I am having a good day today. The reason? I got a decent night of sleep last night. Despite the fact that our baby is 13 months old this is not as common as you might think.
I know I have alluded to lack of sleep on this blog but I haven't really talked directly about it. Margot has never been a good sleeper. I take that back, she sleeps great if she is cuddled up with Chris or I but otherwise...not so much.
Part of the problem is Chris and I. We don't like to let her cry and we love to cuddle with her. We did a little sleep training with her at 3-4 months to get her to go down in her own bed so we could have some time together in the evenings but we generally just bring her into our bed when she wakes up. This has always worked pretty well for us and seemed like a good compromise. It also made my life a lot easier when she was still nursing at night. And we love waking up with her in the bed, having morning snuggles and starting our day together. But as I often hear from co-sleeping families, "it worked until it didn't". The past few weeks we hit a rough patch. First Margot weened and since she'd always nursed to sleep bedtime became a nightmare. It was taking us 45 minutes to an hour to get her to sleep and then she was waking up at 9pm wanting to get in our bed. We did that a few times and realized that a baby in your bed from 9pm-5am way different story than a baby in your bed from 3-4am until 5am. She also starting flailing and squirming like crazy in her sleep, so much so that Chris retreated to the couch. It just wasn't working plain and simple.
After a lot of agonizing about what to do we decided to use the Ferber method, which is what we had done to get her to sleep in her own bed. We were prepared for a few very hard days with lots of tears and crying. We also decided that we'd better just teach her to not only fall asleep in her own bed but *gulp* sleep all night in her bed. So I was prepared for some tears. Well we are two nights in an there has been hardly any crying! I'm in shock. The first night Margot cried for 3 minutes, I went in laid her back down, covered her with her blanket and patted her back and a few minutes later she was out. She woke up at 10:30 and cried for 8 minutes (so I went in once to pat her back). She woke up at 4am and similar cried for another 6-8 minutes and woke up for the day at 6:20 happy as a clam. Last night she cried for a total of 20 seconds when I put her down and didn't wake up 3am, cried for 2 minutes and was out until I woke her up at 5:45 because we had to leave. I really hope this is a sign of good things to come.
Sleep and babies is always hard. As far as I can tell it's hard for everyone. And I think it's important that each family handle it in a way that works for them whatever that may be. I know I will be sad to not have Margot sleeping with me sometimes but I also think she may just be ready for her own space. I like to think that's why this is going as well as it is, that she is ready.
And hopefully I didn't just jinx the whole thing:)