I’m fully aware that I’m probably about to jinx us here, but I can’t help it. I have to share!! After a year of struggling, Chloe Mae is starting to sleep through the night.
I think our struggles have been a combination of her temprament, some mistakes made by us as parents and bad luck – colic, teething, 6 ear infections in 5 months, colds, etc… At her 1-year check-up, we asked the Dr. what we could do to help her sleep better. We told her that we were putting Chloe down in her crib still awake at bedtime, that when we went in in the middle of the night, we didn’t pick her up and she hadn’t been getting bottles overnight for months. The doctor’s advice: “Well, it sounds like you’re just going to have to let her cry.”
*sigh* I kind of knew that’s what we’d hear, but I was hoping for an easier answer. We decided to wait a few weeks before we tried anything, because Chloe was getting tubes and we wanted to get her through that before we traumatized her (and ourselves.) We were also hoping that maybe the constant ear pressure was one of the reasons she was waking up. In the meantime, we were trying to pay attention to why/what might be waking her up so we could try to fix it.
We know she can find her pacifier and put it back in when she’s sleeping, but sometimes it would fall out onto the floor. We also noticed that when we went in in the middle of the night, sometimes she’d have her pacifier and Monty, her monkey blanket, but she’d have a leg stuck through the slats of her crib. So we put her crib bumper back in. The very first night we did that, she slept from 8PM until 5:45AM. For us, that was a vast improvement, so we deemed it a success!!
She’d been doing pretty good sleeping until 4AM (which was still better for us) or later, but after that we were up several times with her before we finally gave up and got up with her at 6AM. I’d read some articles that said that putting your child to bed later could acutally cause them to get up earlier, because it messes with their sleep cycles. So we moved her bedtime up by 15 minutes, from 8PM to 7:45PM. We did this 2 nights ago and for the last 2 mornings we haven’t heard the tell-tale crib-banging until 6:30AM.
We’ve decided that we’re happy with the sleep improvements that Chloe Mae has made over the last few weeks, so we’re not going to push her right now. Last night she woke up around 4AM, but was just barely fussing kind of off and on, so we let her be and she did fall back asleep on her own. If she wakes up occasionally though, and is really upset, we’ll still head in and make sure she’s comfy and help her back to sleep – for now. (We’re going out of town 2 weekends in a row at the end of this month, so we’re not going to worry about it much before then.)
A month or two from now, I might be complaining that she still wakes up, but we’ll deal with that when, or if, the time comes.