I have been feeling a little guilty lately.
As I have mentioned approximately 923 times, my children have trouble sleeping. Porgie was a horrible sleeper until we let her cry it out. I was hopeful that my little Izzy would be a champion sleeper, but he has proven to be an even worse sleeper.
Although the rational part of my brain understands that some children just aren't good sleepers, the crazy part of my brain thinks that his restlessness is my fault. Obviously I am an inadequate mother - right? I know this sounds insane. And it is insane. But at 3 am, the only part of my brain that works, is the crazy part.
Since we unswaddled Izzy, he seems to be sleeping better. In fact, he has only woken up one or twice for the past few nights. I am very excited about this new trend, but I also want to take things a step further. I really want Izzy to learn how to put himself to sleep.
Although I am not ready to let my baby cry-it-out all night long, I have been enforcing a few new rules. Here they are...
1. Bedtime occurs around 7 pm every night.
2. When Izzy wakes up during the night, I respond to him promptly (even if he wakes up every hour or two).
3. If Izzy does not return to sleep after nursing or rocking, I put him in his crib - regardless of whether he is asleep or awake (this means I might have to endure some crying).
We had to endure some crying a few night again. 30 MINUTES OF SCREAMS. The longest thirty minutes of my life. I second guessed myself during the entire episode. Should I let him cry? Does he feel like we abandoned him? He is sick? What if he is teething? Maybe his ears sill hurt? I was able to refrain from going into his bedroom, and he eventually fell back asleep.
Although I know that teaching my baby how to put himself to sleep is an important life skill, I am still feeling a little guilty.