But today, my post isn't about the Pumpkin. I just started it that way to give the frame of reference.
Today, on the Pookie's four-month birthday (can you believe he's four months already? I can't!), I'm going to tell you how the nights had been going, and then tell you about this crazy thing that's happening over the past few nights. And yes, I know that I'm going to completely jinx myself. I figure we're about to start in on the four-month sleep regression anyway, so I should document the current happenings before it all goes to hell.
To put the Pookie to bed, I do the follow:
1. Bring him upstairs in the bedroom and dim the lights.
2. Change his diaper.
3. Swaddle him in the
4. Nurse him, rock him, walk him or any combination there of to sleep.
5. Hold him for at least a half hour, possibly an hour and a half(!), until he is in deep sleep.
6. Put him down in the cosleeper next to my side of the bed.
7. Quietly sneak out of the room and pray that he stays asleep.
Historically, he sleeps for 2-4 hours--usually right about 3--when I first put him down. When he wakes up, I usually bring him to bed with me (this is often when I'm going to bed or within an hour of me going to bed) and nurse him back to sleep lying down next to me. And I fall asleep. Cause I'm seriously tired, people. I tend to not wake up until he wakes up again, and then I nurse him back to sleep and I fall asleep. Unless he has a fart or poop or I think he's going to or his diaper is very full, and then I get up (or occassionally wake up Londo) to change his diaper, reswaddle and then nurse him back to sleep. So he pretty much sleeps with me most of the night.
Over the last week or two, he has spent many nights waking up every hour or less. Until I give up somewhere around 4 or 5 or 6 in the morning and stick him in the swing, where he'll sleep for a solid 2 or 3 hours more, and I actually get to sleep by myself for a few hours. Oh, and he's also taken to nursing for an hour or more while sleeping. I guess since it's right there, he thinks hey, why not!
Did I mention I'm tired? And sore! And exhausted! And my poor nipples need a little rest too!
And none of that even takes into account the Pumpkin's coming to our bed and coughing all night long so my sleep is even more disrupted!
But... but... but... get this: Now, the Pookie doesn't have to be in deep sleep to be put down in his cosleeper!
Not only that, but... get this: The Pookie can actually fall back to sleep on his own!!!!
I'm not kidding! It really does happen for some kids! It looks like the world isn't full of people with their pants on fire!
For most of his naps, I just nurse him to sleep and when he seems asleep enough I put him down. It hadn't worked so well at night, but three nights ago, I thought I'd give it another try at night. And it worked! I nursed him to sleep and 5-10 minutes later, I put him down! And he slept about 3 hours!
Two nights ago, he woke right up. But we had an overall tough night, I believe because of gas and poop that didn't get all out until the next morning--all over the swing, which was especially fun to deal with.
And last night? I did it again! Not only that, but once the other night and twice last night I was able to put him in his cosleeper after nursing him lying down. I've been going to be in the 9:00 hour, so I think I'm not so exhausted that I just fall completely back to sleep when I nurse him to sleep. I'm able to either stay awake-ish or wake back up and put him back in his cosleeper. And it works!
But it gets even better. Last night when I first put him down, I had to get the monitor from another room and plug it in and I ended up jostling him somewhat awake. His eyes were open and he looked at me. I ducked out as quickly and quietly as I could. When I went downstairs and turned the monitor on, Londo and I heard him fussing a bit. I thought it was all over. For the Pumpkin, it would have been. I headed back upstairs, but it was quiet when I got up there. I listened at the door, and I heard some more fussing. But then? Nothing! He had fallen back asleep! By himself!
I think this is what people mean by "self-soothe."*
And at least one of the two times I put him back in the cosleeper last night, he was not fully asleep. His eyes were that fluttering-open and he was tossing and turning his head. But? HE FELL ASLEEP! IN HIS COSLEEPER!
So we may have one of those previously-believed-to-be-mythical-by-Londo-and-I children who self-soothe! I have hope for regaining some of my sleep prior to his turning 3!
Now, if only he could teach his sister...
*The Pumpkin has never really been able to self-soothe. When she sleeps through the night, it is completely because she doesn't wake up enough to have to get herself back to sleep. When she wakes up enough to require getting back to sleep, she comes in our room or calls for one of us. She just has not developed this capability yet, and we are working on it with her.