Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sleeping Through the Night at Last

Edith is finally sleeping through the night and we're all much happier for it.

Earlier this month I was at the end of my rope. The last time I could remember getting a full night's sleep was somewhere around August ... 2012. For weeks before Edith was born I couldn't get eight hours straight because I was so uncomfortable and it was such an ordeal to even roll over. Then, in the 10 months after she was born I would get up at least once -- and often more -- during the night to feed and comfort her.

I was crabby.

The lack of overnight sleep was annoying but wasn't so much of a problem before I started freelancing. Before I had writing assignments, I took naps when she did during the day if I was overly tired. But now I had work to do during that quiet time. Something had to take a backseat, and it was usually sleep.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I decided to try the cry-it-out method. The more I looked into it, the more I understood that it gets a bad rap. You never just leave your child crying alone in a cold, dark room for hours and hours. Instead, you enter the bedroom at increasingly longer intervals to reassure them, but not pick them up.

I knew it would be difficult, but it wasn't as difficult as I feared. I knew something had to change. If we were going to do it, then I was eager to start and get it over with.

We first started on a Tuesday night, and she cried for 30 or 40 minutes, and we checked on her several times. The next night was closer to a half hour. The third night she didn't wake up until 8 a.m. We had done it!

Now she goes to bed at 9 p.m. with little fuss, awake but sleepy. I sometimes hear her wake up at night, but she falls right back asleep and gets up at 8 a.m. every morning.

It's been three weeks, and it still feels like a luxury. But after 14+ months, I feel like I deserve a good night's sleep.

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