Wednesday, December 12, 2012

History repeats itself (excerpt from my post at After the Storks)

You can find this post, and other helpful insights on what it is like after you have a baby at After the Storks where me and a few other moms blog about our unique experiences :)
I thought I would discuss sleepless nights. It seems like a far and distant being jolted from a deep sleep (I say this sarcastically because I haven't ever been able to sleep deeply since having A) to feed a baby at 2am who was just awake 2 hours ago. I change the diaper, make the bottle, feed the baby, clean up the projectile vomit that she would always do because she had acid reflux, rock her to sleep, take her downstairs because she won't sleep, watch 3am tv and fall asleep with her on my chest on my recliner..those really were the best times. At the time I was too tired to see that it would all fly by in an instant, that I would miss those times like crazy.

A is about 2 1/2 now and recently she has reverted back to waking in the middle of the night. For someone who has not had to tend to a child for over a year in the middle of the night, this is quite exhausting. From about 26 months on she has decided she would wake up, scream for me to get her water or that she wants milk then play in her bed for a few hours before falling asleep again. Last night she actually got out of bed, opened her door, opened my bedroom door and let herself on my bed. I was asleep, husband is out of town so you can imagine the scare I got at 4am. She played in my bed until 7am. It is brutal. Did I mention I am exhausted and pregnant with twins? My body is sore and I can barely keep my eyes open during the day. But when she finally fell asleep at 7am and I woke up around 8 and laid next to her, I began to daydream about what it will be like to have 3 little buddies in bed with me. Ideally I would not want to have my kids get used to crawling in bed with us, but they are so peaceful and cuddly. I look forward to the sleepless nights and the special bond I will build with the twins during those middle of the night feedings...mainly because I know it will get better and they will eventually sleep through the night. Until they turn two at least :)

When it came to sleep training A, I had no idea when to begin or how to go about doing it. She was 10 months old and I was still rocking her to sleep at night and for every nap. I had a friend with a child much younger than A. She would just put her baby in bed, he would cry for a few minutes then fall asleep on his own. She had the same video monitor I had, yet hers was placed on a table away from her. She wasn't concerned with his movements when he was in bed. She wasn't obsessively looking at the monitor every time she heard a noise. She told me she just learned not to worry, that he would be just fine. It was then that My husband and I decided we would sleep train A. We put her to bed that night with a bedtime story and a kiss. I took the monitor downstairs and my husband made me turn the volume all the way down. I still heard her screaming and crying. I was crying as well. I felt that if I just went up and rocked her she would fall asleep much better but realistically I couldn't expect her to depend on me for that always. I needed to let go. That night she cried for 20 minutes. We discussed that if she cried for a half and hour that I would go up and rock her. 20 minutes and she was asleep. The next day she napped with no issues, no rocking. That night she cried for 5 minutes. After that night we would read her a story, kids her goodnight and put her to bed. She would fall asleep without making a peep. She learned how to self soothe and put herself to sleep. I was a proud momma! She is still tat way to this day. Though now she has a special blanket and teddy she has to take to bed with her. She can't fall asleep without those two things, but she does it on her own. In her own big girl toddler bed. That transition was easier, I think, because she learned how to comfort herself. I am not saying this might be the case for all kids, but for her this is true. Sure she has now learned how to get out of said toddler bed, but they do say that history repeats itself. Seeing as how her infant days flew by, which can only mean her toddler days will fly by as well and she will soon be in school and such, I will cherish each and every single moment I can of hearing the pitter patter of her little feet through the hallway and stopping in front of my bedroom door. I will miss that someday.

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