This handsome chap is my son Reuben. Reuben has recently transited to that major milestone in any parent’s life – sleeping through the night.
We decided last week that he was old enough (having begun solids two weeks earlier) to get through the night by himself. Since he didn’t now need us for food until dawn, he should be able to learn how to soothe himself back to sleep when he wakes up in the dark. We chose to make him go cold turkey, so Wednesday night was the appointed hour. Bed after 6pm, and then no parental intervention or comforting until 6am in the morning.
As always, he went off to sleep fine, and then around 9pm he stirred. He cried. He cried again. He wailed for all he was worth. After half an hour he got himself back off, until sometime after midnight, when he woke up again and began once more to sound the alarm as far as the Scottish borders (we live somewhere north of London). Eventually he got off to sleep, but this exercise was repeated three times, including one monster session lasting 50 minutes just before 5am. Sometime after 6am Gayle went in and fed him.
Thursday night we were expecting to have to repeat the procedure, to reinforce the lesson that we will be there at daybreak. He went down after 6pm.
At 2am, Gayle went in to check he was still breathing.
At 6am he woke.
He did the same thing Friday night. Smart kid (takes after his dad obviously).
Although we had one night of hell he worked it out very quickly. And there’s been another benefit to this new sleep routine, as well as Reuben not being so tired. Up to now he has only napped for 30 minutes at a time. But he is currently lying in his cot up the corridor, entering into the second hour of his lunchtime sleep. His naps have lengthened gradually over the weekend, but we are now in the major success area of having proper naps in the daytime and a child that sleeps through the night.
Marvellous. I actually feel fresh in the morning and ready for the day (as opposed to permanently tired all the time).
Please feel free to be utterly congratulatory below (or condemnatory if your 6 year old still won’t go through the night) after viewing another two photos of the cutest baby in the world.