Friday, February 12, 2010

All Through the Night

I know I've discussed peanut's sleep issues here in the past. It's definitely been a challenge to get him to sleep without fights or frequent wake ups. Over the last almost 15 months mrp and I would get on top of one problem--say fighting when we put him down--only for another one to spring up in its place--say waking up frequently in the night. For a while mrp could soothe peanut during a night wake up, but somewhere along the line peanut decided it was going to be me soothing or an hour-plus of crying. And not just crying, SCREAMING. So, just to make things easier, I'd go up when peanut woke up, nurse him and put him back to bed. Two or three times of a 5 minute nursing session was much better than hours of screaming!

Well, then I suddenly found myself half-way through my second pregnancy. With the thought of being up all night nursing a newborn and then having to tend to my manipulative screaming toddler at 4 a.m., something needed to be done. Period. Mrp and I have been wracking our brains trying to figure out what would work. Since he was 5 months old we have tried Ferber, the No-Cry Sleep Solution, the Baby Whisper, etc. You name it, we tried it. With peanut it seems the best way to help him take big leaps is to wait until he finally reaches a point where he gets it. And we believed we were at that point (it also helped that we were over it and extremely motivated too!)

And what he got has now caused him to sleep through the night for over a week straight now. And no nursing from night-night time until his first nap at the earliest (I'm only nursing 2-3 times a day, which is a HUGE improvement from the 4-6 times a day I was nursing him just a week or so ago!) So what did we do Well, we sat peanut down and we said this:

Peanut, after mommy and daddy put you down for night-night there will be no more booby. If you cry after night-night mommy and daddy will come make sure you're all right, give you a hug and some water and if you're ok we will leave and go back to sleep. It's ok if you cry when we leave. We know it's hard to grow into a big boy. But you can do it. We love you.

People. It worked! Sure, part of it is that we've 100% stuck to the plan. If he wails between the hours of 7:30 and 6:30 a.m. both mrp and I head up as a team and give him the schtick "It's night-night time. Here's some water. We love you. We know it's hard, but you can do it. It's ok to cry. We are tired so we are going back to sleep now. Good night." And we give him the big shpeel every night before bed. He completely gets it. Last night he cried at 3:30, his first middle of the night wake up in days. Mrp and I marched up, went through the routine. He was screaming as we closed the door, but by the time I peed and climbed in bed, silence. And I didn't hear another peep until 6:58 a.m.!

I feels good to take back the power. It's amazing how these little tiny people call the shots some times!


DC Running Mama said...

Yeah for you! I thought I had it bad getting up 1-2 times a night. We actually did sleep training this week, too, and it seems like it worked!! Hope it sticks! You must need the sleep!

Mama Simmons said...

Oh yes! Love this. They really do understand so much now and KNOW what they need to do to get what they want. But they also know that there's no use wasting their time/energy crying when they know mom and dad aren't giving in. :) Cool that you and your hubby are on the same page with this. I'm sure that's a big help.

Mnowac said...

Good for you, so glad it's finally working! Great running with you today.