Wednesday, March 11, 2009

sleeping through the night {finally!!!!!}

i've hesitated to say it for fear of jinxing it, but the boy is FINALLY sleeping through the night and in his crib! ever since he started school in the fall, we got into this bad habit of him waking and demanding to nurse. being, the guilty working mom that i was, i felt like i needed to give it to him because he was drinking very little milk throughout the day - like 2-4ounces total...when most babes were drinking around 3 - 5 ounce bottles! i was exhausted, but there was always a reason on why i didn't feel like it was the right time to sleep train him - he was sick, he was teething, he needed to gain weight (had dropped from the being solidly in the 50th percentile pre-school and his low was the 6th percentile a couple of months after starting going to school!), and on and on and on. after a couple of months of getting up and feeding him and then getting him back to sleep, i became SO tired that i would just bring him into bed so i could nurse him lying down and then we'd both drift back to sleep. right away, i knew this was a bad plan...but i was TIRED! i quickly tried to right my wrong, but it was TOO late...the boy enjoyed being in bed with us and grew to demand it! he would start screaming in his crib around 2am with teddy and blanket in hand, waiting for me to come and get him! and again...i was TOO tired to solve the problem.

until a few weeks ago - it started getting ridiculous. he no longer would just go back to sleep in our bed, it became a whole night ordeal of him tossing and turning, kicking and waking - signing for milk and thinking that i was a 24 hour, all you can eat buffet. my goal of weaning him was suddenly further and further away and i was even MORE exhaused...if that was possible! wednesday, february 18 was the day our lives changed! after a vent session and pep talk with my friend, erin, i was inspired to put my foot down and gain the control i had lost to my 14 month old! that night, aa and i decided that kellen could learn to sleep through the night in his own crib.

it was surprisingly much easier than i ever imagined. aa deserves much of the credit, for he was the one who had to go in and comfort and soothe the boy back to sleep those first couple of nights.

Night 1 was the hardest - he woke at midnight and it took aa about 30 minutes of shhooshing, singing and lying on the floor next to the crib. an hour later, he woke up again and it took about 20 minutes of the same routine. 4am he awoke again, but this time aa went in and gave him his pacifier and was able to walk right out. if i remember right, he then slept until 7:30 or 8am that morning. Not TOO bad of a night.

Night 2 - miraculous - he woke at 4am and aa was back in bed after less than 10 minutes and that included about 5 minutes of him falling asleep on the floor! this time the boy slept in until around 8ish! Huge improvement!!!

Night 3 - he stirred and cried a bit at 6am, but put himself back to sleep and woke around 7:30 - OMG...he really did it and he's been doing pretty much the same thing since then!!!

i was a little worried that our trip might set us back, since we'd all be sleeping in the same room with him in a pack and play next to our bed...but the sweet boy slept through the night and woke up at what is now his fairly normal time of around 6:45.

i can't tell you how much this has changed all of our lives! we have our bed back and we are all sleeping so much better and waking up in a happy mood. this was so right for all of us and it was clear that we were all ready for this change in our sleeping habits (although i will admit that both aa and i do comment how we kind of miss waking up to him next to us in the morning!!!)! once again...sorry for the wordy post, but i wanted to get this down for my own documentation purposes and also give anyone else encouragement that you can break bad sleeping habits, even in older babies!


A, J, and G said...

Yeah Angie!!!! (and Kellen and Aaron). What a difference a full nights sleep makes.

Dottie said...

YEAH!!! That is so great, sounds like a pretty painless process! Nice work Ang!

Andrew said...

yay to the gassners! i can't say i had a lot to do with it... i just happened to be the one there when you made the decision :) i'm so happy your are all sleeping well. can't wait to see you again soon! :)

Andy & Heather Singer said...

Congrats!!! Isn't it amazing to finally sleep!