So the last two months of my life as an overnight parent have been a whirlwind. Chicklett had been a fantastic sleeper, only waking 2-3 times a night for a quick boob and being in bed for about 12 hours. Right after her first birthday she started to have nightmares and waking periods of up to FIVE HOURS in the middle of the night. Every night. It was painful for me... super happy fun times for her. From what I've heard, the nightmares/night terrors are pretty normal for stage development at that age. My son did it for about a week and then never again.
Chicklett brought it a whole new aspect by waking up perky and excited. She would sleep from around 8pm-10pm, then be wide awake from 10ish to midnight, take a 5-10 minute nap, and then wake up ready to party for another couple hours. Anyone who follows us on Facebook was probably tired of my "midnight party" posts of insanity. I know I was!
She had these five hour parties atleast five days a week for six weeks. Then I hit my breaking point.... I would start to think "Is it possible to get postpartum depression 13 months later??" Crying at her to JUST GO TO SLEEP. Something had to give. And as much as I enjoy my little snuggle bug at night... ending co-sleeping seemed to be the most obvious solution. She is a pretty light sleeper and it occurred to me that I might be snoring at night and that possibly *I* was actually the one waking her up. One way to find out... I brought in my back up help. It is hard for me to ask for help, because being mom is my job 24/7... and especially with overnights I feel it's my job since my husband has to be functional for work in the morning. But this was getting unhealthy for me, and the idea that perhaps co-sleeping was no longer mutually beneficial was ringing in my ear. Gotta trust your instincts.
I have the best husband EVER! After many talks about the importance of not letting baby cry out I dropped my guard and let him be in charge. I moved into the guest bedroom and my husband completely took over night wakings. Sometimes he slept in bed with her, and sometimes he slept out in the livingroom and listened on the monitor. But he would only bring her to my boob every three hours. He's been doing this for about a month now, even on work days. The night of December 23rd a miracle happened... she only woke up once the whole night! We called it an X-mas miracle. Ha! Then for the next week she was back to 2-3 boobs a night... but now the last three nights she's only woken once.
I'm not sure what 2012 is going to bring for our sleeping arrangements, but we sure did end the year on a happy note.