D has been so easy-going lately, being happy hanging out on the floor, rolling around, grabbing his toys, etc. It's been pretty great. Which is why then today hit me like a ton of bricks. It started overnight last night. I don't think D's sleep was much worse than it's been but for some reason it felt like it-- like his crying started up again as soon as my head hit the pillow, my watch being the only proof that, yes, 3 hour did actually pass by already. Then the day itself... I don't know if it was teething pain or something else bugging him. I could distract him into smiles and even some giggles if I worked hard enough, but otherwise he resumed his fussiness, and by the afternoon I was resorting to lots of comfort nursing in order to get him to sleep, something I haven't needed to use in a while. The poor guy kept putting his hands in his mouth and tugging at his ears (which he's been doing off and on for a week or so, and I wondered if he might have an ear infection but they checked out completely fine at his check-up last week). Then Zach came home and of course D was in a great mood for that last hour before bedtime (showing off for dad). I did worry that putting him down would be rough tonight, as he was pretty cranky again by the time we went through his bedtime routine, but to my surprise (and great relief) he quieted down and fell asleep in less than 5 minutes.
We've been letting him put himself to sleep at bedtime for a few weeks now, and it's been going ok. I'd rather there be no crying involved, but most nights there's still some-- between 5 and 15 minutes. I hate to listen to it, but honestly when I think of what it usually took for us to get him to go to sleep I do honestly think he's spending less time crying overall. I still go to him when he wakes during the night as I don't want to deny him food if he's hungry, and then even if he wakes a little at the end of the feeding 99.9% of the time he goes back to sleep with no problems. I think I mentioned already about wondering what to do with his night feedings, if he really needs so many or if I've "trained" him to stay hungry, but I'm also not quite prepared to take action on that quite yet. I realize we're kinda not following the usual "cry it out" routine by rocking him to sleep at naps and going to him in the middle of the night, and maybe those are mistakes that are/will bite us in the ass, but as weird as it might sound I'm not ready to let him cry it out at those other times yet, and Zach and I are also not prepared to go back to rocking him to sleep at bedtime. I think we need, and deserve, that nighttime break and to actually spend time together as opposed to tag-teaming on Operation: Sleeping Baby for indefinite amounts of time each night. I'm always a bit nervous bringing up this issue as the whole "cry it out" thing is so controversial and I'm sure some of you disagree with it and might even think less of me as a mom for going that route. But so far this routine seems to be working for us, and as long as D continues to be happy and healthy, both physically and emotionally, and Zach and I remain mostly sane, I think that's all that really matters.
Long tangent aside, today left me beat, and so while I had hoped to catch up on my 365donovan project on flickr (haven't updated in 3 weeks), I think it's probably wiser for me to hit the sack, and hope for a better, calmer day tomorrow.