Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Figuring out the sleep thing, round three.

I have to admit, Nathaniel was the WORST sleeper EVER. From birth he would wake up more times than I could count during the night. I remember one incredibly rough night where he was up every 45 minutes. Of course, I got to get up and go to class after that, so I was a basket case. I also couldn't get him to fall asleep at night. He would cry and cry for at least two hours, fall asleep in my arms, then wake up the minute I laid him down. Double Ugh. But, at about 4 months old I got him to fall asleep no problem. It took about a week of letting him cry for a few minutes, going in and patting him, then leaving, etc. but one magical day I laid him down for a nap and he rolled onto his side and immediately fell asleep.

It wasn't until about 10 months that he began to sleep through the night. That was rough. I blame the pacifier. He would lose that stupid thing in the middle of the night then scream bloody murder when he couldn't find it. I was never so happy to see that thing go (as useful as it was that first year). Of course, he did continue waking up at 5:30am for the day, which royally sucked, but at least he slept from 7:30-5:30 without waking!

Then we had Aaron. Well, I should say I had Aaron. Sam was gone at the time so I got to do the whole sleep thing all over again. Luckily, he was a MUCH better sleeper than Nathaniel. It only took a few days of putting him down while he was awake and having him cry before he would simply fall asleep without a fuss. Of course, he woke up three times a night STARVING (or so it seemed) until he was about 9 months old. I was in survival mode so I didn't care. I would nurse him and then put him back down if it means quiet and a little bit more sleep. Once Sam got home from Kosovo we did the whole, "close doors and turn on fans" routine so we wouldn't hear Aaron wake up. He never took a pacifier, so that wasn't an issue, it was just breaking his middle of the night snacking habits. Now, he's a champion sleeper, and would sleep until 8am if I let him.

Enter Benjamin. I feel like I'm a bit wiser this time around AND I have the added benefit of a husband who is here. Once we got past that newborn, "I don't know why I'm crying, but gosh darn it something is wrong and I'm going to fuss about it!" stage, he fell asleep no issue. But, he has that stinking middle of the night habit. For awhile he would sleep through the night, but then something tragic would happen, like a tooth, or a trip, and he would wake up a few times a night again. I kept expecting it to get better, but this week I realized that my 6 month old is getting up 3 times a night to eat, and he doesn't need to, especially when he nurses for about 2 minutes and then falls asleep.

So, last night we began Operation Sleep Through The Night for the Love of Pete!!! Every time Benjamin cried one of us would go in and pat his back and shush him, but we did NOT pick him up. I realized he wasn't so much crying as he was just whining and complaining. He was up three times, and then at 6am I let him come into bed with us and nurse.

I'm hoping tonight is better. I figured this is a prime time to do this because Sam doesn't work and I don't work, so being a zombie is okay for a few days. Crossing my fingers!!

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