Monday, August 30, 2010

A Big Sissy

I never thought of myself as a sissy before.  Or a soft mom, for that matter.

Now it is time I face the ugly truth.  The question is - what do I do now??

From time to time, we have a problem with Connor's sleeping habits.  The problem is NOT when we put him down to bed at naptimes or bedtimes.  Sure, he may cry a couple of minutes sometimes, but we leave him and he stays and goes to sleep just fine.  The problem is if he wakes up in the middle of the night.

Since it wasn't a regular thing, Ben or I would usually just get Connor and bring him into our bed.  This isn't the best solution since he's not a good bed-mate.  He really does hog my side of the bed.  Ben, of course, barely notices he's there unless Connor gets turned sideways and starts kicking him.  However, in light of our pending arrival in October, both Ben and I feel like this is a habit we need to break.  So we agreed.  If Connor wakes up, we go in and check on him, then leave him in his crib to cry it out.

We were tested on our resolve on Sunday morning around 5:50 a.m.  Connor woke, needed a diaper change (yes, we gave him WAY too much juice before bedtime) and then was put back to bed with an explanation that it was "night-night" time and he needed to stay in his own bed.  He didn't want to hear that and commenced with the screaming and crying.  I was stalwart and unplugged the baby monitor when I got into my room and tried to fall back asleep.  Unfortunately, we have 8:00 a.m. church this year and Ben's alarm went off around 6:00.  By 6:20 I had stumbled into the shower, and when I got out at 6:30 and Connor was still crying, I could go get him because since both Ben and I were up it wasn't "night-night" time anymore, right?

Fast-forward to 2:50 a.m. Monday morning.  (Since I'm typing this at 4:30 a.m. on Monday you can see where this is going, right?)  Baby monitor still unplugged, but I heard him crying anyway.  I go into Connor's room, find ANOTHER saturated diaper (that's it - we're cutting off the juice after 7:00!) and change him.  I explain yet again that it's night-night time and he stays in his own bed.  Yet my resolve is not firm.  Oh, he's not coming into bed with me, but I can hold him for 5-10 minutes on the couch, right?  So out we come.  After 10 minutes I take him back to his room, and put him in his crib.  How can I be so heartless?  Apparently, I can't.  I tell him I'll sit in his room for a few minutes and he stops crying, lays down in his crib and is quiet.  I sit on the floor because there's no chair in his room.  After 5 minutes I realize that I'm 33 weeks pregnant and supremely uncomfortable.  I stand up and and Connor stands up.  And starts to cry.  I get the biggest stuffed animal I can find and sit back down on the floor.  Lay down, actually, using the stuffed animal for a pillow.  I can't believe I'm doing this, and yet here I am... doing it.

After a while I venture a peek into the crib and see Connor's eyes are closed.  I start crawling (yes, crawling!) quietly out of the bedroom.  Connor has some sort of super-sonic hearing, and sits up in bed and sees me sneaking out.  He starts to cry.  I come back and lay down.  After a few more minutes, I try again.  Failure.  After my 3rd try (by now it's 3:30) I give up.  I go to the crib and just tell him I'm going back to bed.  And so I do.  He cries for about 10-15 minutes, and then is quiet.  However, by now I'm awake  since I went to bed at 9:15 last night.  Finally, at 4:00 a.m. I get up and get some things done.

So my question is this: Do I move the recliner to Connor's room so I can sit in there with him in comfort if he wakes up?  He's content if I'm there - I don't have to actually get him out of the crib.  Or should I make him "suck it up" and cry it out every time it happens?


Becky said...

I'm all about the tough love- sorry! Don't cave, let him cry it out. It'll last maybe a day or two, but he'll learn soon enough and you'll be SO thankful once the new baby is here. Getting up for one kid in the middle of the night is enough- you don't need to do it for Connor, too!

Amy said...

Knowing that you have a new baby coming, I would go the tough love, too. If you cut off the juice, you don't even need to go in when he wakes in the night. I say this with the wisdom of a few kids behind me. Experience then teaches me that what works for one, doesn't work for all. If, after a few nights it isn't any better, you may need something else. Our little girlie just got a "bed buddy" to help her through the night since we were having the same problem. She shares a bed with a big sister and everyone is sleeping again. Yeah!

SCNONI said...

I may be the Grandmother but I'm no softie. Tough Love has to be the way. He is testing the envelope and seeing how much he can get away with. Stay strong.