If you had been within a block of my house this morning, you probably would have heard me shouting out the Hallelujah Chorus. It’s been seven months, six days, 12 hours and 15 minutes since Jacob’s arrival into the world. And, finally, I have a feeling that sleep at the Palmer household is about to get a whole lot sweeter.
From time to time, I’ve shared our sleep troubles on this blog, and so it’s no secret that Jacob has not been a fan of getting his z’s since birth. Once, during a particularly stressful stay-awake-a-thon when he was just a couple of weeks old, he made it 12 hours straight. (Amazingly, Tom and I lived to tell the tale, bleary and baggy-eyed as we were.)
Over the past months, I have listened with shock, awe and wistfulness to other mom’s stories about how their little ones sleep through the night upon arriving home from the hospital. Though I wouldn’t trade Jacob for the world, I would have happily exchanged our little guy’s sleep habits for those of their precious bundles.
But, now I don’t have to.
I think we have finally ventured upon the “secret” to sweet sleep for our little guy: a bed buddy. I’ve heard other moms call these “lovies,” but whatever you want to call it—stuffed animal, friend, lifesaver—I am calling it an answer to prayer.
Seriously. For the past months, Tom and I have been forced to walk or nurse Jacob to sleep for every nap during the day and also at night. The alternative was to let him scream for an hour. Then, about a month or two ago, we couldn’t take it anymore and (to the consternation of some of you) decided to start letting him “cry it out.” It didn’t last long. We would try letting him fall asleep on his own for a night but by the next night, decide it was just too heartbreaking. Then, a few weeks later, out of frustration and exhaustion we would try again.
At this moment, I am positively giddy to say that we finally seem to be free from that awful cycle. Now, before bed and at nap time, I put on a little “show” with one of his favorite stuffed animals. Then, I lay it next to him and duck down while the toy has his attention. I then proceed to army crawl out of the room while he babbles away to his friend. (In case you’re wondering, the army crawl is a crucial step. If he sees me leave, he reverts back to shedding buckets of tears.)
Whether or not the “bed buddy” trick would have worked before, I’ll never know. But, I am thrilled that it’s doing the trick now. Having a new, easy sleep time routine has made being a mom even more enjoyable. Plus, if I keep up this army crawl, I have a feeling that come summertime, I’ll have some crazy strong abs.