BabyCenter.com sent me an email informing me that my child is 46 weeks old. 6 weeks shy of his first birthday. I really don't read these updates. I freak out if I think something is not going right. One of the things I loved about my OB was that he didn't give me unneccessary information. All I needed to know was that my baby was healthy. He didn't tell me the heart rate in an exact number, just that it sounded great. When I looked at my chart at the end, I saw how it fluctuated from week to week and I know me. I would have freaked and been concerned about something I didn't need to be concerned about. So I don't read these email things. Occassionally there will be a topic in a headline that will spark an interest, but generally I don't read them.
Anyway, 46 weeks old. I thought about where I wanted him to be, and how far he's come. In my opinion, he does alot of things that are somewhat advanced for his age, like putting his cookies through the slot in his cookie jar, and doesn't do other things as regularly or as well as another baby his age. I am not worried about him in terms of development or growth. He's perfect to me. He's healthy and he's happy.
But he wasn't sleeping well. His sleeping routine was not where I wanted it to be.
I realize that breastfeeding babies don't routinely sleep through the night until they are a bit older. But Isaac weaned himself. He's a bottle baby now. So that reason doesn't fly for me.
Plus I AM DAMN TIRED. Somehow I ended up with like, 4 jobs over the past year and no matter what I do, I have alot on my plate. I need sleep.
I thought about it long and hard. I looked at our routine and what needed to change. I talked to my husband, and then just bit the bullet.
Isaac eats dinners between 5:30 and 6, followed by his bath. Then he is allowed to play until about 7:30ish. At that time we turn down all the lights, have one last bottle and cuddle and rock for a while. Then at 8, heavy eyed or not so much (but he is 9.5 times out of 10), we go into his room, turn on his aquarium and kiss him goodnight. I put him in his crib and rub his back, tell him I love him and I will be right outside. Then I leave him and shut the door. I let him cry it out.
He screams. It started out as about 30-45 minutes of screaming, sometimes an hour. We are down to about 20 minutes. And then he sleeps. AND THEN HE SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT.
So do I.
Do I like hearing my baby scream? Absolutely not. But it is not a pained cry. He's mad. I don't go in there anymore, because that makes him scream louder. I distract myself. I don't go near his room. I clean up the kitchen and pick up all his toys around the house. I took a couple of long showers and dried my hair. I do laundry in the basement. I run the dishwasher. I don't really hear him. By the time I am done with everything, he's sound asleep and I go in then to tuck him in.
It was the best decision for us. He knows I love him. And now, he is a delight in the morning. He wakes up happy and rested and so do I. If he wakes up during the night, I don't hear him. He greets me with smiles in the morning.
It was time. We all needed this.