Monday, October 6, 2008

fear of sleep: no more!


We bit the bullet, people, and got a crib. You may recall that I wasn't partial to cribs, or the cry-it-out school of sleep training, but if there's anything I've learned as a parent it's, well... you'll pardon me as I blog with my mouth full. Because why didn't we do this sooner? Ach, me.

We borrowed a book from our pediatrician about infants and sleeping, which pointed out some habits that well-meaning parents establish with their babies, only to have to undo them later. Namely, rocking to sleep, nursing to sleep, and co-sleeping.

Let's see: check, check, and, oh yeah, check.

Man! You're a new parent, you'll take sleep in any form, on any surface, in a daze of horomones, and it's just easier to have the kid nestled into your armpit all night, and once you emerge from this hazing, well, it's become a Habit.

So it may or may not have been equally traumatic for me as well as Auden to sleep alone that first night, and I may or may not have taken him back into bed with me after just a few hours. BUT. I do remember the swearing -- and Jason remembers some wall-pounding -- in the wee hours of the morning in the not-too-distant past, so I held firmly to my resolve and to the assurance from The Guide to [My] Child's Sleep that I would not be a horrible and cruel mother if I let him cry a little. And the second night he only woke up once, and went back to sleep without eating. Imagine my elation! The only drawback to a schedule like this is that it isn't only my tears of joy that leak all over the bed by morning, if you know what I mean.

However, buoyed by the knowledge that he can in fact sleep for more than three hours at a time, I felt even more determined to tough out the crying jag that usually precedes said sleep. We still go to him every 5 to ten minutes to lay him back down (you know, with the pulling up and all), put the pacifier back in and soothe him a bit, but we don't pick him up and there is no feeding or rocking back to sleep. It hasn't exactly been easy, but I'm no longer prostrating myself in the next room shedding tears of my own. And doesn't that make everyone happier?

Coming up: Naps, the Next Sleep Frontier.


Rachel said...

Congrats Robin! Our pediatrician gave us that same book with Sam. Of course, you always have to do what feels right to you, but there's something about sleep that just doesn't happen automatically with kids.

robin said...
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Emily said...

I think I may have actually moved J to his own crib on the same DAY of development as you. How old is Auden again? I'm so glad that you've found a way to make things work for you. We also found out the hard way that J actually slept better on his own, with his own space to flail about in. I think that was a dangling participle, how embarassing for me. :)

robin said...

Thanks for all your words of support... it means so much, when the hardest part about crying-it-out is wondering whether I'm doing the right thing. It's SO GOOD to know other moms have been there too. Isn't that always what it boils down to?

Maggie May said...

oh gosh i remember this soo well. a book i really recommend is ' the no cry sleep solution '.

i breastfeed and cosleep too, but ya gotta bend where the bending is necessary when you're a parent!

Karen said...

Found your blog through someone--Wordgirl? Anyway. I was where you are. Co-slept off and on with the first one (now 5). The second (now 2) we C-I-E'd it. Guilt? At the time, yes, but she's been such a much better sleeper and napper and I get rest, too. She's napping now, in fact. No one strategy works for every kid, but (over-) tired mommies are usually less than happy ones.

Your son is adorable, btw.