Big news, people, big news. Are you ready? Brace yourselves. Here goes:
Cora Janie Pool has finally (finally!) decided to sleep through the night. That is STTN for the newbies. I honestly thought this day would never come. She is only (single tear drips down my cheek) 20.5 months old. She’s practically a teenager.
STTN Confession: it took some crying on her part. I know, I know. It is terrible to think of sweet, innocent, beautiful Cora crying in the middle of the night and me allowing this to happen. But here is the thing- it wasn’t that she was just waking up to nurse and then going back to sleep. She was waking up ALL NIGHT LONG and crying despite nursing and was just plain pitiful and cranky the next day.
It’s okay if you are judging me. I know you are.
So here is what we did for Operation Night Wean. I decided that boobs were off-limits from 8:00-5:00 am. Every night after she nursed, I explained to her that it was time to sleep and that there was no milk till morning. I left her happily awake and in her crib.
When she woke up for the first time, usually around midnight, I put her in my bed. I patted her bum, gently (other times gruffly) told her to lay down, and handed her a pacifier. When she screamed, I repeated the process. Pat the bum, whisper shhh, repeat. Sometimes she head butted me in anger. She also yelled, “NO!” a few times as well.
Repeat this scene every few hours. She would fuss and we would go through it all again. I held to my statement of “no milk till morning.” The process of changing her sleep pattern has been something I have dreaded for a long, long time. Waking up to nurse was a habit. We had to break the cycle.
There was no abandonment. There was no waiting and returning.
We are on day six or seven of this new plan and every night has gotten a little bit better. She has had three nights of zero wake-ups. She has been so happy! And rested! And joyful! Truthfully, I probably shouldn’t even be blogging about this development yet. You know tonight she is going to wake up 16 times and scream.
Change is hard but man are we happy. Sleep: our new love language.