I've been avoiding the blog as we've been having some tough times around here. I'd mentioned before Gus was a champion sleeper until about 4 months when we went to WA. Since then it's been progressively worse. A couple of weeks ago it had got to the point of Tim on the couch, Gus in bed with me, and he was still waking almost hourly and crying inconsolably.
That was kind of breaking point for us. So we did what we never thought we'd do and gave ... controlled crying a go. Sigh, I know. I questioned it all many times, but he didn't seem to be very happy in bed with me either so I decided to give it three nights.
The first night was predictably the worst. But he didn't cry for any massively long periods thank goodness or I couldn't have done it. He just woke up a lot. And cried quite loudly a lot. We went in and reassured him every few minutes. Leaving the room each time was horrible. The next day we were both shattered and I felt like the worst mum in the world.
I wasn't keen at all to continue and took some convincing. The second night was better, he settled after only about 10 minutes. He still woke up a lot but not as much, and was quicker to resettle. I felt very conflicted about it all though, and was thinking about getting through the third night and then chucking it all in. I picked up Sleeping Like a Baby whilst at the shops and read something about how he was shutting down not learning to sleep, and he was being traumatised. I then tried not to cry in the middle of the shop.
On the third evening he surprised me though. We did our bedtime routine, we read books, and then I put him down in his bed dreading the usual protest. Instead he wriggled around happily and smiled at me. I wasn't quite sure what this was about, so I kissed him goodnight and left the room, waiting until he got tired and wondered where I was. But he went off to sleep! The fact he seemed happy was hugely reassuring, maybe I hadn't traumatised him or broken his spirit! I think he made a peep around 2am-ish but was back to sleep before I could get to him.
Our nights have been the same since. He wriggles happily when put to bed at 7pm, then usually wakes at 5.30am when I give him a feed and bring him in with us where he goes back to sleep until 7am ish.
So... This certainly isn't a promotion for controlled crying. I still don't know how I feel about it. It didn't feel right not going to him when he cried. Not at all. I can't see any evidence that I've traumatised him, but I don't know. I do find it reassuring he's so happy to go to bed though. And I feel so much better during the day after some proper sleep. So I'm neither for nor against. This is just our story.
In other news, at 8 months old Gus has FINALLY graduated from his bassinet to a cot. Papa bear was meant to be "building" said cot, and whilst it was well on the way, Mama bear made the executive decision that it just wasn't going to happen before Gus was 4 or so, and went and bought one. Haha. (This was after the whole sleep drama and he transitioned beautifully).