As I noted in my previous entry, my beloved son has one challening behavioral issue at the moment — that he doesn’t sleep well. During the day, particularly at school, he’s a napping wizard. But the overnight slumber is fleeting.
I blame this largely on too many tips and not enough solid advice right at birth. After 7 months of trying various techniques with little success, we mentioned the issue to our pediatrician, who proceeded to hand us a two-page write up of helping babies sleep through the night. My first response after reading it was one of deep frustration…Why the hell hadn’t someone given this to us at the hospital? For god’s sake, they stuff your exit package with diaper bags, coolers, breast pump parts, and more brochures than you can possibly read, but none of them cover the foundations needed for a good nights sleep. It was clear in reading that, for the first several months, we did exactly everything that we weren’t supposed to. Had someone given this “white paper” at birth, I wouldn’t be typing this right now, and my son would be out cold dreaming of dancing monkeys or something.
Before I go further, I think it’s important that I point out that everyone must find the appropriate thing that works for their families — be it co-sleeping or a tough-love, “cry-it-out” approach, or something in the middle.
For us, no one method has worked. We did co-sleeping for awhile during the second half of the night, then worked him towards making it through the night in his crib with some visits from us. Then, just as we’d get a night of two or straight sleeping without our presence, he’d catch a cold or some other ailment that made him clingly, and we’d be back at the beginning with him taking over our bed.
Well, we’ve decided to take the plunge and address the issue head-on. After reading several books on sleeping (and returning them to the bookstore because, in the end, they’re all useless), we’ve settled on getting him into his crib at night still awake, and sitting with him until he conks out. Evidence from others is that, with a kid this age and temperment, that this is often the path of leas resistance.
Well, that began at 8:05. It’s now 9:20, and through the monitor I can still hear him screaming. His cries are growing weaker as sleep (or perhaps laryngitis) overtakes him, but I don’t hear a peep from my wife. I’m assuming that she’s sitting in the chair, trying not to go insane or worse — picking him up and lulling him to sleep in her arms.
No, now is where we screw our courage to the sticking place, and prepare for a battle that could rage on for hours…days…weeks.
Pray for us, dear friends.