The above title is the phrase that I typed into Google the other morning. I had to make sure Google understood that Lula has been a through-the-night sleeper for a long time now.
Last week, coincidentally the night of the Phish concert, Lula woke up when we were gone and her babysitters kept her up until we got home. Fortunately, she woke up just under an hour before our return so it wasn’t a big deal. I nursed her back to sleep and it was 1 AM when I left her room.
At 2 AM, I heard a great deal of crying and worried, rushed into her room to see what was the matter. She was standing up in her crib, crying pretty hard, so I picked her up and nursed her again until she fell asleep.
At 4:45 AM, the exact same scenario played out.
Needless to say, everybody was dragging the following day.
Fast-forward to Thursday night.
Lula cried and “crib-stood” at 10 PM, 11 PM, and 12:30 AM. I nursed her each time but eventually decided that she clearly wasn’t hungry. Also, she wanted nothing to do with teething toys. By the last wake-up, I was at my wit’s end (as I type this, I’m thinking to myself, was it really that big of a deal?) so I had to, as Hootie and the Blowfish would say, just let her cry (I died a little inside when I typed that). She cried/whined off and on for about 30 minutes- it’s all kind of hazy now- and everyone slept soundly the rest of the night.
Both Friday and Saturday nights, she continued to wake up at 10-ish. It dawned on me that I was establishing a dangerous precedent if I continued to nurse her every time she woke up crying. In fact, it seemed as though we were slipping right back into her newborn routine.
Sunday night, I decided that if she woke up, I would check on her and if all was okay, leave her room. Like clockwork, around 10 PM, her crying woke me up. I was indeed already asleep. I went into her room, changed her diaper, patted her tummy, and departed. She cried for less than a minute and silence prevailed the rest of the overnight.
Monday night as we were doing our bedtime routine, she fell asleep while nursing. Once I placed her in the crib, she woke up and immediately rolled onto her belly and got into a standing position (all while crying). This took place in under five seconds. I laid her back down, she proceeded to repeat the performance, and I tried again. No luck. I left her room, she cried for thirty seconds, silence.
Her 7 PM antics told me this was her overnight wake-up routine and that nothing was wrong, she just needed to get herself back to sleep.
I think she cried out at 10 PM for a half-second but we never heard her again that night…it seemed as though letting her figure things out must have worked.
A helpful article from BabyCenter mentioned that babies who are close to crawling, walking, or some other milestone will frequently engage in this wakeful behavior. When I mentioned our situation to my sister, she agreed that it seemed like my nephew Rocco had done the same thing.
While on Twitter, someone tweeted a link to this article…great. If you are too lazy to click, the title of the post is “Cry It Out: The Method That Kills Baby Brain Cells”. Thoughts on this? I think each parent’s situation is different.
Anyway, since this behavior began, I’ve been trying to let her crawl as much as I possibly can during the day. The past few nights, she hasn’t woken up at all.
It’s funny to me that in the thick of stressful times like this one (2 AM anybody?), I can’t help but think that this is the end of the world and that from now on, Lula is always going to wake up multiple times overnight. After a day or two of reflection, I rediscover my optimism.
I hear that toddler sleep is hardcore because of all the exercise they engage in…I am looking forward to that!
Hope you have a fantastic weekend!