Last Friday we began sleep training in earnest.
We'd been letting Jordan cry a bit, but we would always cave and then I'd wind up feeding him so we could all go back to sleep.
Which is all fine and good until you are doing this at 12 am, 2 am, and 4 am. Or 1, 3, and 5. And he acts like he's ravenous. And then he's getting up at 6 am not hungry.
Our pediatrician had told us we could start doing this at 4 months, but like the feeding solid foods, we held off.
So at the 6 month checkup she said, go ahead, let him cry if you are comfortable with that.
Because the letting your baby cry issue, it is a HUGE one on the mommy message boards. (And somehow my inclination is always to call them the motherboards - do computers still have motherboards?)
There are the yes, let your baby cry, you need to teach them they can self-soothe and get themselves back to sleep. Otherwise they won't be able to sleep for the rest of their lives and insomniacs are much more likely to wind up in jail. And do you want to do that to your child?
And there are the no, you're damaging their little psyches for life and they're probably going to wind up axe murderers if you let them cry. And if they're axe murderers, it's all your fault.
It's all very stressful and fraught with emotion and peril.
So we've been letting him cry for longer and longer periods.
The first few nights were hell. Hell. HELL. It got slightly better as the week went on.
But Monday morning I looked like I'd been beaten. I'm not exaggerating. I looked all battered.
Because for one thing, it's terrible hearing your child cry. Your inclination is to go fix it, make it better.
And for another, if he's crying, you're not sleeping.
And so after you've peeked in to make sure that he hasn't stuck his little legs through the slats like a stockade, then you lie there and remind each other that he's safe, he's fine, he's not actually hungry, etc.
You learn that this can go on for a shocking amount of time.
You hear him wake up, and he's all, "Hello? Hi! I'm awake. Come get me!"
And you whisper at each other, "Don't get up! Maybe he'll fuss a bit and then go back to sleep."
And then some time goes by.
"HELLO? Hi! I'm awake. Come get me!"
Much like Inigo Montoya, he repeats this. Over and over and over. And each time he ratchets it up a little.
"HELLO? HI! I'm awake. Come get me!"
"HELLO? HI! I'M AWAKE. Come get me!"
"HELLO? HI! I'M AWAKE. COME GET ME!"
And then, if there's no response, he begins:
"HELLO? HI! I'M AWAKE. GOD FUCKING DAMMIT GET YOUR ASS IN HERE AND PICK ME THE FUCK UP!"
Pause. Waits for response.
"LISTEN UP YOU MOTHERFUCKERS! I'M AWWWAAAAAAAAAAAKE! AND I AM NOT ONE BIT HAPPY ABOUT THE PRESENT SITUATION! AND IF YOU DON'T PICK ME THE GODDAMN FUCK UP THERE IS GOING TO BE HELLLLLLLL TO PAYYYYY AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH YOU AAAAAASSHOLES!"
And then you tiptoe in to pat him and he's immediately all smiley and, "Hey! Nice to see you! How the heck does one get a boob around this joint?"