Last week I’d had it.  One night, Donovan woke up every 2 hrs and the next, he woke up 3 times during the night.  I’d hit my limit.  I was cranky.  I kept making mistakes at work.  I even got to the point where I was actually mad at Donovan and for the first time, didn’t even feel like going to see him at daycare during lunch.  I did, but was not as happy to see him as I usually am.  Solution? Time for a family meeting.  I told Grant that either he would have to start getting up and giving him a bottle in the middle of the night so I could sleep more, or we would try letting him cry it out.  We decided on the latter because everyone said since he’s 6 months old now, he’s not waking up because he’s hungry, he’s waking up out of habit.  And really, when he would “wake up” 3 or 4 times a night, he would fuss, I would bring him into bed with us, nurse him (his eyes closed the whole time) and he would fall back asleep.  So maybe it was just habit and he really wasn’t waking up because he was starving like I thought.  I also thought that we wouldn’t have to result in letting him cry it out (frankly just thinking about the whole thing made me a nervous wreck–let him just cry? Are you nuts?!?!) because I thought he would learn to sleep through the night on his own.  Not so.

Of course by this point, I didn’t even feel bad about trying it out.  He’s just going to have to learn because I can’t take it anymore, I told myself.  So Thursday night, he fell asleep and I put him to bed in his crib for the first time, turned off the lights and happily shut the door.  Good night!  3 hours later, we are in bed and hear him fussing and whining a bit.  We lay there staring at the ceiling wondering if it’s going to stay a little whine and whimper or go into a full on cry.  A couple minutes go by and suddenly he’s silent.  Phew, we survived the first wake up and he put himself back to sleep!  I smile and close my eyes preparing for a full, wonderful night’s sleep.  2 hours go by and Donovan wakes up and is crying his head off.  I wait a few minutes and it just gets worse, so I go in and nurse him.  I don’t feel too guilty because it had been 5 hrs since he ate, so what’s a little midnight snack?  He falls back asleep.  2 hours later, he wakes up crying.  We wait a couple minutes, and again the crying just gets worse.  I tell Grant, “he just ate 2 hours ago, so he’s not hungry.”  So Grant gets up and rocks him back to sleep.  3 hours later, he wakes up again and I go in and nurse him, then 2 hours later he wakes up for the day.  Not bad for the first night, I thought.  Since I only got up twice, I already felt refreshed! 

Night #2: We put him to bed, a little later than usual, but he woke up once whining.  Again, we laid there listening for whether it would stay at that or turn into a full on cry.  It stayed a whine and turned into silence.  He woke up at 6:30 am and had officially slept through the night! 

Night #3: Again, we put him to bed, but this time no noise was made, at least none that I heard through my sound-sleepness.  He woke up at 7 am.

Night #4: He went to bed and woke up crying at midnight, so I went in and nursed him and had to change his diaper because he peed through to his pjs.  But he went right back to sleep.

I think we’ve finally cracked the not-sleeping-through-the-night problem!!  And it only took a weekend.  Now, I think to myself: Why didn’t I do this 2 months ago?!?!?!  Even though I know the answer to that: Because I was afraid he would just cry and cry and cry and I would have to restrain myself from going in and picking him up, and I didn’t want to have to do that.  But after reading some stuff online, I decided not to go by the book, but take other’s advice: Don’t immediately go in at the first sound of a peep (which is what I was doing).  Wait and listen to the sound they are making.  The baby might start with a whimper or whine and then soothe themselves back to sleep without your help. If it turns into a full-blown, inconsolible cry after a few minutes, go in and comfort the baby and don’t feel guilty about it–they might be crying for a reason (like he’s peed through to his pajamas!).  Now I’m thankful we did this.  I can’t tell you how different I feel getting as much sleep as I have these last few nights.  And I’m thankful Donovan is a quick learner.  Any moms out there having trouble with your non-sleeping baby?  Try this.  I am now a believer in letting them cry and figuring it out for themselves.  And I didn’t think it was possible, but I think I love Donovan just a little bit more!  He’s happy and we’re happy.  What could be better?  Oh little man, thank you for letting us sleep!

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