First off, Charlotte had her 6-month appointment at the doctor last week. For anyone who’s curious, she is presently 17 lbs, 12 ounces and 28″ tall. Her height is still 98th percentile. I just wanted there to be some record of that on the blog, but it’s not what I’m here to discuss today.
What I’m here to discuss is this:
Last night, Charlotte slept for 10.5 hours.
7 pm – 10:30 pm
10:45 pm – 3:30 am
3:45 am – 6 am
She cried for maybe 10 minutes combined all night. That’s less than she would cry when she was sleeping ON ME.
Granted, she was insanely exhausted by bedtime since she didn’t sleep the previous night and we could only get her down for one nap yesterday. We are sure that tonight isn’t going to be nearly as peaceful as last night was, but still… SHE SLEPT. The most she has ever slept in her life. At least we’ll be better rested going into night 3.
I don’t need to tell you how badly we needed last night. Catch and I took turns crying all day yesterday. I was so grouchy at my mom’s house when we went to watch the Super Bowl that I think she probably wished we would leave. We were so defeated. Thank you Charlotte for knowing when your moms absolutely cannot take anymore.
I also want to say to everyone who expressed concern for or opposition to our sleep training techniques that I appreciate where you’re coming from, but I ask that you respectfully keep those opinions quiet going forward. We’re already walking this path–it’s not up for debate. I need you to understand that this approach is not something we entered into lightly. We did plenty of research. We read the book. We talked to other people who have done the same thing. (Special thanks to the two of you in blog land who have held my hand the last few days. I am so crazy grateful for your commiseration and words of encouragement.) We even discussed it with Charlotte’s pediatrician.
Charlotte is not just your average bad sleeper who wakes up a few times a night. Her sleep problems were outrageous. In a 10-hour stretch, she was often awake 8-12 times… and that’s if she was sleeping ON me. If she wasn’t on me, we could easily be up with her most of the night.
Please also remember that this was not our first resort. I wanted DESPERATELY to cosleep with her. I would gladly have kept her in our bed right in between us and nursed her on demand, but she HATED sleeping in our bed. I have been sleeping on the couch with her on my chest off and on for MONTHS. My back is killing me, not to mention that the couch is not a safe place for her to be sleeping.
We also tried the no-sleep methods. We gave that two weeks, and at the end of 2 weeks we were getting even less sleep than we were to begin with, and she was totally dependent on my rocking/singing/hand on her chest.
I hate hearing my baby cry. I hate not scooping her up and snuggling her close to me. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t hate that? (Hence yesterday’s post, when I was leaning just how much I hate it.) But you know what I hate more? That she isn’t getting enough sleep for her developmental needs… and that the sleep issues she’s having now could plague her through adulthood if we don’t teach her better habits.
This is not a traditional Ferber cry-it-out method. If she’s crying, she receives reassurance from us every 5 minutes like clockwork. She knows she isn’t alone. She knows mommies are there. She’s upset because she’s in a new place and it’s not where she wants to be–and frankly, who wouldn’t prefer to be cuddled up to mom? Of course she’s going to be angry and sad. But we have decided that she is old enough to learn how to make her crib a place where she wants to be and this is how we’ve chosen to teach her.
If my conception and breastfeeding journeys are evidence, I think I have more than demonstrated to this community how willing I am to walk to hell and back for my daughter. I have already exposed how vulnerable and inadequate I feel with relation to her sleep issues. Please try your hardest not to make me feel worse. No matter how well-meaning, to me, it feels like kicking me when I’m down.