April 11, 2013
Dare I Say My Kid is Sleeping Through the Night??
I almost hate to write about this topic because I know as soon as I hit "post" shit will change and I will instantly regret it. But I feel I need to talk about the topic we're not really supposed to be talking about.
Sleeping through the night.
A few weeks back, I wrote about our sleep issues. Well, not necessarily issues, but the fact that my 11 month old wasn't sleeping through the night and instead we were still having multiple wake-ups in the wee hours of the evening. It was driving me batty.
I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. There was a very, very huge part of me that still enjoyed the late night snuggles, because, well, I was a little emotional with my kiddo about to turn one. Our wake-ups never lasted long -- 15 minutes, tops -- but they were still frequent. Sometimes three times a night. Any chance I have to snuggle with the kid, I will take it, but going that long without a full nights sleep, I was well past the "I've had enough" point.
So something needed to change. Of course, I consulted the holiest of places for motherhood advice -- Twitter --- and voiced my concerns for what I should do next. My first thought was to test out Crying It Out. For the record, this is not something that we had ever done. Not for more than a couple of minutes at bedtime in very small intervals. Not because I disagree with it, per say, but mostly because of my severe anxiety (which was only worse postpartum) and the fact that I'm a giant sucker and hated to hear him cry. Five minutes TOPS was all Lucas was ever allowed to cry (while I was around -- I'm sure M let him cry for MUCH longer sans Mommy). I received some reassurance from other mommies that things would be alright (I knew they would) and we set out to see if he could sooth himself to sleep.
The first night was kind of a disaster. I let him cry for 15 minutes. FIFTEEN. It was a lifetime and I couldn't take it anymore. I scooped in, soothed him & got him back to sleep.
The next night I wanted to try something different, and go back with CIO in intervals (which worked GREAT for us when we were sleep training for bedtime). I went in after five minutes with the intention of soothing without picking up, but that only made matters worse. Once he saw me, all hell broke lose. Five more minutes and I thought my kid was going to throw up he was crying so hard. Pick up & sooth back to sleep.
The third night, it dawned on me that I was maybe doing too much. He was still taking a bottle at night, even though it wasn't really necessary. This was also one of those things where I thought, maybe he will grow out of this on his own. He doesn't NEED IT, but it helps. So I never stopped. Now, all of a sudden, he wasn't getting food (even though he never had more than four ounces during those night feeds at this point. Usually only two) AND he was being forced to cry it out. MEAN MOMMY!
We took a step back. I continued to cut out the night feed, but when he would wake up, I would give it a couple of minutes, go in, pick him up & sooth him back to sleep without the bottle. By night five, he was soothing himself back to sleep and we have had restful nights ever since.
I know that things will change, as they always do, and who knows if this trend will continue. But it's been AMAZING having him sleep as well as he has been the past couple of weeks. Bedtime is generally around 8:00 and he goes down without a fuss. He has always been great at going to bed without an issue. Now that he is sleeping through the night, he will sleep until approximately 7:00. Sometimes I hear him at 6:30, sometimes he doesn't wake up until 7:30. Either way, he seems to be getting much better sleep at night, as am I.
And that, my friends, is a win for all.