After the rush of Thanksgiving, we are finally settling back into our routines here in Atlanta. However, I decided to change things up a little when it comes to Akira and his sleep.
If you remember, Akira has slept in our room with us since the minute he was born. Well, I finally felt like he was old enough to sleep in his own crib and share a room with his sister. I was nervous about this, of course: What if we didn’t hear him? What if Anaïs woke up in the middle of the night because of him? What if he hated us? And lastly, how would I do without him in our bed next to me? But after almost four months, I felt like it was time.
We got home after our seemingly-endless drive up from Florida on a Saturday night. After having dinner and giving him a bath, I nursed him in the dark with Anaïs already asleep in her bed. He got drowsier and drowsier and finally pulled away from me in his [milk]drunken state. I lightly burped him and gave him a bunch of little kisses all over his face before lying him down in his crib … and then I walked away. I expected to hear him fuss. I expected to at least hear a whimper. But there was nary a peep from him. Could he have been as ready as I suspected he was? We went to bed with our door open that night so we could hear him. Before we knew it, the entire household was asleep.
You guys … Akira did it: He slept for nine hours that night. Nine! Then seven the next night, and then he actually went a whopping 12 (!!!) hours! I do give him a dream feeding before going to bed, which I’m sure helps to prolong his sleep. But then, two nights ago, he woke up three times in the middle of the night and was wide awake by 5:30 in the morning. That was not fun. Since then, Akira’s been sleeping relatively well. He’s only waking once a night now, usually between two and four in the morning, but falls right back asleep after he eats. Also, he’s discovered his thumb and now self-soothes!
When he was in our room, any sound or movement he made woke me up, and I would instinctually go to nurse him—even if he only nursed for (literally) a few seconds. Having him in his own room now while he soothes himself in the middle of the night has been awesome. It made me realize that he really just wanted comfort when he woke up in the middle of the night and that he wasn’t actually hungry. It also means that everyone sleeps better and is waking up more rested than when we originally started out.
I’m hoping that Akira goes for another 12-hour stretch soon, and that this becomes a regular habit. He’s already shown his cards and has proven that he can do it! Now, all we have to do is wait for that to happen again.