Monday, July 13, 2009
I may have created a sleeping monster.
For the past week, my son has been up every hour. By about 3 a.m. he starts a pattern of waking as soon as I put him down. By 5 a.m. or 6 a.m., I am exhausted and started the bad habit of bringing him into bed with me to side nurse (we finally figured this out on our recent camping trip and it’s wonderful) and sleep for a couple of hours.
I haven’t been overly concerned about this hourly waking pattern as our little guy was cutting four teeth last week and if he needed extra attention, I figured he deserved it.
However, it has continued into this week.
So last night, I decided to let him cry it out for a bit.
It broke my heart. Our little guy is a tad stubborn (he gets this naturally I am afraid. Both my husband and I can be pig headed) and I gave up before he did but not before he screamed for what felt like a hour (I have noticed that in the middle of the night, what is a half a hour, feels like it’s at least a hour), cried with real tears and grabbed my neck to pull him up into my arms.
In the end, I picked him up and nursed him back to sleep and brought him back into bed with me this morning.
Before I got back to work, I have three options:
1.Understand sleep is for the weak.
I can continue this pattern and hope our son eventually gets a hang of this sleeping thing. In fairness to our to our little guy, he learned to sleep in his bed at nights and for naps.
I really hate this method. I know it works, but the thought of allowing my son to cry himself to sleep makes me physically sick. It brings back horrible memories of when he was sick, crying and struggling to live while I couldn’t pick him up, hold him or comfort him in any way. The thought of letting him cry it out so he learns to self-soothe just seems cruel.
I enjoy cuddling with my husband in bed, chatting as we fall asleep and wake up. That’s hard to do when our son is in the middle taking up what little time we have for just the two of us.
So the end result is that I know our son will eventually need to be sleep trained but I am not at the stage where I think he has to give up night nursing. He is not even nine months old so I don’t think he really understands what milk is, never mind that he can’t have any more of it.
I am happy with our sleeping monster. And that is all that matters.