Being a parent is a humbling experience. And we've had our biggest slice of humble pie during the past 24 hours.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights were AWFUL. Some of the worst nights ever. The baby woke up before midnight each night and was up for more than three hours - crying, screaming, NOT sleeping. D spent the most time holding her and rocking her and singing to her. Desperately trying to get her to sleep. I went to sleep in our basement spare bedroom and occasionally attempted to nurse her. She wanted nothing of the sort - and why would she? She's eating three solid meals a day (peas and carrots and a little avocado now and then, along with cereal) and nursing 6 or 7 times a day. The girl is packing in the calories. I digress. Back to the no sleep.
We decided we needed to do something, but had no idea what that something would be. After nursing her her last night, I took her into her room and she completely pitched a fit. She was bathed, fed, in comfortable, newly washed jammies, and had the humidifier in her room on. And she was exhausted. So why the freaking scream-fest? After 10 minutes or so, I realized she was inconsolable. I put her down in her crib, kissed her, and walked out. Shutting the door behind me. I made up my mind that I'd give her 15 minutes alone. Afterwards, I'd go and check on her and decide what to do.
It was a L-O-N-G 15 minutes.
She cried and cried. D and I went downstairs to plunge the shower drain (we're having plumbing issues). We came upstairs and worked on dinner. Finally it was 8:30 and I could go check on her. As I climbed the stairs, I realized it was REALLY quiet. When I got to her door she was just whimpering. I left her alone for a few more minutes. By 8:35 she was asleep. Hallelujah!
We decided we weren't going to pick her up if she woke up again until after midnight. If she woke up then, we'd check to make sure she didn't need to eat and then we'd put her back down. Well, she woke up twice before midnight and each time she cried and went back to sleep. I even went in and removed her crib bumper (because she had plastered her face into it and I didn't want her to smother herself). She didn't wake up.
We didn't hear her at all between midnight and 5:45am. Not wanting to be out of bed before 6am on a Saturday, I waited until 6:01 before going to get her up for breakfast.
And today...she's been so stinking pleasant. She even went down for her mid-day night by herself.
D and I have been working so hard to get her to sleep. We've been rocking, swaddling, trying new blankets, playing music (or ocean noises), etc... And what does our baby want? To be left alone. It's humbling to see that she just needs to get to sleep on her own. It's also a little sad that she doesn't want to be a baby anymore and fall asleep in my arms. But it is also a true blessing to sleep for more than 5 hours without interruption in MY OWN BED at night.
Here's to a half-assed attempt at the cry-it-out method. And a baby who slept well last night.
May this be the beginning of some wonderful nights of sleep for all of us.