Liam occasionally has trouble sleeping through the night. IF he wakes up in the middle of the night, he doesn’t want to be alone. He wants to come sleep with us, or have J come sleep on the top bunk in his room. This wasn’t really an issue (although if we’d dealt with it long ago, it wouldn’t be an issue NOW) until Harry came along. But our queen-sized bed is not a comfortable sleeping spot for two (well) grown adults, a four year old, and a baby that prefers to sleep while kicking Mama and head-butting Daddy. So we’ve been working to get him to stay in his room all night. He knows what 7 o’clock looks like on his wall clock, and he knows he’s supposed to stay in his room until then. If he wakes up, he’s allowed to turn on his CD player (yes, he has a CD player — it’s an old one of mine, but give me a break, we don’t put AC/DC or anything in for him), and if the sun is already up, so daytime is close, he can play. He’s been doing really well with this. I think having the freedom to play his music, and get up if he needs to, open his door, turn on his light, etc. have made a huge difference. So as a reward we’ve planned to take him to Parc Paradisio today.
Am I rambling? 4.5 hours of sleep + 3 cups of coffee = Rambling Mama
Ahhh, you thought I was going to tell you how well rested we all were now, didn’t you? But you forget, we have two children.
This last week we finally bit the bullet and decided it was time for Harry to start getting used to putting himself to sleep. Up until now he’s fallen asleep nursing and then I’ve tiptoed up and put him down. There are a couple very different schools of thought on this — some think that by allowing him to do that, we’ve spoiled him and made things harder for ourselves; others think that to take that comfort away from him is cruel and we’re no longer practicing *attachment* parenting, and have done the equivalent of leaving our baby alone and exposed on a mountain top to suffer whatever ills might befall him.
We think that a newborn needs that comfort and reassurance, and we gladly gave it. But now, at nearly 10 months, we think we need help him learn to *self-soothe*, or whatever the latest buzzword is. There are probably about as many *methods* for getting a baby to sleep as there are frazzled parents. Ferber, pick-up-put-down, cry it out….. I think one of the reasons it took Liam (way back when) so long to learn to put himself to sleep is because we (okay, I) couldn’t commit to one course of action. One would sound good, but then I’d read arguments against it, and get wishy-washy. Was I being a good parent, or cruel?
This time around I’m more at peace with the whole process. Liam (and I) survived the process, with no obvious scars. Harry will survive as well. So this week we’ve instituted a bedtime (about quarter after 8), at which point I take him up, sing him a song, give him a quick cuddle, and put him down. Then he shrieks; I go back in after a few minutes and pick him up, then put him back for a few minutes. I don’t watch the clock, or refer to the latest baby manual for how long to let him cry. I listen to him. If he’s escalating, I go in. If he sounds like he’s fading, I let it go. The first couple nights it took about half an hour. Then about ten. Last night he didn’t nap well during the day, so he did fall asleep on my lap around 7PM. He woke up, ironically, around 8:30, so I gave him a quick cuddle but put him right back down. He shrieked — for about thirty seconds — and then fell back to sleep. I think he’s beginning to get it, and I think the worst is behind us.
Unfortunately for me, Harry falling asleep an hour and a half early means that he woke up about an hour and a half early, something I did not take into account as Jesse and I sat up late and caught up with non-child friendly television. AND I really ought to keep my promise to Liam to take him to Parc Paradisio, so there most likely will be no nap for me today. But the kids are sleeping well, so I’m a happy, rambling, caffeine-overdriven, bags-under-the-eyes mama.