Thursday, September 11, 2008

How I learned to sack up and get my kid to sleep through the night

How many posts have I written about my efforts to sleep train Zeke? Enough that I'm embarrassed that I'm posting another one. I think it started when he was 3 months old, and then I got all emotional and bagged it because I missed rocking him at night. And then we would try it but I'd be all, "oh, I don't want him to cry if he's sick or not feeling well," so I continued to get up with him if he had a cold or was teething or had a stray booger in his nose.

I guess what I'm saying is that I was a total pussy about it.

And this continued until about 3 weeks ago, when I finally realized, both intellectually and emotionally, that my 10 month old child was perfectly capable of surviving the night without me, and that if it took him a couple of nights of crying to get there, I could live with it.

But I needed the proper tools.

So I went to my friendly neighborhood drug store and bought a box of sleeping pills and a box of ear plugs.

The first night I put him to bed, he cried for 10 minutes, and then went to sleep. Not bad. We went to bed a few hours later. I took a pill and put in my ear plugs.

I woke up at about 5:45 in the morning. I took out the plugs. Silence. I went downstairs and made Zeke a bottle, anticipating he would be really hungry.

About a half an hour later, Zeke woke up. He was crying, but settled down as soon as he had a bottle, and then was smiley and happy. Nice.

I talked to Jason later that morning, and it turns out Zeke cried from about 3 to 4 in the morning, but then put himself back to sleep.

The next night, he woke up crying again at about 3, cried for about 20 minutes, and then went back to sleep. I had taken my ear plugs out at some point during the night, but put them back in when he started to cry.

And the next night he didn't cry at all.

That was three weeks ago. I don't use ear plugs anymore. I haven't been up during the night once. Zeke is still a happy, active, sweet kid, and as far as I know he isn't pissed off at me. He's napping better during the day and eating like a champ. All is well.

All I can think is, why did it take me so long? Why was I such a wuss? I read all the sleeping books -- why didn't I heed their advice?? I guess they should sell those books with ear plugs and Sominex, or maybe some booze.

And Jesus, poor Baby #2. Life's going to be much tougher for him/her, because Zeke has worked the wuss right out of me.*

*And no, Mom, I'm not pregnant. I'm just sayin'.


  1. Anonymous4:53 PM

    I did the same thing with Maurice; rocked him to sleep, put him in the bed with me, gave him the pacifier. All the things they tell you not to do. Well, that came to an end rather quickly. The night I decided to take the pacifier from him, he cried for 2 hours straight. I lived in an apartment at the time so my neighbors were furious. He eventually went off to sleep.

    That was the last night I ever had to hold, rock, or pacify him to sleep.


  2. I am so glad you got it sorted out. We let the Dancer sleep between us for way too long. We realized later that she innately understood that she was the human equivalent of birth control.

    I got really good at sleeping with a foot stuck in my ribs.