He would sleep in his play yard by himself, he�d sleep in his crib. Most of the time I didn�t have to �put him to sleep� in the evening, he fell asleep on his own. Then all of the sudden he decided he just wasn�t into that any more. What happened between then and now?

So, basically, we have two options�put him in bed, which is really the easy way out. The better but more difficult option�let him scream until he realizes that it isn�t going to get him out of his crib. My husband brought up a very good point though. He typically falls asleep around 7:00-7:30 pm. I�ve either held him until 9:00 pm or put him in his play yard until I was ready for bed. I need to take him up to his crib at bedtime�.no later. That way if he decides to scream, it happens during at a time when I don�t have to be sleeping. I can turn the monitor off in the bedroom where his Dad is sleeping and muffle the monitor in the kitchen. I think he�ll be asleep by 9:00 pm, if not earlier.

Wish us luck.



  1. Michele said,

    October 21, 2005 at 7:53 am

    😕 UGH, I can recall those days!!! I think what Mike said is very very true! I know how hard it is Jen, feeling guilty but yet needing sleep and couple time. Just remember one thing though…you need to give it more repitition. Watch trying a new suggestion only once or twice before pulling your hair out and trying something new. Stick with new option for several days! If Gabe knows you will keep giving in, nothing you try will work but the one HE wants. Big hug, it’s tough!

  2. Firebrand said,

    October 22, 2005 at 3:32 am

    “I also worry that if I start giving into Gabe’s demands when he is merely 7 months old, we are in for a lifetime of trouble. “

    The sentiment that I’m understanding here is that babies are inherently manipulative which is why they’re crying in the first place – to get what they want. But what if what they want is instead what they need? Crying is a baby’s form of communication; how else can they tell us when they need something… or someone? If their crying isn’t given the necessary attention, don’t they then learn that their needs aren’t important?

    I’m not trying to create any discord here. I compltely understand that the views I have aren’t in line with what “they” (the majority of parenting philosophists) would say. I know that everyone must find their own way to parent, but I really think that there is merit to Attactment Parenting. As I’ve said, though, that is my belief now. I completely reserve the right to discover on my own (in not so many months!) if this will actually be an effective parenting strategy for me. It just seems to have some suggestions for this situation that might help instead of hinder.

    I don’t know what your set-up is upstairs, but is it possible to move Gabe’s crib close to your bed so that he’d feel closer to you, yet have his own space (and your own space)? Perhaps then, if you put him down in his crib at 7:30ish when he falls asleep, and he then wakes up later… perhaps it’ll be close to the time when you’re getting ready for bed anyway and your close presence would be comforting to him…? Just a suggestion…

  3. Tracy said,

    October 23, 2005 at 11:45 pm

    You try whatever works out for you Brenda…what “works” or what is “best” is different for every family.

    What’s he eating before bed? And do you have a standard winding down period, so he can get used to the same routine each night? It helps. With K, it was always a clean diaper, a bottle while rocking in her room in the dark with just a nightlight, and (poor kid) I’d sing to her sleepy songs – and then into bed. And on some nights – out like a light. Other nights – the screaming. But…my method, long term, worked for us. Give it a try again – but I’ll guarantee it won’t work if you don’t do it consistently.

    Either way – just giving you what worked for us – you guys have to find our what works best for you – whether it’s Gabe sleeping wth you or not. Regardless – this is a phase and it too shall pass!

  4. Tracy said,

    October 24, 2005 at 12:01 am

    Oh – one more thing – Brenda – you made the statement that :

    “The sentiment that I’m understanding here is that babies are inherently manipulative which is why they’re crying in the first place – to get what they want.”

    Babies are not inherently manipulative – babies are inherently self-focused – because they have no way to be otherwise. (Note – I did not say SELFISH – I said self-focused). Babies want what babies want – not what they need, not what you need or want – what they want. SO – if (assuming we’re all reasonably responsible parents here) you’ve assured that all baby’s physical needs are met – clean nappy, full tummy, no fever or illness obvious – then there’s no reason babies can’t sleep in their own bed. There are far too many people who fill that lonely place, or just give in because it’s easier – and where does that put you any time you need a babysitter, alone time with your s.o., or when junior is older and needs to learn to sleep on his own? It just postpones the inevitable (because I sincerely doubt your kid is going to keep sleeping with you until they move out and go to college!). Start the precedent when they’re little, help them learn a little independence in that they CAN sleep by themselves, and that mommy and daddy haven’t abandoned them just because they’re not right in site every moment, and *I think* you’re better off in the long run.

    Anyway – sorry – no offense intended, but that statement just stuck in my neural pathways and poked at my brain for a bit, so I wanted to say something.

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