We took the plunge and sleep trained Oliver over the weekend. I had an epic meltdown on Thursday night. He wouldn’t stop nursing and every time I thought he was asleep and tried to put him down, he’d wake up. I even tried having him in our bed but as soon as I rolled away from him he would try to climb up onto me. I was exhausted from a rough time the night before (he was up 7 times!) and not feeling well. It was the last straw. I was ready to have him go to sleep by himself.
So Friday night we followed the same steps we did when we sleep trained Molly. Read him a story, tuck him in and leave, setting a timer for 5 minutes. Of course he cried and A went in after the time was up and comforted him a bit before leaving again. The timer went on again, this time for 10 minutes. And it never went off. He was out about 7 minutes in! Subsequent naps and bedtime have gone really well, with him fussing for only a few minutes before settling.
It was hard hearing him cry but not as bad as it was with Molly. Molly rarely cried as a baby, so when she did it killed me to hear it. With Oliver though, because he’s been fussy since day one, I’m a bit used to it. I didn’t like knowing that he wanted me to comfort him and I was denying him that, but I need this separation for my health.
I don’t regret not doing it sooner. I had to do it when the time was right for me and when I knew he wouldn’t fight us on it too much. And of course he’s still nursing and getting comfort in the night. I’m not willing to cut him off completely yet. I’d still like to give him a chance to night wean on his own. But I’m not nursing him back to sleep in the night. I’m pulling him off after a few minutes and putting him back down somewhat awake.
With both kids I’ve stayed true to my parenting motto: you do what you do as long as it works for you. When it doesn’t work anymore, make a change and don’t regret how you handled things before. There’s too much negativity surrounding various parenting choices which causes mom’s to experience self-doubt and self-criticism. I don’t need that crap in my life. No one does.
Here’s to (hopefully) more sleep!