Bedtime battles

Since I went back to work, less than two months ago, Walter’s sleeping habits have gotten progressively worse. For a couple of weeks he was sleeping all night. Then there was one wake up, then two, then three, etc… And this weekend he decided he didn’t need to sleep at all. We must have been up with him 20 times a night. After 3 or 4 nights of that nonsense we decided something needed to be done. After all, there’s no reason both Walter and I need to be crying at 4am. So after polling some parents who have been through this and consulting several books on the subject, we came up with our solution. To just let him cry. A brilliant plan? Or an evil one? 

Last night we put him to bed and rather than going in to give him his pacifier when he cried, we just let him wail. He lasted about a half an hour and finally fell asleep. He woke up at 3am, cried for about a half an hour and went back to sleep again. Even with this little interruption, we all got a pretty good night of shut-eye. And, if the books don’t lie, it will only take one or two more nights of crying and he will be magically transformed into a wonderful little sleeper.

Do I feel guilty letting him cry? Of course. I guess in a couple of days we’ll see if this experiment worked and I’ll find out if it was all worth it. And thirty years down the road, when Walter is all grown up, he and his therapist will trace all his issues back to this traumatic experience. But for now, maybe we can all just get some sleep.

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