Sleep Training: Night 1

After I posted about the difficulty I was having deciding on whether or not we should start sleep training our baby yesterday, our answer became very clear.  After 45 minutes of rocking, random screaming, fussing, fighting and singing, I just had a breakdown.  My poor husband patiently calmed me down while our little one wailed in the next room.

“That’s it.  She’s going to have to cry tonight.  I’m done.” and “I can’t take it anymore!” and “I love her and I want to give her what she wants but I can’t do this for the rest of our lives!” and I think my favorite – “Maybe I should go back to work.  Maybe I’m not cut out for this!”.  As if going back to work would make things easier, not harder.  The melodrama was impressive, if I do say so myself.  My poor husband.  Dealing with both of us.  It didn’t help that both baby and I are sick.  And tired.  So we decided we were going to do it.   We would go back in to her room in 5 minutes.  He went in and put her down and walked downstairs to the garage for some reason.  I sat on the computer and listened, frustrated and angry.  Why?  I dunno.  She pissed me off with all the body rigidity and random screams and the whole I’m-not-gonna-sleep-and-you-can’t-make-me.

Then a crazy thing happened.  All the noise stopped.  Whaaaaaa?  She had fallen asleep.  Just like that.  We watched as she fussed a little, tossing and turning, covering her head in the blanket (why on god’s green earth does she need to cover her face???  Doesn’t she know I’m deathly afraid she’ll suffocate?  Seriously, is she trying to kill me?  Oh, by the way, I like sleeping underneath my pillow instead of on top of it.  No connection, right?  Riiiight.).  She moved on to froggy formation, with her little legs bent and her little arms bent.  Asleep. Adorable.  How could this be?  We’ve been fighting her every night for the last umpteen nights and here she was, giving us the finger.  Awesome.

That was at around 8:30.  But would she stay asleep?  Not bloody likely.  But she actually did pretty well.  She slept until about 12:00.  When I heard her cry, I braced myself for a battle that could last at least a few hours.  The plan was to let her cry for five minutes, and then go back and reassure her.  Return in 7, then 10, the 15.  By the time I got to her room, she was already standing up in her crib.  I laid her down, she yelled, sat back up and yelled some more.  I put her down again. She popped right back up.  I put her down and walked out the room.  By the time I got back to our room and looked in the video monitor, she was standing up in her crib again.  Fuuuuu…you know the rest.  I turned off the sound because I can hear her from her room and the monitor just made it so much worse.  We watched her sit down and rub her eyes.  Then lie down and roll around her crib, trying to find that elusive nymph, Sleep.  But she did – back in froggy formation, precious (and with her head under the blanket again, dammit!).  I went and fixed it and she slept for another 4 hours!   In less than 7 minutes!  Showed us.

She did it again at 4:30 or so.  But she wasn’t up for very long and put herself back to sleep and slept again until almost 7:45!  What the eff is going on here?  I don’t know but I like it!  I’m not kidding – just earlier this week she had been waking up every hour and a half, sometimes every forty-five minutes, wanting to be held and rocked.  Crazy.  We think it’s because she’s sick or maybe because she had vaccinations the day before.  Whatever the reason, we’ll take it.  Even though I never slept more than 4 hours, I still felt so much better this morning.  And when she woke up, her dad and I went in her room and she was standing in her crib.  And she smiled at us, our happy baby.  It was a good night.

I know that I can’t expect tonight to go this well but last night gave me some hope.  She took a 2.5+ hour nap this afternoon and I put her down in her crib sleepy but awake tonight.  She didn’t cry.  Just fussed and rolled and played with the mirror in her crib, the slats, and moved around til she found her old friend, Sleep.  Froggy formation won again.  She’s been sleeping for about an hour and a half and I heard her wake up but she put herself back to sleep, which is what sleep training is meant to do.  I’m still hopeful about tonight but I’m scared.  We’ll see what happens!  Here’s a picture of a sleepy animal.  Cuz it’s cute.  That’s why.

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