Alright, people, the story of getting baby S to sleep is a long and painful one. My obsession with sleep troubles started long ago, somewhere around the 10 day mark when it became apparent that Stella was not a sleeper. But we’re not flashing back that far, and I certainly won’t revisit the fact that she used to wake up MORE THAN 12 times per night, and at one point would wake screaming like a banshee every 20 minutes between the hours of 7 PM and midnight.*
(*see how I just threw that little chestnut in there so that you’d be fully cognizant of the fact that I’ve been through the wars, thereby justifying my foray into sleep training, assuaging my hippy guilt while also demonstrating my extreme patience and general saintliness?)
No, no, this little recap will only highlight where we were before we started sleep training. So, let’s revisit where we were about three weeks ago:
Previously, On Sleeping Through The Night: (dramatic music here)
- Stella was a part-time bed-sharer, part-time pack-n-play master-bedroom roommate.
- She woke up between 4 and 6 times per night to nurse
- She was awake for long periods of time, particularly after 3 AM. Which meant so was I. And this was sub-ideal. A lot
- She cried and cried and cried before falling asleep, no matter what I did
So. Basically, our sleeping situation was sub-idea. And we decided that finally, it was really really really time to get serious on sleep’s ass and make it happen. Although I was ambivalent about sleep training (to say the least), and was sad to put an end to co-sleeping, it was apparent that Stella thought of our bed as a playground and not as a sleeping place. So, bye-bye co sleeping. But before I get ahead of myself, I’ll outline what we did on PEZM (Project Ending Zombie Moms):
Stage 1 - Git In YER BED!
- I set up a cot in Stella’s room, and determined that she would sleep in her own bed, so help me Easter Bunny, no matter what.
- And she did. And it was no biggie. Turns out, she slept waaaaayyyyy better in her own bed.
Stage Two - Night Night Milkies
- I night weened. In one night. Bandaid --> riiiiiiiiiiiiiiipp
- Mr. Chef took over nighttime parenting duties, sleeping in Stella’s room all night and I bed-shared with a my earplugs. And slept for eight hours in a row for the first time in about two years. Oh my
- Stella work up 11 times the first night, but didn’t cry once
- Night two it was down to 4 times. Still no tears
- By night four, there were two wakeups. Still tear free
- Then we did a little experiment wherein I took over nighttime duties, and it was an all out scream-a-thon, so me and my earplugs went back to our own room.
- Mr. Chef continued to be the baby whisperer, and Stella continues NOT TO CRY while he’s around.
Stage Three - Pending
- Stella is now Sleeping from about 7 PM until 3 or 4 AM ALONE! IN HER OWN BED!
- She’s WAKING UP ONLY ONCE!!!!!
- Mr. Chef continues to sleep in her room from about 3 or 4 am until she’s up in the morning, somewhere around 6:30, but in the next few days, he’s going to start transitioning to sleeping full-time in our room.
So. Stella is sleeping much better. The transition was not NEARLY as painful as I had thought. I’m routinely getting stretches of 6 hours of sleep. I can stay up till 11 and not feel like I have malaria. I can do things! And play babies for a long time! Basically, it’s a win-win-win situation: I sleep so soundly, I don’t even her Stella wake up (win!) Stella still gets to wake in the night the way she likes to (win!), and Mr. Chef gets to spend extra time with his daughter(WIIIIIIIIINN!) See? Win-win-win! (Right, Mr. Chef???? RIGHT??? You love this arrangement, RIGHT?)