So we've been working on our sleep plan with River for almost two weeks now and I can say there is definite progress. Before last night that progress was counted in inches. I was beginning to think getting him to sleep through the whole night at this pace would take a year.
Then the most unexpected thing happened... HE DID IT! He slept through the night! Granted, we're going by pediatric standards for "sleeping through the night," which is sleeping for 4-6 hour chunks of time between waking, but that's miles better than what we've been living with for nearly six months.
Now, I'm not ready to call this done. It could have been an absolute fluke that will not be repeated anytime soon, but I'm still thanking the gods for that one beautiful night of rest.
How it happened:
Yesterday I came to the scary and sad conclusion that since River is now mastering crawling and can pull himself up to standing, he's really no longer safe in the co-sleeper we have next to our bed. I can just envision him standing up one night while I'm passed out from complete exhaustion and plunging over the edge onto our hardwood floor. I had always set six months as a reasonable time to move him from our room to his own for nighttime sleep, but as we actually approach that marker, I feel uneasy (my typical reaction to most of the little man's milestones).
Still, his safety needs to come first, so last night Thom and I took the plunge: we put River to sleep in his own room. The books give a number of slow-moving strategies to get a co-sleeping baby into his own crib (such as parents sleeping on a mattress in his room--or the hallway!--while the little one adjusts), but we decided to just go whole hog and see what would happen.
We put him down to sleep at 9pm, and I expected he would be in bed with us within the hour. Oh how wrong I was! He woke at 1am; I went down to nurse him and he was asleep five minutes later. He woke again at 5am, and I brought him back to our bed to sleep another hour until he was up for good.
To my readers without children, this probably doesn't sound that great, but I tell you it was like a beautiful, shiny Christmas present.
I don't know how tonight will go--perhaps we'll be back to the old routine again--but for the first time in months I have hope.
Fairy Tale Ending
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