A few nights ago, Monday to be precise, Little L woke up from a deep sleep around 11pm. As was our norm I pulled her out of her crib and rocked her back to sleep; it only took a minute. Seconds after being placed back in her crib she woke up again and cried for me. I pulled her out and rocked her again. And again, after a short minute, I placed a deeply sleeping child back in the crib, only to have her wake right up again moments later. This time she feel asleep again the instant I picked her up and I realized that she fully intended to sleep in my arms.
That was it, that was my wall, my “it’s time to let this child cry herself to sleep” moment. While I was fine with having her in my bed for a few hours in the early morning, all night was a whole other ball park. And so I patted her tummy gently, kissed her goodnight, gave her a pacifier, and walked away. She screamed for 31 minutes and fell asleep. Without any planning or agonizing we were sleep training, and sleep training with big guns; none of the reassuring her every 10/15/20 minutes. Nope, we went for the big “lalalalala can’t hear you cry” guns.
The next night, empowered by my win I decided to go a step further: get rid of the 1am feed. She fell asleep after 25 minutes of crying, slept through her 11pm wake-up, and woke up at 1. I let her cry, and cry, and cry. She screamed and wailed. She moaned, and then she screamed some more. It was like a scene from The Exorcist. She cried for an hour and forty minutes before I caved and fed her. She ate voraciously and went back to sleep without a fuss. She slept in her crib until 6.
The following night was even better. She fell asleep in seven minutes, slept though the 11pm wake up, through the 1am feeding and didn’t cry until 3. I let her cry and moan until 4, fed her, and put her back in her crib, where she stayed until she woke up for the day.
Friday we put her down early because we were going on a date and didn’t want to torture the sitter any more than necessary. She took longer to fall asleep (45 minutes), but slept until 4. This time she didn’t scream and cry, just fussed until 5, and when I went to feed her she barely ate and went right back to sleep until 6:30.
Last night we were out late celebrating Passover. Little L fell asleep during dinner, but woke up before we got home, so she ate later than usual. Despite that, I still feel that last night was our biggest win yet. She fussed for 3o seconds when I put her down and she woke up briefly at 5, moaned for a few minutes and went back to sleep until 7:30.
If the week has been anything to go by, tonight she should sleep through, though she does have a cough and a cold so that might complicate matters. But that’s OK, because have you been following? I’ve been sleeping! For the first time in 8 months I’ve been sleeping more than three hours in a row. So even if tonight goes badly I know that we can persevere, I’ve tasted the sweetness of real sleep and I’m not going back, not now.