For the past 12 months, I have nursed Julia to sleep at night. This has worked well most of the time, but lately I was having a few problems. First, that Julia needed to go to bed earlier. Staying up till 10 or 11, as my schedule would prefer was not doing her evening behavior any favors, and I'm not ready for bed at 9 which seemed to be the tipping point for Julia. When she was younger, she could nurse to sleep in the middle of whatever was going on around her, but not anymore. When stuff is happening, she has to be involved, and if she's exhausted it is fun for nobody. Most nights, I didn't mind nursing her to sleep at 9, then getting up for awhile again, but on the nights when we had people over, it made me pretty irritated with her. On top of that, she started to get a little less interested in sleeping and more interested in twiddling with her milk supply. My previous strategy for getting her to focus and settle down was to gently pin her down with my top leg as I laid on my side to nurse. This worked great for a few months, but now that she has learned to twiddle, I needed a change. Julia has outgrown her tiny crib by about an inch, so last week, I borrowed Kiley's pack and play as she's graduated to a big bed. I'm not very happy with the cry-it-out philosophy, but I have learned that a minute of tears goes a long way in getting Julia to settle down. When I put her in the crib at first, she would happily explore it with sleep nowhere on the horizon. When I left the room, she'd promptly wail, and when I came back in to lay her down again and sing some more, a yawn would escape and after several repeats, she'd finally fall asleep. We've kept this up for a week now, and the amount of time spent playing/wailing has dropped dramatically. Tonight, she knew the routine and laid right down with yawns and eye rubbing. 20 minutes later she was sleeping, with no wailing at all. (Until she woke up coughing 10 minutes later, then it was about 30 seconds of mild fussing) and asleep she stays...for about 3 whole hours. Not kidding, about 12 or 1 am, she'll wake up to nurse. For now, I'm happy to pull her into bed at that point and let her sleep the rest of the night there. Perhaps we'll eventually get to an entire night of straight sleep, but for now, three hours of adult time in the evening seems pretty great.
|Just look at how much of the table top Julia can reach now.|
|Hugging the elephant I made her, as well as the bulb syringe, another one of her favorite toys.|
|Opening a birthday box from Grandma Gini|
|Wondering why Dad is eating peaches instead of hurrying up to go on a walk.|
|Julia in front of her too-small crib, modeling a family heirloom Norwegian sweater.|