The other day, I wrote a post all about how well you sleep and how we are working on your nap routines to make sure you are a well rested little boy. Well, maybe I spoke too soon. While you have always been a good sleeper at night, and have even developed good sleep routines during the day, we seem to have thrown off your sleep groove over the last week. (Perhaps it had something to do with throwing your routine out the window while we were in Tahoe for the weekend? I mean, we wanted to go to the beach and have campfires... didn't you?)
This week, I have been trying to help you readjust to your good sleeping habits. Some days have been better than others. Today is not looking good so far. You had a long day yesterday (Mommy had to go shopping! Sorry!) and didn't take any quality naps. No, those 15 minutes in the stroller or the 10 minutes in the car do not count. I let you sleep in my arms for an hour and a half last night while we watched the football game because I knew you really needed the sleep. Plus, you're my baby, and whether or not it's a good idea according to the 'experts', sometimes I just love to hold you and watch you while you sleep. After a little bit of play time, Daddy took you upstairs and put you to bed. You were a little upset at the idea, but you fell asleep quickly and Daddy came downstairs, victorious. Yes, we take great pride in winning the battle. Maybe it's because we're new at this whole parenting thing, or maybe it's just because we like to win. Not sure. :-)
Anyhow, you slept great last night. Until 4:30am. Lately, you have decided that that is a great time to wake up and want to play. Daddy and I usually grumble over who will go get you, and then I usually try to feed you and go back to sleep. Well, again, you were having none of that. It was time to start the day, right? Right? Ugh. Daddy got up and took the puppies for a walk (because your Daddy is awesome like that) while Mommy tried to stay awake and convince you that really, it was a good time to go back to sleep. No dice. So when Daddy got home, he took you downstairs and let you play for a few minutes while he got ready for work. I went back to sleep, knowing that it might be a long day, and before he left, Daddy successfully got you back in your crib without any complaint. You slept 3 more glorious hours. Thanks! But, what's the deal with this 4am wake up call? Could we maybe NOT do that again?
I consulted the Healthy Sleep Habits book to see if this is a normal problem for your age. It is. But the book says its probably happening because you aren't going to bed early enough and you're actually overtired. Weird, but seems to be true. You have had a really really really bad week of rest! The solution seems to be to get you back to your three naps a day, and at your age, it's supposed to be okay to let you cry a bit. As a 5 month old, you enjoy being social with me and Daddy. Who wants to sleep when there are books to read and songs to sing? Right. But, you need your sleep little boy. We aren't really into just having you 'cry it out', but the 'let cry' theory from the book seems to work for us. The idea is that we may have to let you cry a bit in order for you to get some sleep. We will do a lot to help you wind down and soothe you to sleep, but in the end, if you protest (which is not the same as screaming your head off, hysterical crying), the suggestion is that we let you. So, we try to do that. Somedays we don't let you cry for more than a couple of minutes before we try to soothe you back to sleep. However, lately, you don't go back to sleep if we go up there - you think it's time to play!
As I type this, you are protesting....and I mean PRO-TESTING... in your crib. We read some books, we nursed a little, and you're all swaddled up. You were nearly asleep in my arms when I put you down. I gave you your nuk and turned on your little musical giraffe as I calmly walked out of the room. You were doing great, until after the giraffe stopped playing. Then you started to complain. But, I'm not going up there. You've done this before. It's never lasted this long and I'm feeling really bad about that, but I know I won't help you learn to sleep if I keep going back up there. :-( You are SO tired. You even take breaks from protesting and you very nearly fall asleep. But, you are stubborn. And you just won't let yourself go to sleep. I do not know WHERE you get THAT from......(says the girl who once screamed from behind her locked bedroom door "HOOOOOWWWWWW can you DOOOOOOOOOOO this to MEEEEEEEEEEEEE??????" over a time-out that I surely deserved. I believe I was 3. Sorry Mom and Dad!)
I feel like I'm doing the right thing, but you sure don't make it easy to do! I want to go up there, comfort you and kiss away your tears (yes, real tears - those kill me). But, I know I would just be prolonging the battle if I do. Since I started typing, you have started to fall asleep. You're still crying a bit, but in between protests, your eyes are closed and you're totally sleeping. (Remember the whole stubborn thing?) I'm sorry little bug, but I know you need to sleep so I'm not going to go interrupt you and have to start this all over again (again).
It's been about 20 minutes since I started typing and guess what....you just fell fast asleep. :-) See? Mama knows best! Sweet dreams, little Bug. Mama loves you.