I tend to be really lazy when I’m sleeping. If my baby is crying, I’ll do whatever’s easiest to get her to stop. Until recently, this has meant pulling her into bed and nursing her. However, as she’s gotten older and more mobile, it’s become apparent that pulling her into our bed is not the easy, lazy solution. This is because we then spend half the night trying to keep her from crawling off the bed or clawing our eyes out.
We are coming to terms with the fact that our baby is growing up. She actually doesn’t need to nurse in the night. She actually does need to learn to put herself back to sleep. And we really, truly don’t want to her to become accustomed or dependent on us and our bed to sleep. So we are changing our definition of what the “lazy” solution is.
The past few days we’ve been laying the smack down. We put her to bed around 8:00. If she wakes up before we go to bed, we ignore her. If she wakes up while we’re going to bed, we ignore her. If she wakes up while we’re sleeping, we give her the pacifier and ignore her.
To be honest, if she had cried for very long we would have broken down and picked her up and disrupted her sleep. But she didn’t, she hasn’t. She’s been able to put herself back to sleep in a few minutes. And while at first I thought I would feel like a monster, I instead feel like a responsible, attentive, helpful mom. She was ready for that. She needed the chance to test her skills. She was aching to learn how to sleep through the night as much as we were aching for her to.