I have come to terms with the fact that Vivian just isn't like other babies. She probably never will be. I've come to accept that a good night for Vivian is what some people would consider a terrible night, a good meal with Vivian would be a disaster for other parents. She's just a different kid. We're seeing progress though!
I didn't want to say anything last week, because I didn't want to jinx it, but Vivian's sleeping has improved so much. I'm sure it doesn't sound great to other people who have babies who sleep through the night, but when you consider where we were a few months ago, it's an amazing difference.
Let's go back - I would say things with Vivian's sleeping were at their worst in the summer. She was waking up every 1-2 hours at night screaming. Not just yelling, screaming. And she would be completely inconsolable. I would try everything to settle her down - rocking, bouncing, feeding her, ignoring her...it would take me about 45 minutes to settle her down enough to get her to sleep for an hour. It was dark times, my friends. The end of July was when we started seeing the homeopath and things got markedly better. She was calmer, napping better during the day and going for longer stretches at night. We still weren't quite there yet.
Skip to a couple of weeks ago. My homeopath switched remedies for Vivian. We went through a rough week where she was teething and waking up all the time at night and not sleeping as much as she should have been and I was on the computer at midnight writing to Amanda (our homeopath) desperately trying to figure something out. Amanda is great to deal with me emailing her constantly and told me that things usually have to get worse before they get better, and it might just be whatever has been bothering her all along working itself out. She said she would drop off another remedy to help with Vivian's teething and the runny nose she'd been fighting.
So we started with the remedy to help with the teething on a Friday. The next day was my birthday and Vivian was going to be spending the night at my mom's. I was a little worried about whether or not she would sleep, but knew my mom could handle it.
She slept awesome at mom's! She still woke up a couple of times, but she was calm enough that mom could just give her a bottle in her crib and she would go back to sleep. So when she came back to me for the Sunday night, I figured I would have a battle on my hands as payback for sending her away for a night - but it's been the same every night since! She "wakes up", which is basically her just crying and whining in her sleep. When I go in to her room, her eyes are closed, but she's whining and usually sitting up. I give her a bottle and lay her down and she'll just hold it herself and roll over when she's done. That's it.
Again - to someone who has a baby who sleeps through the night, this probably doesn't sound very fun. But for me, someone who used to go in to a baby who would stand in her crib and scream and shake with rage several times in the night, this is nothing! Sure, it's a pain to stand beside her crib waiting for her to finish her bottle, but seeing her roll over and hug her Dolly and go back to sleep all on her own is totally worth it.
I'm still hoping to get her down to waking up only once through the night, if not sleeping all night (right now she usually goes to bed around 7:30 or 8:00, wakes up around midnight, 3:00 and 6:00 and is up for the day around 8:00 or even 9:00. One day this week she slept until nearly 10:00!) I still think that she has nightmares - last night she was crying in her sleep and crawling around her crib. What a baby has a nightmare about, I have no idea. I don't know if there's much we can do about that, but I know things will change when I go back to work and she has to be up at like 6:30 to get ready to go to daycare, so maybe between that and her weighted blanket (I'm still working on that one) we'll have a soundly sleeping baby.
I know that not everyone is sold on homeopathy - but for us, I'm continuing to see the positive effects on Vivian. We have a remedy to help with runny noses and coughs and it clears her up almost immediately - it's pretty amazing. If you're interested in homeopathy, you can contact Amanda here. I've heard from so many other people that their kids "just weren't sleepers" and that's what I used to think about Vivian. As time went on though, I just knew that there was something more going on with her that needed to be taken care of - and I'm finally feeling like I'm figuring her out. She seems so much happier - just ask her yourself. Oh no wait, you can't - she's happily napping in her bed!