So our biggest challenge has been/is teaching Little C to fall asleep without nursing to sleep. This week we have been trying to make small changes that will make a big difference. And so far, they are helping. Not magic, but helping.
Last Sunday night God gave me a crazy dose of patience so I nursed the little one, but took him off before he fell asleep. And then I held him. And sang to him. And pat his back. And walked him. And he SCREAMED. But I just laid down with him and tried to comfort him as best as I could. He was mad, but I knew he wasn’t hungry. And finally, after 45 minutes, he fell asleep. He still woke up a bunch and I just nursed him like normal.
Monday night I have Bible study, so Damien had him. For some reason, Little C wouldn’t take the bottle so he ended up falling asleep without it. A bummer, but a victory too. When I got home, he actually took the bottle from me when he woke up the next time and then went to sleep easily. That kind of counts as not nursing to sleep.
The rest of the week I tried to take opportunities during the day at nap time and at least once at night to lay him down awake. He seems to accept it better during nap time and I had a lot of success getting him to sleep on his own. And each night got easier. We weren’t doing it every time and Damien helped me when he could. We planned on making our efforts official this weekend.
Last night was Friday night. The weekend. We set the goal as I would nurse him every time he woke up, but he had to go to sleep in the crib. Not attached to me. He protested the first time and Damien was able to get him to sleep by singing to him. (happy *sigh*) It took about 10-15 minutes. During the night the plan was for me to try and if he was being too difficult, Damien would come take over. Amazingly, he really didn’t complain too much. Our saving grace is that the boy loves to sleep. He definitely WANTS to be sleeping, he just has a hard time staying asleep. He cried when I set him down, but I was able to use white noise and pat his back. He didn’t fight me for more than 5 minutes. And he slept better than he has in weeks.
And the biggest blessing? Big C hasn’t seem to notice that his brother is screaming right next to him!! In fact, the big one actually seems to use the little one’s cries as a kind of white noise. There have been several times during nap time that I have tried to put them both down at the same time. Inevitably one of them is crying, but if Little C cries, Big C lets me comfort the baby instead and often falls right to sleep himself. It has been a huge relief that we haven’t been waking up big brother.
I know this will be a somewhat slow process. Even after one official night and several partial nights he slept from 11-3. That’s the longest he’s slept in weeks or even months! He woke up at 4:30 and then for the morning at 6. But that is such a victory! I’m sure we will have more challenges this weekend, but I’m confident we will stick it out and I know we will have a happier kiddo. We’d love your prayers while we try to figure this out, but for the first time in months, I’m really hopeful. There is more sleep in my very near future.