I recently had my 6 week follow-up appointment with my OB. It was really bittersweet. I love the doctors in the practice and after seeing them so often, I was a little sad thinking that I wouldn't be returning for a year. Even sadder, I'll probably never be under their supervision for a pregnancy again.
But, my doctor and the nurse wanted to know all about baby and one of the questions they asked was if I was getting any sleep. Ha. I told them that baby actually slept really well and W was the problem. I explained that he was waking multiple times during the night. It usually took a really long time for W to fall back asleep and A would often have to sleep next to him. I also mentioned to them I wasn't comfortable with letting him "cry it out" and that I didn't think it would work anyway.
My doctor said it was very common for toddlers to regress when a new sibling came along. This I knew.
The nurse was really helpful. She also advised against letting W cry. There was a reason he was crying in the first place - he was scared, he needed soothing, etc. So not comforting him would likely make him feel worse. She also said that sleeping next to him was probably not the best solution. He was quickly getting used to this so every time he awoke and realized A wasn't next to him, he'd cry out for A. Her suggestion: stay with him until he settles, let him know that you'll return in a set amount of time, then leave the room. Repeat this process, increasing the interval each time. It was definitely worth a shot.
So Bed Time Bootcamp, as I dubbed it, began Friday night. Instead of the usual, giving W a bottle and letting him fall asleep while A rocked him, we were going to completely change up the bed time routine.
A and I agreed on a plan. We decided to start our new routine around 8pm. A would read 3 books with W and then sing a song. Then, we'd try the method the nurse suggested for 2 hours. If it still wasn't working, then we'd give in and try again the following day.
W loved reading the stories with A and sang along when it was time for the song. After that, A tried to leave the room. W immediately became hysterical and ran after A - something he's never done before. He's always stayed in bed and waited for us to come to him. I watched all this unfold on the monitor and immediately thought, there's no way this is going to work. But A was amazing. He brought W back to bed, very calmly told him that he should stay in bed and that A would be back to check on him. A encouraged W telling W that A knew he could do this. W got out of bed a couple more times, but he was no longer crying. A checked on W a couple minutes later, then 5 minutes later, then 10 minutes later. After a total of 30 minutes, W was asleep. He had fallen asleep on his own!!! This was huge progress!
W woke 2 times in the night and A repeated the same process. W fell back asleep quickly each time. This was awesome!! It seemed like such a simple method and I don't know why it took us so long to try it. A slept in our bed for the first time in a really long time and W slept alone for the first time in a really long time.
Saturday night, A did the same thing. W only woke once during the night and S woke at the same time. It was the first night in the past 6+ weeks that we got a decent amount of sleep!!!
W has woken a couple times in the night each night since. A goes to him, settles him, lets W know that he'll return, and W falls asleep on his own. He even got out of bed one night, called for A, and then hopped back in bed on his own and fell asleep. Major major progress! I'm hopeful he'll be sleeping through the night again soon.