Something must be done about Kermie’s sleeping. When he was two-months-old, he began sleeping 10 and a half hours. Yes, 10.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Jackpot! We were not going to be those parents fretting and buying baby sleep books because, well, we had solved the riddle. We had diligently not jumped at every baby Frog noise and now, our two-month-old was an excellent self-soother. Ahem.
But when Frog turned six-months-old, suddenly he began waking up. Just a phase, we thought. It’s a sleep regression, he’ll snap out of it in two weeks! Um, I’m here to tell you, that has decidedly not been a thing. And, we are now the proud owners of The Sleep Lady book Good Night, Sleep Tight because, according to Sean, we are more than capable of ignoring the condescending tone of The Sleep Lady.
So for the next thirteen days, I will be chronicling our adventures in getting Frog to sleep through the $@!? night (STDN). I will try to post an update every day (although I may have to skip a couple because hello! Life + blog = chaos sometimes) but make sure to periodically check back. Also, I’ll be updating @andillcryifiwantto on Instagram regularly. Without further ado…
Night 1 (Monday, October 16th)
Bedtime: 6:00 pm
Read ‘The Sleep Lady Shuffle,’ during Kermie’s morning nap; a 13-day plan to that teaches your baby to self-soothe with minimal tears. I text Sean that we should start tonight.
We move Frog’s bedtime from 7:30 pm to 6:00 pm. We bathe him, Sean reads him two books and feeds him a bottle. Frog is settled, in a good place and instead of holding him until he falls asleep, Sean takes an awake-but-drowsy Frog and gently sets him in the crib. Kermie begins to cry. Sean and I pull up chairs and sit next to the crib, Sean with his profile to the crib and me with my chair directly facing the crib.
The Sleep Lady tells us we need to stay for the duration, until the baby falls asleep. We’re permitted the occasional soothing “sh, sh” sounds and gentle, short pats on the back. She also advises that we, Sean and I, can encourage a restful state by keeping our eyes closed. So, we sit with our eyes shut and wait. Kermie surprisingly and mercifully moves on from crying to just chewing the side of the crib rather quickly. He is not loud. He is not terribly upset. We’re doing good. We’re here for the duration. Or. Or here until I panic.
I couldn’t keep my eyes closed, not the whole time. I had to see. So, sneak peaks. I watch Frog move from standing to laying down. Just as I think he’s going to sleep, he opens his eyes, sees us, and forces himself back over to the side to pull-up. I watch this pattern over and over again for about ten minutes. He’s exhausted. I can see it. I convince myself, and with persuasive, silent hand motions convince Sean, that we should leave. We are doing more harm than good, I’ve decided. He’ll fall right asleep if we leave. I just know it. Sean and I walk out of Kermie’s room at around 6:50 pm. I am sure Night 1 is over.
By 7:00 pm, we are traipsing back into Frog’s room. He is beside himself, clearly audible even without the baby monitor on. I watch, in abject horror, as Sean picks From up and begins to comfort him.
“You can’t do that!” I hiss.
“She said I could!” Sean hisses back.
Kermie calms in Sean’s arms. Sean lays him back down. Frog looses his mind. Sean and I assume our seated position.
Periodically, I look over at Sean. At first, Sean seems ok. But as the crying goes on, he starts to look worse and worse. “I wish I brought the ear plugs,” he texts me (we’ve brought our phones as a silent form of communication). At 7:21 pm, I look over at Sean and know he is done. He looks awful and like he’s about to explode.
“Leave.” I text him. Sean jumps out of his chair and sprints out of the room. It’s now just me and Frog. For the duration. Until I panic. Again.
I convince myself, again, that I am doing more harm than good. I also convince myself that I can’t sleep train Frog alone.
I leave. Kermie’s still unmagnified screams follow me down the stairs and into our master bedroom. Sean is lying down on the bed with his iPad. I am not happy.
“This is not going to work,” I proclaim. “You can’t stay in the room. I think I can do cry it out (a different method) if we get a video monitor, so I can see Kermie.”
“Do you want me to set up my iPad in his crib and then FaceTime him?”
“No!” I scream, horrified. “I don’t even know if I can do cry it out!”
“You just said–”
“I can’t trust you and I can’t trust me!” I say. I retreat to our master closet. Sean follows.
“Just tell me what we’re doing tonight,” Sean says.
“I don’t know! If I did, I would have told you. Sean, I am incapable of this. This, this is too big. I can’t do this.” Surprisingly, I am not crying. Unsurprisingly, Sean is looking at me like a deer in headlights. And Kermie’s screams are now echoey; apparently, our master closet and Kermie’s room share some air duct work.
I sit on the floor of the closet. Sean sits on the floor too and closes the door. Then Sean suggests that I leave. “Go somewhere. I’ll handle this. I’ll text you when he stops screaming.”
“Wha?!?!?” I say. And then I burst into sobs. Heaving sobs of frustration and exhaustion (I’d been up with Kermie since 4 am) and guilt. How could I just leave? How is this so so hard?
So we talk. And talk. We talk about the pros and cons of every sleep training method we know of. I stop crying. We talk about where I could go if I need to just leave. I start crying again. We talk about the pros and cons of only one of us sleep training Kermie. We talk about how unfair it all is. I stop crying again. And, at some point, Sean stops talking.
“Babe.” He points up to the ceiling. “I don’t hear him.”
“Oh my God,” I say. I start welling up with relief.
“This doesn’t mean it’s the end,” Sean says.
“I know,” I say.
About ten minutes later, Sean abruptly stands and heads out the master closet door.
“Are you going to check on him?” I ask.
Sean shortly returns, dangling the baby monitor on the tip of his finger. The red power light is on and a huge grin is plastered across his face.
“All quiet,” he says. And I have never been happier.
Psst! Do you want more Frog in your life? No problem!
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