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Guess Who's Not Sleeping Through The Night

Last week we sleep-trained Cora. Again.
What with our family bout of food poisoning and colds, Cora had
been getting up every two hours to nurse again, and after everyone
was hale and hearty we spent a couple nights tough-loving it out
with her, finally convincing Cora to sleep without intervention
until around 5 a.m. With me falling into bed around midnight each
night, that gave me almost five hours straight of sleep for maybe
three nights in a row, and I guess I got a little spoiled.

Because, yes, once again, Cora’s up at night.

She’s never really conked out for
the entire night; even after sleep-training she’d wake up and
whimper a couple of minutes around 2 a.m. or so. But at least Cora
wasn’t requiring me to get out of bed and go in to her, until
last night.

We’ve learned that Cora may cry for up to maybe eight minutes
before putting herself back to sleep, but two nights ago she cried
mildly on and off for a good forty-five minutes before Brian went
in to investigate. We figured she’d tossed her pacifier out
of the crib again; we still haven’t put the bumper back in
the crib from moving, and sometimes she’ll toss the pacifier
under the crib and have to go to sleep without it. So when Brian
dragged himself into the room, he figured he’d have to
contend with groping under the drawers to get Cora back to sleep.

A few minutes later he was back in bed whispering, “The
pacifier was still in her mouth, but she was sitting up in one
corner of the crib, her back to the rails. I helped her lie down
and she went right out.” I shrugged and went back to sleep
until she woke us up again at 5 a.m. Heading in on the assumption
that it was time for her early-morning feed, I was startled awake
to see Cora on her hands and knees in the crib, crying and rocking
back and forth.

Yes, we’ve apparently hit that point in her development
– the fast-forward of motor-skill learning that leaves babies
awake for much of the night. I remember this phase with Maddie, and
remember especially how from about 7 ½ months to perhaps 10
months I didn’t get much sleep; a few times a night I’d
have to go in, help Maddie down, soothe her to sleep after the
stress of being awake and up, and get myself back to bed.

I read up on this with Maddie, and learned from Brazelton that kids
simply hit a point where they’re developing so fast that they
rarely go into a deep sleep; there’s just too much for their
little bodies and brains to learn. Babies end up on hands and
knees, rocking as they ready for crawling and walking. Or
they’ll pull themselves to standing while half-awake, then
cry because they can’t figure out how to get back down. With
Madeleine I gritted my teeth and endured, knowing it had nothing to
do with her ability to soothe herself to sleep and everything to do
with things beyond her control.

With Cora, though, I confess that I am weary right out of the gate
and don’t know if I’ll have the bottomless reserves of
patience I had the first time around. She’s been so much
harder sleep-wise that I should be used to it now, have my stamina
built up, but I’m nothing if not tired and don’t know
if I can do another three months of this.

Last night I put Cora through her bedtime routine and dropped her
off in bed fast asleep – or so I thought. As soon as I
started to walk away her eyes flew open, but I left her there,
reasoning she’d put herself back to sleep. As I closed her
door I saw her reaching for her panda, which is usually a sign
she’s wide awake and interested in playing, but I left

Five minutes later the whimpers began, and when they hit full-blown
sobs I knew she wasn’t going to do this on her own. Going
back in, I discovered Cora had already tossed the pacifier out of
the crib, and was sitting up again, tangled with the lovies and
crying in frustration. It took me a good fifteen minutes to rock
her and calm her enough to go back to sleep.

So forgive me if I sound ungrateful or crabby about my beautiful
girl – she’s a delight to spend the day with when
she’s not fixated on Mommy, and I’m having a great time
with her.

But the night thing? It’s gotta get better.

See ya in a couple months.


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