Last weekend my sister-in-law came into town for a visit. While here she spent a lot of time with J, including babysitting. Saturday night her and her mom spent the evening with J and when we got home I discovered they had swaddled him. Now, we had stopped swaddling J about a month ago, and things seemed to be going well but I certainly wasn't going to un-swaddle him in the middle of the night for no reason. Well J slept pretty well that night; I was still up with him way too often, but he didn't need to be brought into our bed to be able to finish out the night, and that was definitely a plus for me (not that I have anything bad to say about people who do co-sleep, I would just prefer not to myself). The week that followed we kept swaddling him with mixed results: he seemed a little better, but not as much as I would have liked him to be and he was still ending up in our beds most nights somewhere around 2 in the morning when I am unable to deal with him not sleeping).
Then came Friday night.
Shelbs and I have been talking about trying to let J cry it out at night to see if it might help him learn to sleep on his own. After talking to some moms I know, doing some research and psyching ourselves up mentally we set Friday night to begin the program.
When J woke up a couple of hours later that evening to eat I fed him, made sure he had a clean diaper, and put him back in his crib - awake. Goodness did he ever hate that! For the next 45 minutes Shelbs and I took turns going into his room to check on J and do what we could to calm him before heading back to the living room to distract ourselves from the sound of his wailing. Once he fell asleep he slept for 6 1/4 hours before waking to eat again - that's the longest he's slept in months!
Saturday he went down with barely a fuss, slept for 5 1/2 hours before waking to eat. Sunday night he didn't wake for a 9:30 feeding - instead he slept from 7:30pm to 4:30am before he woke to eat!
I cannot properly express how exciting that was (and painful, as anyone who has nursed will tell you!).
I can't say I wish we had tried crying it out sooner: I needed to know J was able to physically handle it, and Shelbs and I needed to be emotionally ready for it. But I'm so very glad we finally decided to try it. 45 minutes of crying for one night was so worth it. I know for some people it takes longer, and I know 3 days isn't enough to prove anything for certain, but I'm so happy at the progress we have made thus far.
For now we will keep swaddling J at night, but I think we will probably wean back off it fairly soon if things keep going as they are sleep wise.
Now if only I could get to be a bit earlier to take more advantage of that sleep time it would be great!