Bedtime routines have been painless for Ev since the very beginning (he was sleeping through the night at nine weeks old), and we’ve always been thankful for that. As an infant, Ev had reflux so we had to hold him upright for at least 30 minutes after a feeding and he inevitably fell asleep. We found it cruel to wake him up only to lay him in the crib so that he could teach himself to “self soothe” and fall asleep, so we didn’t. We wondered if the time would come when we would have to leave him to “cry it out.”
But the timing never felt right until a very sleepless week in Florida when Ev was about six months old. He slept in a pack-n-play right next to our bed, and all week he woke up throughout the night. My husband and I had to take turns rocking him back to sleep each and every time. On our flight back home I told my husband that something clearly wasn’t working and that weekend we would sleep train him. I knew it would be tough on me, so we planned who would tend to him when he was crying and how we would handle it. That Friday night we swaddled him up as tight as we could and laid him in his crib with eyes wide open. He fussed for about 5 minutes before I went in and rubbed his back and soothed him a bit. He fussed for less than 5 minutes more and was sound asleep. From that point on, we just laid Ev in his crib and he would go right to sleep for at least 11 hours, if not 12 or 13. It really reassured us that we had waited until the best time and really followed Ev’s timing.
But now, bedtime is getting hard. While he’s great putting on his pajamas and reading books before bed, when I put him in his crib he just screams and cries. If I pick him up he lays his head on my shoulder and it’s just the sweetest thing. It’s so hard to put him back in his crib where he starts to wail again! I don’t know if he is going through a phase or if something is scaring him, but I can’t bear to think of him crying himself to sleep.
Part of me thinks Ev just feels like he is missing a party, so he is trying to work me so I let him stay up. But ALL of me just wants this to stop because when I know that holding him will help him stop crying, it’s so hard not to do just that.