After many hours and weeks and books and loooong nights, our little 5 1/2 month old learned how to fall asleep on her own. It might not sound like much, but in our house, it is the holy grail. For those that read last Friday’s blog I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too…you know I even resorted to developing some serious strategies and tactics to address the issue. I don’t know if she got wind of what was to come or if she is just an overachiever (obv), but we didn’t even get to Phase 2 before she jumped to the finish line!
Her bedtime used to be a complicated routine of feeding, rocking and precise jiggling followed by a stealthy transfer to her crib and about an hour of standing vigil to catch any startles or snorts or stirs that might wake her up and cause us to start again. I would even try to catch her before she completely woke up in hopes a simple butt-tapping might be enough to get her back to sleep.
I am not exaggerating when I tell you my master-butt-tapping right forearm has a huge knot in it, my left shoulder is always tense and the bags under my eyes have taken up permanent residence. Par for the course perhaps, but these are all things I wouldn’t mind seeing in the rearview mirror.
People said it would get better. They said there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that one day I’ll forget these pains and even the fog of fatigue. Well my friends, I don’t want to jump the gun but I think I see the promise land.
Two nights ago we put Rose down drowsy but awake like every single person recommends. Usually it elicits cries and some dramatic leg thumps but this time she played a bit with her little blanky, talked, rubbed her ears, made a few puppy-like whimpers and just as my husband and I thought we’d go up to rock her to sleep we did a double-take. What was that? She was asleep? We thought it was a fluke but when she woke in the night we let her do the same thing, hang out solo-style and drift back to sleep. And she did. Now we are in day 2 and she has fallen asleep on her own for every nap and for two evenings of a few wakes ups. She still gets fed once at night but when it isn’t time to eat, we just let her do her new little trick.
I am utterly floored and wonder how my baby changed so quickly. My quality of life has improved by a factor of 10, the sun is shining, I hear birds chirping and I am wearing a flower behind my ear. Sleep doesn’t matter unless you aren’t getting it. And then it changes everything. I know we’ll have some tough nights again but even having 2 nights in a row of only getting up once, instead of 3-5 times feels like a gift from the gods. Keeping in mind it has been 5 1/2 months of this. Momma deserves some shut-eye.
I love every version of my baby but this new good-at-sleeping-baby is getting lots of praise.
In fact, she is a dream.