Sunday, August 2, 2009

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!!!

We begin sleep training Laura tonight. She is five months old today and sleeps really well through the night—most of the time—but has she has a devil of a time falling asleep most nights. Harrison, on the other hand, falls asleep most night before his head fully settles on his pillow.

The reason he sleeps so well is that when he was Laura’s age, we started letting him ‘cry it out’ at bed time. We would, of course, take care of any pressing needs he had—diaper change if dirty or wet, feeding if hungry, etc.—but if he just wanted to be held, it was back into the crib with him.

I’ll be honest: this hurt my heart a little bit when we first began it. When your baby is crying, all you want to do is hold him and make him feel better. But the thing is, after a few nights, he barely cried at all when we laid him down and then he slept like the proverbial baby. The ‘cry it out’ thing only lasted four or five days, each day having a shorter interval. By the end of the week, he knew what bed time meant and he seemed to look forward to it with nary a tear to be shed. And like I say, he’s such a good sleeper now that that one week five years ago is all but forgotten. In fact, if I weren’t starting the same thing up with Laura, I wouldn’t even be thinking about Harrison’s sleep at all. I’d just be appreciating the fact that when we tell him it’s bed time, he goes to bed without a fight.

So we begin with Laura. She’s fed, pajamaed, and freshly diapered. Robert laid her down in the crib a few minutes ago, but she’s not made any fuss—yet. I expect she’ll jar awake pretty soon and the process will begin. I’m not looking forward to the tears, but I’m definitely looking forward to the sleep.

In other ‘Gosh, my kids are growing up so quickly and it makes me feel so bittersweet’ news, Harrison got his own juice today. By ‘got his own juice,’ I mean, he got his sippy cup (that I still make him use if he’s drinking in the living room—I’m just not interested in cleaning milk out of the couch) and the ladder, rinsed the cup out (he had had milk for breakfast) in the sink, got the juice from the refrigerator, pulled the ladder over to the counter, climbed up, poured the juice (without spilling it), recapped the juice, put it back in the fridge, put the lid on  his cup and drank his juice. I sat in my desk chair and watched the whole thing. My little bird is spreading his wings.

Big boy getting juice all by himself

That juice you get for yourself is sweeter than all others

And on that note, I hear my daughter crying. Time to go rub her back, croon softly to her, and let her cry.

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