I have been too afraid to follow-up my previous posts for fear of jinxing it, but Brayden is sleeping through the night. Sure it’s only for three out of every four nights. And sure, “sleeping through the night” for Brayden means sleeping for ten hours when, for most of his peers, it means sleeping for twelve. But, considering where we were a couple short weeks ago, this is nothing short of a miracle. What did we do to initiate this positive turn of events? Well, if you were hoping for some sort of enlightenment about infant sleep, I’m sorry to disappoint. Because the truth of the matter is, we didn’t do anything. We did not change a single element to his nighttime routine (story, bath, bottle). We did not modify his twice-daily nap schedule. We didn’t institute ferberizing, crying it out, or any other of the three trillion sleep training techniques. One night, not long after his cold symptoms subsided, he went to bed at 8:00 and woke up the next morning at 6:00. Just. Like. That.
So, as it turns out, Brayden was fully capable of being a decent sleeper, he was just choosing to be a not-so-decent one. Maybe was testing us. How far can I push these silly adults before they break? When he saw that it was very likely we had reached that breaking point, and heard us plotting to do something about it, he backed off. I guess this goes with the old adage that people can change, but it has to be on their own terms.
Even though I can’t take any credit for Brayden’s new, more acceptable, sleep patterns, I am still celebrating. And, slowly but surely I am recovering from the trauma of his chronically erratic nighttime behavior. I am waking up less frequently at night in anticipation of hearing him cry. I am falling asleep more easily now that I’m not so overtired…
Though Brayden ultimately made the choice to sleep better, Kevin and I have made every effort to support his good decision. We have instituted a “no pick-up” clause when he does have a difficult night. We tuck him in, pat his back, leave and repeat as many times as necessary for him to fall back to sleep. We never put him to bed when he’s already asleep, no matter how peaceful he looks after his bedtime bottle. It’s not that we didn’t try these things before. And we certainly didn’t come up with them ourselves either. But, for whatever reason, they are finally actually working. It took ten-months, but he is finally receptive to our primitive attempts at “sleep training”, and we have enough energy to stick to them.
And so, until the next sleep regression (likely in a few weeks when he masters the art of walking), I will relish in this turn of luck. Better late than never, right?