Friday, October 23, 2009

Sleep, I Miss You

Last night, there was a coup. The days (weeks, months) of waking up a couple of times a night to tend to the baby's needs are now over. There's a new sheriff in town, and she is severely sleep-deprived and taking no prisoners. The inspiration came from this article: Rituals to Help Baby Sleep Through the Night. Although a good friend (K!) also told me the same thing in early August. Tee-hee!

Ethan was doing fine, sleeping through the night, for a few months before we went on our ten-day camping trip in August. Since then, he has been waking up at least once, if not several times a night, and we usually end up going in and giving him a bottle once or twice a night. Even with that, his sleep is restless and noisy, and he hardly seems to get any real rest anymore. Just like us. Well, those days are over. Not only is it wrong to comfort him with food, but it's not helping him sleep-- it might actually be making it worse. He needs to learn how to get himself back to sleep on his own, self-soothe when he gets upset or wakes up a little, and that way he can finally get a full night of rest.

Last night was the first in what will probably be a very long week of trying to get all of us accustomed to the new regime. Under this plan, we are no longer going to give bottles in the night, unlesss there is absolutely no other way. We are no longer going to run in at every whimper or cry and pick up the baby. No, no, no. Instead, we'll go in and check on him, make sure he's not cold or wet or hurt, and then comfort him for a few moments before going back to our room. I'll do that a couple of times, with longer and longer intervals between going into his room. Last night was a bit rough, because he woke up every hour crying out for us, but he really only cried for a couple of minutes before tiring himself out and going back to sleep. In fact, I only went into his room once because he fell asleep so quickly afterwards. And then he slept until 8:00 a.m., which tells me he was exhausted.

So, although it may take a few days of sleepless nights on our part, eventually it'll work out to the benefit of the entire family. Which is why I support this new regime wholeheartedly. Carry on, Glorious Leader, we will follow!

PS-- This whole thing was pioneered by Dr. Ferber, so now we can say our house has been Ferberized. Or maybe we won't say that. Yeah, probably not a good idea.

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