After last night’s fiasco, I was looking forward to going to sleep!
At 9:00 p.m. I nursed Bean to sleep. He was ready for bed and it took less than 15 minutes for him fall asleep. I probably should explain our normal bedtime nursing routine. I read him his favorite book, Night-Night Forest Friends and nurse him until he falls asleep. This takes place on the day bed in his nursery. He will stay in that daybed to sleep and I often end up sleeping there as well. However last night after he was asleep, I placed him in his crib.
At 12:08 a.m. I was awakened by my son’s crying. Since he was in his crib I decided I would try the “cry it out” method. I laid in my bed listening to his wailing, knowing that eventually he would stop. But as I watched the clock I thought about everything I had read arguing the negative effects of “cry it out” method. I remembered reading that you should stand beside the crib and reassure the child that you are there and they are safe. And that your child builds trust by knowing they can depend on you to be there when they need you.
Then Bean started saying “Mommy!” in between his sobs in the most heartbreaking way. It was as if he realized I had abandoned him. Well that did it! 12 minutes later I was walking to the other side of the house.
When I entered his room, his little face was soaked wet with tears and he looked so stressed. I felt horrible. I picked him up immediately and told him everything was okay and he could go back to sleep. He quieted immediately and rested his head on my shoulder. I just held him and swayed back and forward. He was sleep within minutes! I didn’t even have to nurse him! I stood holding Bean for an additional 10 minutes hoping he would forgive me. Now I had a dilemma. Should I place him back into his crib as planned? Or lie him down on the daybed which is much easier. I thought back to the previous days conversation with my mom.
As soon as I lowered him into his crib his eyes shot open and he started screaming. I asked him if he would lay down and go to sleep. He said “No.” So I picked him back up and rocked him again. Though this time he did not close his eyes. After another 5 minutes, I decided to lay in the bed with him. He immediately fished for my breast and began to nurse. He was sleep in 3 minutes. Instead of getting up and going back to my room, I decided to stay with him and cuddle. I felt guilty for allowing him to cry alone in his crib for a whopping 12 minutes. I know I know, but you should have seen his face! You would have stayed for cuddles too.
He slept the rest of the night, and at 7:30 a.m. I snuck out of bed.
He woke up about 40 minutes later. Crying. He asked for night-night but I did not give in. Instead I fixed him some juice and water in his sippy cup. No tantrums this morning. Win!
Now he is napping. Putting him to sleep was a challenge today. He jumped from breast to breast for about 35 minutes. Pulling, tugging, slapping… his feet in my face, on my chest, in my hair. Sigh. I should probably be asleep too. But he’s in my bed. Ugh.