Okay, so the brief…

Okay, so the brief answer to the question previously posed -- Did Kavi learn to sleep through the night? -- is, not quite. But we're getting there.

I should perhaps define our terms. Some people apparently view 'sleeping through the night' as putting their child to bed at nine p.m. and being woken up by a happy smiling baby at seven a.m., after a solid, restful ten hours of sleep. We laugh hollowly at such people. This is Kavi's general sleep pattern at night:

  • 7 p.m. -- fall asleep for an hour or so
  • 8 p.m. -- wake up and play for a while
  • 10 p.m. -- fall asleep for 2-3 hrs
  • 1ish a.m. -- wake up and demand food, then fifteen minutes of eating later, go back to sleep (note: this feeding takes just long enough that we wake up too much, and have trouble getting back to sleep -- bonus!)
  • 4 a.m. -- wake up and play for an hour or so
  • 5 a.m. -- fall asleep for another two hours
  • 7 a.m. -- actually get up for the day
As you can see, it's the 1 a.m feeding that's really killing us. For the last six months, we've slept in 2-3 hr increments all night, and it is very not good. So four nights ago, we finally decided to try letting her cry it out. Kevin took the first shift, Friday night, while I slept in another room far, far away. I actually didn't sleep great, because I kept waking up, worried about how it was going. Sigh. But it was worse for him. Apparently, there was quite a bit of crying, howling, shrieking, etc. Only about an hour's worth total, but spaced into into two big chunks and a bunch of smaller times. The worst part was when her howls of rage turned into howls of heartbreak, asking daddy, "Why have you abandoned me???" Poor Kevin looked fairly ravaged when he handed her off to me Saturday morning and went off to get some sleep of his own.

Saturday night was actually much betterr. I had her then, and she did wake up three times to cry, but two of those were just for two minutes (literally, I timed it), and she just went back to sleep, and the third time was for eight minutes (which felt a lot longer). Throughout, she stayed in rage-mode, which is much easier for a parent to take.

I don't remember the details of Sunday night, but it was about the same, I think, and last night, Kavi only woke up once (!) in the six hour stretch from 10 p.m. - 4 a.m., and when food was not immediately forthcoming, she was back asleep within a minute or two. I am quite hopeful that within a few nights we may actually get Miss Kavya to sleep six straight hours in a row. At which point, Kevin and I will finally go back to being the nice people that we really are, rather than the grumbly, growly red-eyed monsters that we have gradually become over the last six months.

Fingers crossed.

One thought on “Okay, so the brief…”

  1. Just to be fairly warned, if only for your own sanity!:

    Even when you get her (lovely and learning baby though she is) to the point where she will sleep for six or eight hours each night…there will come an evening when, for whatever reason (illness, travel, whatever) you feel the need to break your current patterns and go to her when she cries. At this point, you might create a bad habit each time you do so…(my apologies for sounding like an evangelist!). This is not a terrible thing: my son is three and a half, and when he is sick, I know that he needs me to feed him with a spoon like a baby and rub his back when he falls asleep. But I also know that I will have to work hard to break him of these habits when he is feeling healthy again. It’s the same thing every time.

    It’s a terrific gift: the ability to self-soothe and reach a healing state of sleep by oneself…but unfortunately it seems to be somethng we need to learn again and again.

    I’m not a regular poster to your site, but after having spent time listening to my sister/roommate asking me years ago, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing? Shouldn’t you go to him?” (with the best of intentions), I thought that maybe mentioning that it is an ongoing and fluid project, working on sleep issues, might absolve any lingering guilt issues. You’re teaching your girl a lifelong skill, and you can always take little breaks to help her when ‘you’ need it!

    Wow. I really feel like I’ve written too much about this…probably a side effect of being up late with a boy with his first memorable bad dreams,
    AJ

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