Friday, January 13, 2006

Night Zero

My husband Steve and I have a 1 year old son, Jack. Jack is, near as I can tell, the coolest little kid ever, but he has one unfortunate drawback: in his entire life, he has slept through the night less than 10 times. And sister, I am exhausted.

I know that Steve and I are, in part, responsible for this. We ignored all of the advice to put him to bed while he was drowsy but awake. Jack had colic when he was littler, and once that was over, Steve and I just could not bring ourselves to tackle the challenge of sleep, especially if it meant more crying. We had had more than enough crying already, thank you very much. Plus it was nice to be able to actually enjoy a sweet, snuggly, snoozy baby.

But now it's been a year, and honestly, enough is enough. Tonight, we have vowed to start Jack on the Ferber method. That is, we'll establish a relaxing and consistent bedtime routine, put him to bed while he's still awake, and when he wakes up crying in the night, we'll let him cry for five minutes, then come check on him and reassure him, but not pick him up. We'll then go into his room for increasing intervals of time. The theory is that he will learn to soothe himself back to sleep and will sleep through the night. It's very much a trial by fire, but beyond giving him Tylenol PM in his applesauce, I don't feel like we have any choice.

And tonight is as good a night as any. All three of us are healthy. Tomorrow is Saturday, so Steve and I can take naps if we need to. Last night was a tough one, and I think it really strengthened Steve's and my resolve. Jack woke up at 3:00 and he was wide awake. I got up with him and he started at me, grabbed at my face, tried to tickle me, and pulled at my hair for an hour. Then I handed him off to Steve, and he stared at Steve for an hour before he finally relented and went to sleep. It wasn't a bad night- there was no crying or thrashing - but we had both really just had enough with the whole thing. I am ready to make a change. I know it won't be easy, but I'm committed. Wish me luck.

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