Sleep – A Major Breakthrough

Early on with Ezra we decided that we were going to co-sleep with him. It’s not that strange here in the US, but it isn’t exactly the status quo…but it is throughout a large portion of the rest of the world – a recent study in India says that 93% of kids from 3-10 are co-sleeping. There are many upsides to it, most notably are one for convenience (don’t have to leave bed to feed) and one for nurturing (a really close bond between the baby and both parents). I think that we can safely say that both of those are true. Now for the downside: after a while, it seems that nobody sleeps well. Ezra wouldn’t nap without one of us with him, and nighttime was interrupted with several feedings – although he would rarely wake up, just move and complain.

Yes, you read that right. We have been sleeping with Ezra in our bed for 14 months, and for every nap that wasn’t in a car one of us would lay down with him. That also includes the fact that one of us would have to go to bed with him during his bed time at 730pm. For 14 months, Ahna and I didn’t get any time together during the day or during the evening. And once we hit the sack, there was a little one between us. Now, I know that I just painted a pretty gloomy picture of co-sleeping, and there were times where it was pretty gloomy; but we wouldn’t change anything. We love the relationship that each of us has with Ezra, and we have absolutely cherished the opportunity to sleep with him – something that we don’t anticipate ever having the opportunity to do again, with Ezra or any future kids.

Oh, one other thing….we were trying to accomplish good sleep habits without letting Ezra cry-it-out.

Now to the breakthrough. 2.5 weeks ago I was trying to lay down with Ezra for a nap. Ahna was at work, so it was just the two of us…and after 40 minutes of him not going to sleep and playing with me, I needed a break. I put him in his crib and walked away for a few minutes – I actually settled on 5. As I left the room, Ezra broke into a cry; which is just a devastating thing to hear. But by the time that I got downstairs, he had stopped. I waited a few more minutes and went back up and checked in on him…..he was sleeping. On his own, in his crib, for the first time! (Disclaimer that he has been doing this at day care, but never at home). I didn’t know what to do with myself. I went back downstairs and watched TV, but checked on him every couple of minutes for the entire nap which lasted about 1.5 hours.

This continued for two days and we gambled with a move to the nighttime sleep next. For the large part, it worked. Within three nights, he was sleeping on his own, in his crib, without waking up from 730pm to 5am. Success! Or so we thought. During the second-third week of this new habit, he got sick/a new tooth/etc and all pattern was disrupted. 40 minute naps, crying out, 3 hour stretches at night…..but it seems like he is feeling a little better and starting to resume the pattern from before.

This opens up a whole new world to us, and is possibly the most significant lifestyle change for us since having Ezra. Ahna and I have once again found each other, are enjoying spending time together during the day and evening, the house is cleaner, laundry is getting done with less stress, and the days that either of us are at work are a little easier. Most importantly, Ezra seems to have taken to it really well and based on how ‘easily’ it all happened, it is apparent to us that he was ready for it.

Back to the ‘crying-it-out’ thing…..he does cry, sometimes. But the longest that he has cried when we layed him down has been 3-4 minutes. As a matter of fact, over the past three days, there has been no crying at all. So we conceded a little bit, but it was by accident. Now, we seem to be on a different trajectory that makes everyone a little happier and more rested.

PS – It has been amazingly easy to get used to this…..

Comments

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!! I am sure there are some hints of sadness to see him leave the bed, but I am glad to hear you are both getting sleep and time for the laundry – enough time to do mine, too? Happy sleeping…

  2. i can’t believe it. jb and i thought we were following your example after receiving your advice – gavin has been sleeping in his own bed in his own room for 2 months! you crack us up. enjoy your new larger bed!

  3. Bristow Mom says:

    My 7 year old is STILL in my bed….I haven’t slept in 7 years and now my 2 year old sleeps with me as well. A king size bed is made to be very roomy EXCEPT when you have 2 kids in it 🙂

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