Monday, March 24, 2014

Why Didn't I do this Earlier?

Charlotte is sleeping through the night! I read a bunch of baby sleep books before she was born, and though they didn't agree on what age a baby can sleep through the night, I seem to recall that all of the suggested ages were waaay younger than 1 year old. (Although I guess Charlotte is really only 11 months).  I've put off sleep training because she's been sick, teething, blah blah, excuses, but since we are leaving the girls with their Nana and Poppy in two weeks, I decided I needed to get serious.

Last week she woke up at her normal time of 11:30 p.m. I knew she wasn't hungry, as I had stuffed her at dinner so I wouldn't be worried about that, I knew she wasn't poopy because she didn't sound angry. In fact, if I were to do a little voiceover to her cries, it would sound like this..."Mom, why aren't you getting me? Usually when I wake up and cry I get a reward of milk or a long cuddle. Why am I not being rewarded for waking up? I'm so cute, you know you want to pick me up..." Yes, I know she doesn't need anything at night at this age, but it's so hard to resist a crying baby. That's why I went in every 10 minutes to give her a little cuddle then put her back down. "I'm here, I hear you, I'm just not going to give you a prize for waking up in the middle of the night." Of course, psyching Charlotte out by picking her up only to put her back down made her really mad, but it was more to reassure me than for her. After doing this a couple times she calmed down and went to sleep. Elapsed time? 40 minutes tops.

The next night Charlotte slept through the night. For me, sleeping through the night for kids is the solid 12 hours they need--7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. Success? Not yet. The next two nights she woke up at 11:30 p.m. again. Old habits are hard to break. I just held her for a minute, sang her a song one night, then put her back down. Five minutes tops.

Now we are here a week later, and she is solidly sleeping through the night. I'm still pleasantly surprised when I wake up in the morning refreshed and energized. And I can't help but many months ago should I have done this? How many nights was I needlessly disturbed from my sweet sweet slumber because I didn't have the gumption to listen to her cry for half an hour? Parents these days. So soft.


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