Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep.

I've written about it in the last few monthly updates, but in case you don't know, for the last three months of his life Reuben has slept with us. We have a king size bed and he's an itty bitty baby so it's not like he took up a lot of space. It really hadn't been all that bad, but there was something in me that was SO ready for him to move on. So I decided to start sleep training.

Let me preface the rest of this post with this: I don't write this wanting to start a big debate on sleep training. I did what I was comfortable with and what worked for both of us. Did your kid sleep in bed with you until they were 10? Good for you. Did you let them totally cry it out? Great. To each their own. :)

First off, I probably didn't choose the absolute best time. Little man's second tooth has been working its way in for the last week or so and he was at the tail end of a Wonder Week leap. But it had to be this weekend. Clint was out of town. Clint hates, hates, double hates to hear Reuben cry. It's like it scrambles his brain. So I knew this was the time, even with the leaping, teething baby.

I decided to start it Thursday night. I didn't have anywhere I had to be the next morning, so if it was a major fail I could sleep in with him the next day. We started his new bedtime routine with a bath. If you knew how little I bathed that boy, you probably wouldn't want to hold him anymore. So making baths a more regular thing isn't bad for anybody.

After that it was PJs, nursing, crib. This kid is like one of those dolls whose eyes close when you lay them down, but the total opposite. I rocked him to sleep -like deep sleep- and the nano second I started to lower him into the crib, his eyes popped open and the crying started. He's decided he's over pacifiers so I couldn't use one of those to comfort him. I'd noticed him chewing/sucking on my clothes when I rock him to sleep so I figured it was worth a shot to put a burp cloth in there with him.

After the disaster that was the last time we tried this, I knew he needed to cry longer than 5 minutes. I decided to start with 15. I shut his door, went downstairs, and turned up Project Runway. I had the video monitor by me with the sound turned off. I went up there two different times. About 10 minutes into the third 15 minutes, I realized I didn't hear anything. I looked at the monitor...


He woke up a couple of times in the middle of the night, but it wasn't horrible. I brought him to bed with me when he woke up at 5:45 because I figured he wouldn't actually go back to sleep. Look how dang cute he is when he woke up the morning after his first night alone.

The next night was harder. It took almost an hour and a half. I was sure it wasn't worth it. I was ready to quit but I got some encouragement from a mommy group I'm in.

It works, y'all.

The third night it only took him 7 minutes to go to sleep and last night he just sighed and wiggled when I put him down and was back asleep before I left the room! It's like a miracle. I don't even know what to do with myself with all the free time I've had. I LOVE IT!

So there ya have it. It only took 6.5 months to do it, but Reuben is out of our bed.

At least at the beginning of the night. I kinda love cuddling with him in the morning. One day he won't like it so while he does, this mama is soaking it up!

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