Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sleepless In See-I-Told-You-So

I very clearly remember a conversation I had with Trevor before Berit was born. We were talking about my soft spot for children and animals, and he said, "Oh no. You're never going to be able to let a baby cry it out, are you?" And I said, confidently: "Sure I am. If I know it's for our child's own good, I'll be fine with it."

HA. Double HA.

When Berit was born I became a nighttime weakling. My first mistake was letting her sleep in our bed, but that's a different post altogether. It does, however, illustrate my lack of a backbone when the sun sets. 

I don't know why. During the daytime I run a fairly tight ship, and the kids respond well to it. But there's something about their neediness at night; like, how could they manipulate me when they're sleeping? I can count the time they've spent on this planet in DAYS. They must be hungry, they must be sad, they must be scared. They need their mama! 

Most of the books say to let the babies "cry it out," in one way or another. I always clung to the authors who questioned those theories, wondering why anyone would let an infant cry themselves to a sobbing sleep. 

However. The day came when it was ridiculous for Berit to nurse every hour at night (OK, it was long overdue), which coincidently came right around the time I found out I was pregnant for Marta. I knew I didn't have long to get sleep -- any sleep -- before I was up with a newborn again. I also knew that if Berit wasn't sleeping through the night at age two, she probably never would sleep well. So Trevor went to her when she cried, and she did cry more, and it was hard, and I held the bed listening to the monitor so I wouldn't jump up and go to her. But it worked. (I do have to admit that I was glad she was older and not a tiny baby.)

And now, here we are with #2. To tell the truth, I haven't minded a whole lot when Marta woke a couple times during the night. And I still don't mind. But my friend Lori was telling me that she and her hub made their youngest cry it out, and she's sleeping like a dream these days. And, she's two months younger than Marta. So I'm thinking about it, but I'm so, so wimpy about it. On one hand, those 10:30, 1:30 and 4:30 (roughly) wakings aren't killing me. But a full night of sleep? Really? I don't know what I'd do with myself and all my energy.

So stay tuned, because soon I'll be weepy about nighttime neglect, bolstered by newfound sleep or bemoaning my weakness when it comes to babies. The good news: She's getting bigger every day. 

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