Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Littlest Evictor

So my two faithful readers (are there more of you? I wonder about you lurkers...) know that sleep has been a big cause of consternation here. I've written about it before here. Things continue to improve, though, I am happy to report. The sleep routine for Baby G. is down to thirty minutes (at 7:00 p.m. one of us gives her a massage, changes her diapers and into pajamas, 8 oz bottle and then a bit of singing and rocking) and we can still put her down awake and leave the room. She might quietly play with a doll for a few minutes but then she just goes to sleep -- there's not even the fussing anymore. And she will stay asleep for hours and hours, now waking only once per night and waking again at 7:00 a.m. or so. It feels like a miracle and the relief from the near-hourly wakings is incredible.

The only problem? We cannot sleep in the same room with her if she is going to keep up this amazing sleep schedule. Apparently we have been waking her up, and here I was thinking we were all getting better sleep because we were in the same room! I am shocked to realize this, really, but the evidence is all there. We've been waiting to put her in her own room because there is no air conditioner there and the windows are a little shaky. We need to get them replaced but put it off because we are a little lazy and a little foolish, I suppose. Anyway, our sleep arrangements now consist of my husband sleeping upstairs on the guest bed, me sleeping on the couch and the baby slumbering away contentedly in our room. It is ridiculous. We're working on it. Things will change soon, right? Well, we are enjoying the newfound sleep so much that we're happy with just this, but I'm sure we'll get around to the windows soon.

My main reason for posting about this is that there are so many people out there who believe they need to leave their babies to cry in order for them to develop good sleep habits. Parents call it helping them learn to soothe themselves, crying it out, or letting them wear themselves out or blow off steam. As I wrote before, to me it is just heartbreaking. And now I feel more certain than ever that it is also unnecessary. I realize this is my first child and I have a relatively easygoing baby, but I hope this will work for subsequent children as well. And if any of you are thinking about going the CIO route because you don't think anything else will work, I am telling you that no crying was necessary to get our child to learn how to get herself to sleep and stay asleep. Of course, we still have to find a way to get back into our own bed... it's not perfect so far, but at least it's quiet.


At 8/20/2005 8:17 AM, Blogger Rude Cactus said...

Few things in life are perfect and I'm a big advocate for following your instincts. No one can fault you for that.

At 8/20/2005 6:00 PM, Anonymous lu said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you...I could never let my wee ones CIO and we also coslept with both. Believe me, there were times when I was convinced that the girls would never move to their own beds until we were packing them up and sending them off to college (and had friends and family insisting as much), but each one made the transition to their own rooms when they were ready.

As a parent, it's been my experience that listening to my heart rather than whatever "expert" advice is being doled out has served me and my smart, funny, beautiful daughters quite well.


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