"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For the last three weeks with the exception of the last couple of nights our little girl (or big girl baby as she calls herself) has taken us back to the infancy stage of sleepless nights. I have told you in the past that Caroline was an easy baby. I was one of those that set the alarm clock every three hours during the night so that I could nurse her before she became hungry or before the crying would begin to be fed (I was told by my lactation specialist that if a baby cries due to being hungry then they are past starvation and I never could fathom the thought of my precious sweet C being hungry). Then after feeding her she'd go back to sleep until it was feeding rounds 2, and 3! That seemed easy, right (well now it does..hindsight is 20-20, but in the moment I do remember those feeding periods being tiresome...Sam told me that he thought I raised my voice at her one morning..I probably did... in my delirium state).
Well, somewhere along the way she has learned that if she wakes in the night she'll get to sleep for the rest of the night with mommy and daddy in what she calls the "b bed"...big bed. I'm not sure if she got confused over Christmas break with our off schedule sleeping patterns. When we stayed up late and would sleep in and if she woke up too early in the morning say around 7, I'd put her in bed with me and she'd fall back to sleep for another hour or so. (Also, she sleeps exactly ten hours, to the exact minute). Whatever the reason, she would not go back to sleep in her bed and she would refuse to stay in her bed once awakened. She would scream and cry until we reluctantly placed her in our bed. I don't mind her sleeping in our bed occassionally...bad weather, a night terror, etc, but even though we have a king size bed it's almost impossible to go to sleep with a leg thrown over my chest, a hand punch in the eye, or a squirmy little body. 
Well, last week I told Sam that if she woke up in the night she would be crying "this one out". For sure, she woke up and for what seemed like forever we let her "cry it out". I'm sure it was due to exhaustion that she fell back to sleep. Before this point we were going into her room more than several times during the night to soothe her, to no avail, and that's when we'd pick her up and she'd sleep the rest of the night with us. She first started waking up at 4:40 close to the time for us to get up for the day, okay some manageable. Then she backed it up to 3:30 then 3:00 then one night 11:00 (this makes for a long sleepless night). One night, Sam laid on her bedroom floor in hopes that she'd go back to sleep. But as soon as he'd step across the hall, back to our room, she'd start the shenanigans all over again (more sleep loss for this teacher mommy). This went on for weeks until the night we let her "cry it out". It was awful to listen to her cry and to hear her say "mommy, mommy, mommy" and "daddy, daddy, daddy" over and over and over was just absolutely heartbreaking. This was very hard. Extremely hard.
But, what do you know, the next night and the night after everyone slept and all was rested.
Update: Well, she's still waking up once in the night but after some "much a do" we can get her to stay in her crib and go back to sleep. We tell her that "it's too hot" for her in our bed (I sleep with two blankets besides the wool comforter) and she's quite a heater herself, and that "you're a big girl and you need to go night night in your big girl bed". After putting her thumb in her mouth and finding her "pajama pants tag"..she won't use a lovey much anymore, she becomes happy and will lay down (only if we stand over her crib and wait for her to fall back to dreamland)! Oh and you know how much I love that happiness...
Until I hear, that once she's in a real "big girl bed", a new battle arrises. The battle for her to stay in her bed without getting out a gizillion times.
Good times!

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