Well, my friends, this week marked the beginning of letting Gunnar cry himself to sleep. For the past six months, Gunnar and I have enjoyed a peaceful agreement that I rock him to sleep and he stays asleep when I lay him down. That's the deal. Well, about two weeks ago, Gunnar became a little shaky on his end of the deal. By the beginning of this week I was rocking him and laying him down several times before successfully getting him to nap. So I had no choice.
I always hate this transition. I don't like to hear babies cry. Not even stranger babies in the grocery store, let alone my own flesh and blood. It gets me all in a panic. But I also know that a few tough days of sticking it out will result in much smoother nap and bedtimes. So yesterday we let the crying begin!
I use a technique suggested by my BFF from high school. Some brilliant guy coined the technique, but I can't for the life of me remember his name(sorry brilliant guy). I just know that you lay your baby down and reassure him that you love him and it is "nigh-nigh" time. You leave the room and check the clock. You do everything possible to distract yourself the next five minutes. Do not even think of re-entering that room until five minutes have past.
If after 5 minutes your little lovely is still hollering, then go back, rub his belly and reassure him that you love him. Leave the room and check the clock. Now you get really busy distracting yourself because 10 minutes feels like an eternity if your baby cakes is screaming. Most babes give up and fall asleep during this time, but if yours are especially stubborn, like mine, you may need to repeat and stay out of the room for 15 minutes. If needed, repeat for 20 minutes.
So my nerves are a little rattled from the screams and cries of the past two days, but improvements are being made. Gunnar is a touch spoiled and a mama's boy, so he's heart broken that his mama is making him fall asleep all by himself! Poor kiddo.
For you stellar parents out there who never got into the habit of rocking your baby to sleep, I congratulate you on your will power. I'm a softy when it comes to sleeping babes, plus it can be quite peaceful escaping to the nursery to sit down for a few minutes and rock in my nice rocking chair with a cozy bundle in my arms! So I enjoyed my fun while it lasted, and now it is time to toughen up.