Remember Stacy, who was going insane from lack of sleep? She wrote back in to update us:
"Reading that post now, I can hardly believe I typed that message toyou. I sounded so exhausted, so miserable! Which I was. But the news today is much better. My son, who is now coming up on 1 year, is sleeping through the night. Ahhh! I still get giddy just THINKING those words!
I took a hodgepodge of advice from you and your commenters. First, I spent a night in a hotel. It took a long time to wind down in that hotel bed, and I almost rushed back home. But once I fell asleep there I got 6 solid hours of blessed rest, and I felt like a million bucks the next day. I don't know what I thought would happen in my absence, but my husband did fine with the baby.
That successful night convinced me that you were totally right about letting Daddy manage the sleep process. I started nursing the baby before his bath, PJs, or any other element of the bedtime routine. Then I would hand him off to Daddy and let them do their thing. Within a week, they had a great routine down. Removing the nursing from the bedtime routine entirely was huge, but alone it wasn't enough.
So my husband and I would set goals each night. The first was a very modest goal - we wouldn't let the boy nurse unless two hours had passed. Once that was accomplished, we kept inching the goalpost a little further away. Three hour stretches, four hour stretches, and so on. During this time, I've been sleeping in the guest bedroom with a white noise machine (finally, that thing is worth what we paid for it) and my husband has been in our bed with the boy. I left my husband alone to do whatever he wanted when the boy woke up between allowed nursing sessions. As part of my commitment to letting Daddy manage the process, I would not nurse the baby until my husband brought him in to me. I had to let go and trust my husband to make the right decision, to discern when the baby truly needed to nurse. It was hard at first, I was waking up frequently and fretting. But nothing terrible happened, and in time I began sleeping - really, seriously sleeping - between nursing sessions. Bliss! We've never left him alone to cry, but he has done a lot of crying in there with Daddy during this process. I'm not 100% thrilled about that, but he's obviously sleeping better for it, and he always wakes up sunny the next day.
A couple of weeks ago, we were able to get the boy down to one nursing at night, with 4 hours between. Then, this week, we eliminated even that one nursing session. We've been aiming for a 9-5 "no nursing" block. He's been giving us 9-6:30. It's fantastic.
I know everything could change at a moment's notice, because kids will be kids. But I'm now rested enough to deal with it. And I now know that he CAN sleep through, so even if he regresses it won't feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I also have to deal with easing myself back into our bed sometime, and I worry about that transition. Overall, though, things are a thousand times better than they were when you answered my question. I may not have had the gumption to go through with it without the support from you and the wonderful, sympathetic commenters who have Been There and Done That. I look back and wonder what took me so long.
So thank you. Thank you thank you thank you so much :)"
Hooray! You're welcome, Stacy, from me and I'm sure from all the commenters who posted on that question.
I think the moral of the story is that there is no magic cure. Nothing is going to work in three days to make your kid sleep through the night. But if you can get yourself 4-5 hours in a row, you'll have enough presence of mind to be able to formulate a plan that works for your particular family. Then just keep going. A lot of us have been there, and there's nothing sweeter than a long-sleeping baby.
Now, a question from me: My younger son is very clearly left-handed. Can anyone tell me what things a left-hander needs? All I know for sure is different scissors. He's 2 1/2, so is only starting with cutting, but really wants to do it, and our right-handed scissors just aren't doing it for him. I'd also love recommendations of where to buy things for left-handers (online would be great). Thanks!