Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tough Love

Six months ago I committed one of the cardinal sins of parenthood - I starting bringing Emma, then almost 6 months old, into our bed at night. I knew exactly what I was doing, especially since I'm not a first time mom. I started bringing her in the bed shortly after my meltdown because neither of us was sleeping and I was beginning to lose my mind. She would wake every few hours and it was taking it's toll. My rationale behind this strategic move was that I could just nurse her in the bed and she and I would be able to get back to sleep more quickly. Don't get me wrong, she didn't spend the whole night in our bed. She would start out in her crib and sleep from about 8:30 pm to around 12:30-1:00 am. I would then get her out of the crib and bring her back to bed with me.

I mentioned it at her 6month doctor's appointment and the pediatrician made sure to let me know that this was going to be a habit that Emma would not break on her own. I convinced myself that it was a temporary fix and as soon as she was old enough to sleep through the night, we would be ok.

At her 9 month appointment, the pediatrician asked about it. Evidently she had written in her notes "tell mom it's time to cry it out". I actually saw it written in the file! I hadn't intended to still be doing this at 9months, but I hadn't prepared myself for the battle needed to break the habit.

Well, this past week was all it took to help push me over the edge and decide once and for all to get Emma out of my bed! Sunday night, she tossed and turned and seemed to want to nurse all night. Monday night, it got worse. I only got about 4 hours of sleep and I'm not sure Emma did much better. Tuesday night was the last straw. She fought with me all night. She wanted to nurse, but didn't want to nurse. She rolled around and I was unable to sleep. Finally at 2:30, when I broke down in tears, Pat took her downstairs where she was unable to smell my milk and fussed a bit until she fell asleep. The two of them slept in his recliner for a few hours while I got 2 hours of sleep upstairs before my alarm went off at 4:45am!

It was Wednesday morning that the two of us decided we needed to stop the madness and we were going to practice tough love! That night she got up a few times, but I only went in twice. We let her "cry it out" a bit and I am proud to say that she slept all night in her own bed. It has gotten better each night since. I hope that by her 12 month appointment I can tell the pediatrician that Emma is sleeping all night in her own bed!

1 comment:

anymommy said...

I've let both my babies sleep with us until seven or eight months and then hit a wall and gone through this tough transition. No advice, just I've been there and it's hard!