Sleep determines whether you have a good day or not. I mean, really, if you were up all night for one reason or another, and then morning comes before you want it to, it pretty much defines your day.
I've been labeled by my sleep since before I had Kimble; since we found out about his heart defects one year ago. Sleep didn't come any easier when he was born either. In fact, he was born on a Wednesday, and I didn't really sleep from the night before he was born, until Sunday night. By Sunday, I was an uncontrollable weeping mess, and was at my breaking point. That's as worse as it got.
Since then, sleep has occurred, but in small chunks, and fitful, at best. I kept Kimble right next to me in bed, because if I actually stayed awake every time he nursed through the night, I would have gotten NO sleep at all. Besides, I like to sleep with my babies, so it worked out fine.
The past few weeks, however, sleep has become harder and harder to hang on to. I was up all night with Kimble, and then in the morning, my back would be so sore from how taunt I must've been holding my body, next to Kimble. I decided that enough was enough. I finally needed more sleep.
So almost a week ago now, I decided to have Kimble sleep in his crib. Since his crib is in another room (our guest room) and I was having issues with him being so far away from me, I decided to sleep in the guest room too. The first night, I laid him down about 10:30 pm (I was hosting a baby shower that night, so we got off to a late start). I was determined that I would let him cry himself to sleep if he woke up before 3am to eat. If it was after 3am, I would feed him, then put him right back to sleep in his crib. Essentially, the co-sleeping was over.
Imagine my surprise when he didn't wake up until 4:15am. This, coming from a kid who previously thought he had to eat every half hour throughout the night. So I fed him, then put him back in his crib until he woke up for the morning at 6:30. Since I actually got sleep that night, I felt exuberant that morning!
The next night, I laid him down when he was awake and he only cried for a minute or two before he put himself to sleep. He slept until around 1am, but I let him cry himself back to sleep (only a few minutes) and didn't feed him until he woke up a few hours later. Then, he was back in his crib to sleep for the rest of the night.
This went on for the next few nights. If he woke up before 3am, I didn't get him. After 3am, I fed him, and then returned him to his crib. By day 5, I felt confident in sleeping in my own room again (with the monitor on) and allowing him a once-a-night feeding.
Everything has changed! Kimble is sleeping so well at night. He even pacifies himself if he wakes up, and goes back to sleep on his own. Now I am able to get two good chunks of sleep in. I am feeling more normal now, instead of the tired zombie I've been for a year. Ironically enough, this change has even influenced his daytime naps. Before, he was taking one nap a day, and it wasn't very long. Now, he takes two naps a day, and both are at least two hours long.