Monday, April 07, 2008

Beautiful Sight

This is a picture of Hana sleeping in her bed for a nap. I know I've talked a bit about our sleep troubles on here, but honestly, unless you've had a child who doesn't sleep, you have no idea how absolutely amazing this is.

First of all, Hana had only slept in her crib a handful of times for naps since she was about a month old. Even when she was staying most of the night in her crib she would not go there for naps. She either needed to be in a carrier or in my bed. Starting last Monday, she has had every nap in her bed without issue.

Secondly, she's been staying all night in her bed. All. Night. No falling asleep in our bed and then being transfered to hers. No waking at 3 am and absolutely refusing to do anything but stand there with her arms up, sobbing until we bring her into our bed.

We've had people tell us to just let her firgure it out. Or to "be strong" and just not pick her up. But after over two hours of constant crying to the point of gagging (and that's with me in the room to comfort her!) and the knowledge that my daughter feels emotions so intensly that when she gets worked up like that she just does not have the ability to calm herself down, bringing her to bed was the wise option.

For a few months when she was younger, she put herself to sleep at night, woke around 3 for her soother, at 5 to bed fed, came in bed with me at 7 and was up for the day before 9. Not a bad routine at all for a 4 month old! After while she cut out the feeding and would wake at 11 and 4, come in bed at 7 and sleep another hour or so with me. Again, nothing to complain about, since really I was only getting up once in the night (at 4).

When we moved it all went to pieces. She would consistently wake 4 times a night (11, 2, 4, and 6), sometimes more, sometimes only 3 times. Then she was sick with a mold infecton that lasted a couple of months. Then we moved again and she refused to be in her room alone, never mind in her crib. Then after Christmas we managed to get her to sleep in our room, transfer her to hers and she'd stay there til about 5 (waking at 11 and 3). That lasted about two weeks and then her molars started coming in and I lost count of the number of times she would wake.

Since February she's been falling asleep in her bed and then coming in with us around 3, then waking once or twice until we got up around 8. It wasn't perfect, but it was a system that worked - we all we getting a decent amount of sleep, and she was usually only awake for a few minutes. Some nights we just didn't bother transferring her to her bed because she was so restless it wouldn't have been worth the effort.

Mid March that system wasn't working so well for us anymore. I have trouble sleeping when pregnant as it is because I usually sleep on my belly or my back. Sleeping on my side makes my hips and back hurt, so I shift positions a lot at night. So I would shift and wake Hana up, she would shift and wake Ben up. It would take her 20 minutes or so to settle, and if either of us moved during that time it would take even longer. Something had to change.

We had been debating taking the rail off of Hana's crib since Christmas, but weren't sure if it would make things worse. Last Tuesday I decided just to do it.

Best. Decision. Ever.

It started with her nap. Within 20 minutes of putting her on the bed, she was asleep. In her bed. Alone. She slept for two hours and then waited until I came in to get out of bed. That night it took over an hour to get her to sleep (which happens about twice a week recently), but she slept. She woke twice, but never once asked to go into our bed. I slept all night next to my husband without Hana kicking me or trying to push me off the bed. It was a beautiful thing.

Since then we haven't looked back. She still needs help once a night to get her soother off the floor or put her blankets back over her, but I usually get up once or twice a night to go to the bathroom anyway, so that isn't a problem at all. I feel better than I have in months - a good night of sleep makes such a HUGE difference in how I see the world. My house is cleaner, my days are more active, and our family time has much better quality. She's getting me up a bit earlier than before (usually between 6:30 and 7), but even tho I'm not a morning person, after a good night of sleep that isn't a problem at all!


Dena said...

Congrats to you all! I'm glad you are all able to get good sleep, and that you were able to achieve it in a way that you are comfortable with. A good night's sleep DOES make all the difference!

K-dog said...

Oh I totally hear ya! Our daughter never slept through the night well (mostly we didn't do a good job of teaching her) until we put her in a big girl bed. I had held off for so long, thinking she'd be up and playing in her room as soon as she wasn't in the lovely 'caged bed', aka: crib. But the first night in her new bed - she had the best sleep she'd ever had. And I thought the exact same thing as you. Best.Decision.Ever.!!! And also
"WHY didn't I do this sooner???"

It makes a difference.