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the hard heart
Gabriel's sleep patterns had regressed and he was up every couple of hours again, but this time he was standing up in his crib, banging on the bars with his palms and sounding very, very angry at us when we did not respond right away. I began to mutter "yes, master" as I limped to his room for the fourth time.

It was time to let him cry it out. For real. We were sick with colds and exhaustion and slaves to frequent wake-ups with no end in sight. It was time stick to the "extinction method" of sleep training.

We have tried this before, but I always caved around night two (experts predict it takes 3 nights- 1 week). It is harrowing to hear your baby cry and to not go in to him. You pick him up, he puts his head on your shoulder, and is immediately calm: All he wants is you - to lie in your arms with his head on your shoulder. How is it possible that you have been entrusted with such a precious little person? How can you not go to them?

People told me that with a baby who is not a sleeper, you will reach a point where it makes sense to stop going to them every time they wake during the night. That you will be able to harden your heart, and know that a few nights of hell are far preferable to months ahead of fragmented sleep.

Night One he cried on and off for ages. I caved once and breastfed him around 2 in the morning. Night Two I stiffened my resolve and waited till 5:50 (after a bout of crying for 45 minutes). I brought him to bed and he breastfed and fell asleep between us until 8am. Last night, Night Three, he woke up once or twice and sputtered a bit and put himself back to sleep. At 5:50 he woke again, I brought him to bed, and he slept between us until 8am.

Had I not been up all night with a hacking cough, it would have been a full night's sleep!
I think it is working.

And he does not seem too perturbed:

(G. loves borscht)

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10.16.2007
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post #1329
bio: adina
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10/16/2007
12:42

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