Independence Day for Mama

popsicles for Independence Day @ school

popsicles for Independence Day @ school

In the past 2.5 years, Potamus has slept through the night only a handful of times (with the caveat that he ALWAYS sleeps through the night when he’s co-sleeping in our bed, which has resulted in us just co-sleeping every night for the past I-don’t-know-how-long). It’s hard being the kind of authentic mom I want to be, making choices like co-sleeping that feel good but are also draining on me as an introvert. I want a full night’s sleep. Okay, I’d settle for not getting up 5 times a night (like I did the other night).

People around me have¬†helpful*¬†advice like having him cry it out over a period of 3 days (to 3 weeks!) in order to ‘break’ him of his co-sleeping habit. I cringe at the thought. While this has clearly worked for other people’s kids, and they don’t seem worse for the wear, I just don’t want to go that route. So here I am, like last year’s “I AM SO DONE WITH BREASTFEEDING!” post (where I stuck it out for another 6 months until he weaned on his own) wanting my little guy to freaking sleep on his own for more than 30 minutes-2 hours. Ya know?

So last weekend we went and spent a few nights at my parent’s house in Eastern Washington. And one of the nights he slept shittily. And the next night I woke up at 7 and puttered out of the bedroom with Potamus still snuggled in. And he slept for a good 2.5 hours more. And when he woke up I played to his current obsession with praise, and told a little white parenting lie, by exclaiming proudly:

“YOU DID IT! Buddy you slept all by yourself, I am so proud of you! You’re such a big boy!”

He had a big smile on his face, when he said “I did it!” I wish I had taken a picture of his smile paired with his little blonde bedhead. So freaking adorable.

This week, since that, has been up and down. But I am proud to say, that he has slept through the night TWICE! When he cries out for ‘mama’ in the middle of the night, I go in, and snuggle down with him until he falls back asleep. Every day he’s made it until about 6 am. And last night he slept from 8:30-6 am, and then came into our bed and slept until 8:30. He gets so excited that he “did it!” all by himself, that I’m hoping we’re on a trend toward more independence as a mom. While I cherish the snuggles, like this morning, I also loved sleeping a few hours in a row in a bed all by myself.

Happy Independence Day ya’ll! Stay safe!

Sleeping Babies

Sigh. My sweet little baby is growing up so fast, and while I am nostalgic about it, I am also happy that I have been sticking to my beliefs about all things sleep related. Since Potamus was born we have done a modified bed-share/co-sleep arrangement, based on all of our needs and wishes at night. During the day, Potamus was held or carried in a sling or ergo pack while napping. My goal was to have him learn and really believe that sleep was a safe experience to enter and exit, that Mama and Daddy would be there when he drifted off and would be there when he woke up. I’ve ignored the somewhat flak I recieved about ‘spoiling’ my baby and that if he gets used to being held for naps that he would ALWAYS have to be held for naps. I mostly ignored these well-meaning advices, as I was certain inside my gut that Potamus would not be going to college still napping in my arms (as he’s projected to be 6’5, that might be challenging even if he WANTED to be held. Ha!)

The past week or so, Potamus has been spending most of the night in his co-sleeper, but yesterday I thought I would try putting him down for a nap in our bed. There he was, tired,, nursing himself to sleep and I gave him his snuggly blanket and once he was asleep, I crept away. 2 plus hours later he woke up quietly and was smiley when I went to check on him. I relished the sweet time he was sleeping by himself (i was hosting some ladies over for afternoon treats and makeovers), but it struck me how quickly he has gone from needing to be re-assured to sleep and how he is now slowly becoming Mr. Independent. The safety we have fostered is, in my belief, part of the reason why.

So I tried this morning, a new experiment, where he was allowed to “play” quietly in the co-sleeper at 4:30 this morning since he was awake and I didn’t really want to get up (and Boof certainly wasn’t wanting to hang out, either)…and then around 5:15 I hear him quiet down, and I open my eyes and there he is…he rolled onto his side, facing away from us, holding his lovey and was out like a light. He put himself back to sleep. No crying it out traumatized battle for us. Just sweet peaceful sleep.