Thursday, June 3, 2010


Oh, man, I sure hope I'm not about to jinx myself.

So, in four days, Jordan will be 16 months old. The vast majority of those 16 months have consisted of bedtime battles and interrupted nights.

I nursed Jordan for something like 13 months. The last month, it was only really at bedtime and he had pretty much lost interest, but for his first year, that meant getting up in the night. In fact, he seemed more interested in eating at night than during the day.

Also, at bedtime, I would stay in his room until he went to sleep. Sometimes for an hour and a half. I'd sit there in the dark and cry and beg him to go to sleep so I could go do what I needed to get done before bed. Not fun. And time with my Hubby and Logan after dinner? Nonexistent.

After we stopped nursing, he started waking up at night MORE instead of LESS. It built and built and I was so tired and crabby and sick-feeling all the time, I yelled at my kids, I snapped at my husband, I ate copious amounts of junk during the day on my quest for energy.

It was awful.

It got really, really bad a few weeks ago, to the point that one night, in the middle of the night, my half-asleep husband asked "Can we just ship him away somewhere?"

That made me sad, but I understood. These sleep problems were ruining our lives in a big way.

I have read and read and read all these happy baby and sleep solution books and tried a variety of different things. Nothing really seemed to work.

Finally, my mini vacation with Hubby was coming up and I needed to get this baby sleeping before my mom came to stay with the kids. I made up my mind, I was going to let him cry it out.

I should mention, I had tried this, sort of, before, but I just can't let my baby cry frantically for HOURS. It seems cruel. A few minutes is fine, but not all night. And Jordan? He would keep going. You'd think he'd get tired but he just seemed to get more and more worked up. It was ugly.

But anyway, this time I decided I needed to try it again. I was desperate.

This was something like 10 days ago.

Wouldn't you know it, that first night, I put him in his bed and he didn't make a peep. He laid down and went to sleep, even though I didn't stay in his room. I think he woke up once or twice during the night. I gave him a drink of water and his paci and he went back to sleep.

A fluke, I thought.

The next night, he started screaming when I put him in his bed. I steeled myself for the long haul and left the room. About 10 minutes later, he laid down and went to sleep. Woke up maybe once that night. Water, paci and back to sleep.

The next night, he just gave me a 45-second "You suck, Mom" cry and slept. All night. No wake-ups!

The next night was the night we left. My mom said he cried for about a half hour. I blame it on the fact that it was the first time, ever, that someone other than me or Hubby (and it's usually been me) put him to bed. He slept all night.

The next two nights, Mom said he'd cry a few minutes but then go to sleep just fine. All night. Like, 12 hours.

We came home from our vacation and the past 4 nights he's either gone right to sleep or just given me 30 seconds or so of crying to let me know he's mad that I put him to bed. But then he's gone to sleep. All night.

Not only that, I've had some success following the same plan with naps, at least on some days. I watch for signs he's tired, usually around 10:30 or so (he only takes one nap a day) and I'll read a book, turn on his CD, put him down and leave the room. I can get anywhere from 1-2 hours out of him when he goes down nicely for a nap.

Another thing I did was put some blankets over his window to darken his room, since it's staying light out so late.

Life is a whole new ballgame now that the family is getting sleep. Hubby and I are so much nicer to each other, I'm nicer to my kids, I'm not feeling borderline depressed anymore like I was for a while there, Jordan's a sunnier child and he even seems to be making bigger strides developmentally, though that might just be a coincidence. My skin is even clearer, and I'm having an easier time staying away from junk food.

Thank goodness for sleep!

This photo was taken just before dinner on New Year's Eve. I don't think I've taken a sleeping photo of Jordan since, because I never caught him asleep!


Mellissa said...

Congrats on getting sleep!