On Wednesday, I had Noah weighed at the local baby clinic, and was pleased to see that he's continuing to creep upward on the weight front. I had a quick chat with the health visitor about whether or not I should be thinking about letting him learn to "self-settle" (i.e. not feed him back to sleep in the night), and she thought it was probably worth doing. I think it was all the tiny reassurance I needed, so last night I decided that after a bedtime bottle, and then a nighttime (10:30 pm) bottle, he was probably full enough to get through the night. At 1:45 am, I heard him cry out, and when he cries, it's in stereo. He seems a lot louder than Blake ever did, but maybe it's just that the acoustics are different in this house compared to our flat. I don't think it's that, really, I just think Noah is a lot louder when he screams!
Anyway, at 1:45 he was screaming quite loudly, but this time at least I decided that there was no reason for me not to believe that controlled crying wasn't going to work. If Blake woke up, well, fine, we'd get him back to sleep too. I know from our chats that the next-door neighbor's 20-month-old is not a great sleeper, so if Noah woke them up too, well, so be it. And I just kept telling myself that if it worked, it would hopefully work within a couple of nights, and then, oh how it would be worth it.
I had to keep telling myself that for the next hour and a half, but eventually Noah did go back to sleep without my feeding him. It was tiring though! At first I was stroking his head and then I got a bit achy leaning over his cot, so I decided just to lie beside his cot. That was no good, however, as he definitely wanted to get closer to me and instead he ended up smashing his face against the bars of the cot. That was quite heart-breaking so I sucked it up and went back to leaning over the cot. At some point I thought he was asleep so I went back to bed, but he was crying within 10 minutes or so, so back into his room I went. At 3:15 he was finally asleep, and stayed that way until 6-something when I did feed him. I felt it was a pretty good result, but can only hope for better each night. As I was sitting on our bed at some point around the 2:45 am mark, I marvelled at what a crazy and painful process it is to get a baby to sleep through. I thought about all the books I'd read previously, all the tips you get from people, all the people you can employ to help you figure it out (once again, I'll just say that Lin's work with Blake was priceless, although I do now feel a lot stronger to try things out for myself with Noah), all the self-doubting you can do, and I just was bewildered to think about how many people were probably out there in the night, awake, feeding a child, wishing they could go back to sleep themselves, or wondering if there wasn't a better way to just have the little one go back to dreamy land without any tears. Of course I wish it was easier, but I'm just hoping that it's quick!
I'm up late tonight, having finally looked at my To Do list (of mainly correspondence...if you've sent a gift in the past 8 months and not received a thank you note - I'm working on it!) and realized that none of it was going to write itself. It's taken me the better part of the evening but I've made some progress, and I was still awake to go in and deal with Noah's 1:30 wake. I gave him his dummy (not getting rid of that yet, although I think he actually started sucking his thumb instead), and he rolled over and went back to sleep, although I'm not going to fool myself that that might be it for the night. For some reason Blake decided at the very same time that he was going to head into our bed, but Matt steered him back to his room and I think that for the moment, everyone is in the bed he should be in, and is asleep. I'm going to go join them now, and oh, how I hope to report good progress in a future post...