We're ready for yet one more iteration of Eli's sleep training. We've been trying to wean Eli from his 3:00 am feeding, which leads to a long morning of nursing. Unsuccessful up to this point, Eli's will to keep this feeding in his schedule - has won over our persistence. Art successfully rid him of his 12:00 and 2:00 feeding by sleeing with him for a week. But Eli's perseptive ways, coupled with his desire to see mommy, has him waiting up until mama comes in at 4:30am. Daddy's tired, Mama's tired and Eli is starting to get tired too. Yesterday, Daddy declared a solution to the problem which lead him on-line looking for hotels for me and Eva to stay for two nights. My gut resisted this extreme measure, although as fun as a girl's night away sounded. Of course, EVERYONE thinks I'm crazy for prolonging the inevitalbe. Friends have urged me to let him cry it out, sent article on methods, and offered to help. It's gotten to the point, I'm a bit embarrased to say I've not slept in 2 1/2 years. Today, I asked Lalla, our parenting teacher, for some advice. She explained, Eli (at 18 months) is very aware what he wants and that nursing him to sleep leaves such a strong feeling with him that it is all he wants when he wakes up. She suggested Art put him to sleep. I got all weepy at the thought of it. As I asked her a question, I got all choked-up. Just last night, after nursing Eli to sleep, I emerged from his room telling Art how sweet the entire process is. After Eva and Eli read a book with mommy, Eli and mommy read one or two more books. I then put him down which makes him giggle. We play a game as I turn our the light and then I sing to him as he settles down while nursing. His body goes from spastic movements to mere twiches as his eyes close. Sometimes I have to say, "it's night time" then he closes his eyes and slow things down. I love hearing his breathing pick up as his right and left hands fidget. I hold them until they calm down. At this time his breathing gets a little louder until he takes in a big sigh and his breath slows down. He is asleep. I can leave him, he may roll over, sometimes looking up at me but goes to sleep with a gentle touch to his hand. Alas, this is the end of a long sleep history between mama and Eli. Just writing this down makes me see how crazed I am - let him do it on his own, Jan!
So tonight it begins, Daddy will take charge of the night time routine. I welome being back with Eva. I've missed being a part of her night time routine. We will see how it goes!
Eva made the jump to her big girl bed in preparation for Eli sleeping in her old crib. She has patiently waited for three months. She's finally given up on asking everynight, "Eeii sleep here?" only to hear, "Eli still cries at night, when he sleeps all night he can sleep with you." Last month, Eva responeded to this saying, "Eeii cries at night, I'll give him a bottle of water..." She's ready!