Jack doesn't sleep through the night yet. He's 12 and a half months old now, and hasn't slept through the night ever. Maybe it's because I breast feed him. Maybe it's because I let him fall asleep while nursing. Maybe it's because I never let him cry it out. Maybe it's because he just doesn't want to sleep through the night! I'm sure someone could run down the list of what I do wrong, but as a mom, I just simply do what I think is best for our family. By the way, I've written of my frustrations before here, here, and here.
So, what's new you ask? Well, let me show you.
I recently began to realize that Jack doesn't necessarily need to nurse every time he wakes up through the night - he just wants to know I am there. And now, since he's drinking whole milk during the day, I don't find it as necessary to nurse him each time he cries out at night. I knew that Jack hasn't needed to nurse two to three times a night for a few months now. And part of why I was still nursing him is that I knew it would be a quick and easy way for me to get back to my own bed. He'd fall asleep nursing, I'd transfer him to his crib, and I'd crawl under my warm electric blanket in 10 minutes tops. (otherwise he might scream for an hour and a half- trust me, I know) But something changed recently. I grew weary. I just didn't want to continue the painful nursing through the night (teeth and clogged ducts), and I REALLY want him to learn to sleep through the night. So I decided to change the way we handle night time wakings.
Now when Jack wakes up, I hug him, lay him back down on his pillow, and then sit down in the glider and wait a few minutes for him to fall back to sleep. That works about half the time. Sometimes he pops his head up to see if I'm still there. If I'm not, he will wail. I have fallen asleep sitting in that glider more times than I can count. Since I'm already visiting the Chiropractor once a month, and I don't feel like shelling out more money to him, I had to come up with some other sleeping arrangement. I don't want to sleep on the floor, and I don't want to take Jack to the guest bed to sleep with me as I'd been doing before. The goal is for him to sleep the whole night in his own bed. So, a friend suggested an air mattress. YES!!! I'll lie down on the air mattress for a while until he falls asleep! If he needs to see me, I'm right there, and if I happen to fall asleep, it's more comfortable than the floor or glider.
How's it working, you ask? Pretty good actually. Most nights, I don't have to nurse him until the morning. Some nights he needs a little nursing time. He is still teething after all. Sometimes I end up just laying down for a few minutes, while other nights I end up sleeping on the air mattress for a few hours. Last night I ended up sleeping in the glider for an hour and a half.
Jack will eventually sleep through the night. I will eventually take the air mattress out of the nursery. I will get to snuggle in with my husband and stay there the entire night. We will eventually have another child. I won't always do this for my children. I'm praying for good sleepers with the rest of my children!
But for now, this is what is working for me and my family. If you'd like to leave a comment about what you've had to do, are doing, or would never do in a million years, feel free! I'd love to hear them.