Dr. Wonderful (Maybe?) Saves the Day

First, the good news. Everyone is back home and we are officially done with pre-Monkey travel. The not-as-good news is that my wife was gone for two nights and I decided to institute Sleeping IN the Crib Boot Camp. Why would I do such a thing? Because I haven’t slept in weeks. I would say months, but that’s stretching it a bit. It is more than one month though, somewhere between one and two. It’s hard to count these days. I’m tired.

In this time I have learned that Yogi has always been a fabulous sleeper. I didn’t fully appreciate that fact until he became a not-at-all-fabulous sleeper. During the remodel Yogi slept in a pack and play in our room. This meant that when he had those small moments of wakefulness during the night if he opened his eyes he found…… Mommy and Mama!!! How great is that?!! I can only imagine that he had no idea that this hanging out together at night thing was even a possibility. So when he popped up and began chanting, “Mommy! Mama! Up!” on an endless loop we gave in and rocked him. Night after night after night. What could we do? I’m sure we could have done something else, but this is what we did. We’re paying for it now.

Last week when we all went back to our own rooms, Yogi decided to keep the party going. Sometime in the neighborhood of 10pm the first wail rung out. One or both of us was up and down most of the night. Clearly this is not a workable situation. It is an entirely unworkable situation when your wife could give birth at any moment.

Enter the Las Vegas trip.

In her absence I decided to try tough love. While we were winding down for bedtime I explained that he would be sleeping in the crib and he would be just fine because he had his lovey and his paci and a water sippy and four (this is true) Ugly Dolls (we call them his Ugly Friends) to snuggle with. When he cried I went in the room and resisted his “Up!” pleas by rubbing his back and singing his favorite songs. FOR HOURS. It felt like that at any rate. When my back started to give out I moved to the chair (sans Yogi) and just sang louder. We did this for three nights. I never got him out of the crib.

Then this morning we had his 20 month well baby visit with Dr. Wonderful.  Yogi looks great:

Height: 34″ (80%)
Weight: 23lb, 13oz (40%)

but I mention the visit because he weighed in on Boot Camp. In his calm, fabulous Dr. Wonderful way he suggested (encouraged, advised) that we let him cry. Here is the argument for this seemingly heartless plan:

  • Yogi needs to learn how to sleep and it is our job as parents to teach him.
  • Our current approach is not sustainable.
  • He is safe in his crib.
  • He is not currently sick.
  • The rest of our family needs to sleep.
  • We will be adding a newborn to this family in a matter of weeks.
  • He can do it and he will be proud of himself when he does.
These are the things that I will be chanting to myself tonight as I clutch the video monitor and listen to my baby cry. Please let us have a good night. Please let this not be heartbreakingly terrible.
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7 thoughts on “Dr. Wonderful (Maybe?) Saves the Day

  1. We've never had a monitor. I think it would be worse with one. Go take a shower, listen to some music and try to remember that 'what he wants is you' but 'what he needs is sleep'.
    I honestly think it must be hell to go through this at 20 months when they are so aware of everything and CAN yell Mama or Mommy. It was bad at 6 months, so I feel for you.
    Good Luck.
    You can do it and everyone is going to be so much happier with good sleep.

  2. Hang in there! I know there are lots of opinions about this stuff, but it seems to me that your bullet points make an awful lot of sense. You guys will be way better parents to both of your kids when you're getting more sleep. And Yogi himself will be better off if he sleeps more and learns how to soothe himself.

  3. you can do it! Just remember he's not hurt, he's not in pain, he just doesn't know *how* to sleep yet and so he needs the practice on his own. Practice makes perfect and so these first few nights will probably not be perfect and probably will be hard (you might not need that monitor, you'll probably be able to hear him just fine without it) but he'll learn. And it'll get better. Hang in there. 😉

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