Bye Bye, Baby

We officially kicked Emmy out of our room. Into her half decorated walk-in-closet-sized room. It is an oddly shaped little bitty room in our pritt-ee house but we've managed to squeeze a dresser, wardrobe and crib into the space.

And Sunday night was her first night in the room, alone, with the baby camera shining its green light onto her forehead. Since our room only has one nightstand, and that nightstand happens to be on The Good Doctor's side of of the bed, we had to put the walkie talkie part of the monitor next to his head. He was officially on duty the first night. And the last. That man is so calm, cool, and collected during his day job of PUTTING PEOPLE TO SLEEP, but when it comes to our baby, he becomes a Nervous Nellie complete with handwringing and pacing and anxiety attacks. He can not resist her plaintive cry or dull his senses to her whimpering and the repeated THUD THUD THUDDING of her BRLS. Baby Restless Leg Syndrome. He's convinced she's Patient Zero. 

Night after night, it has gotten increasingly worse. And The Book says we are dangerously past the point of training our baby to have good sleeping habits. We just missed the 4-6 month window where we were supposed to barrage our child with an all out Jihad on bad habits. No more pacifier! No more night feeding! No more staying up late and going to strip clubs and getting drunk! Emmy's world was about to crumble around her. Nevermind that she's also cutting two teeth, adjusting to her new room on two nights where it's been unseasonably frigid, and she hasn't pooped for 6 days because we just introduced rice cereal. The Book says all of these things must be done or Emmy will grow into a delinquent crack addict.

So we decided to bring the rain. Sunday: We put her in the crib to sleep at 830-ish. We had not yet confiscated the pacifier, figuring we would ease her into the tiny room. But by midnight, we'd already had to get up and replace it twice, because every time it falls out, she gets worked up and can't go back to sleep. 1am, she begins crying. And the pacifier doesn't make a difference. She has decided she CAN'T SLEEP. Well, The Book says we should give her 5 minutes of crying, then go in and comfort her, but not pick her up. Then leave, let her cry for 10 minutes, and repeat. It's the Ferber method in a nutshell--let your baby cry and go back at increasing intervals of time to soothe her and eventually she will just fall asleep on her own. Well, that lasted all of 1.5 minutes with The Good Doctor. He was out of bed, in his hooded monk robe, and on Terror Alert Level Red.

He picks Emmy up out of the crib (against The Book's advice), walks her around (against The Book's advice) and then soothes her for 10 minutes or so (say it with me--against The Book's advice), and then puts her back in her crib. She struggles and falls asleep. For about an hour. Then she's back up and crying again. It's 3am at this point. It's about the time she would get up every single night for the past couple of months, and I would always feed her because I thought she was hungry. Well, The Book says between 4-6 months, babies no longer need night feedings. They are able to get all the calories they need during the day. They just get used to that glass of milk at 2am so they wake up for it, even though they don't need it. Kind of like the nachos I used eat every night after getting home from my nightside reporting job in Reno. I definitely didn't need the nachos, but I was used to eating them at midnight every night.

Well, we were kicking Emmy's nacho habit. So, following The Book, I offer her a bottle filled with water. She karate chopped that thing out of my hand like a baby Bruce Lee. She was PISSED! How dare I not whip out my nacho boob and stick to the routine Ma?! We've been doing it for months! But I was firm in my resolve to Take Back the Night. I would not fold to this little nacho boob demanding tyrant. So I held her while she SCREAMED. And screamed some more. And more. And then over my shoulder, there he is. The Good Doctor. Up again. Now this is the part that peeves me. 

I don't mind getting up when it's my turn or when I'm the only one with the nacho boobs and it's nacho time. But please, don't you ALSO get up. I know you're just trying to help. I get it. I appreciate it. But seriously, WHISPERING at me in the dark when I'm half asleep and trying to deal with whatever so I can get back to fully asleep? Those WHISPERS. "I'm just trying to help." "Do you need help?" "Can I help?"  Dude, you can HELP by GOING BACK TO SLEEP and stop WHISPERING questions at me that I don't want to WHISPER the answers to. TWO people's nights do not need to be interrupted. Especially when ONE person is getting up to WHISPER at the other person while she's taking care of things only she can take care of. I mean, I love The Good Doctor. To pieces. But if he WHISPERS at me one more time, I swear, I am going to go bananas!

So I let her cry it out, and eventually she sleeps until 5am. Then I'm up to feed her and hand her off to Asian Grandma. It was a rough start to the work week.

Monday night. We made some changes to the line up. I went to sleep on the nightstand side. I had control of the monitor. We figured out how to change the channel and position it differently. That was one additional hiccup from Sunday. The Monitor From Hell was possessed by baby poltergeists who didn't believe in Ferberizing. It kept going into loud static every other hour. So that first night, we had 99 problems but a bitch wasn't one of them. 

This time, I implore The Good Doctor not to get out of bed No Matter What. I could be screaming, "There's motherfucking snakes in the motherfucking room!" and he was NOT to get up. And by extension, he was also asked to please refrain from WHISPERING at me. Just give me my night to attempt the new routine. I wish I could tell you it went like a dream and she slept like a princess and we all woke up happily ever after. Not so much. She pretty much did the same thing Monday night. But instead of picking her up and walking her around, I just went in and patted her bottom and tried to shush her. She still screamed. A lot. Asian Grandma got up this time because the scream/cries were so loud. But I told her I was on duty, and she knew better than to WHISPER at me so she went back to bed. I offered Emmy water, once, and then just let her cry it out. That happened at midnight and 3am. Both times were major cry fests, complete with BRLS and rolling THIS way and THAT way. But you know what? That only lasted maybe 5 minutes tops. They were Very Long and Very Loud Minutes. But there were no more than 5 of them. And then she fell asleep. We had taken away the pacifier that night too, so I considered it a tie. She still cried like a baby, but she also slept like one too.

Tuesday morning Emmy had two vaccines--one Pentacel injection and the other was an oral vaccine for Rotavirus. We decided to spread them out just for peace of mind sake. And our doctor backed up The Book when we asked about our new sleep routine. She said we could expect the same cry fests for 4-5 days. But consistency was key. She told us to put Emmy in the crib for naps and nighttime. Read a book and let her fall asleep. It worked for both of her naps that day. The Good Doctor gets credit for putting her to bed at 830pm, using the same technique, and resisting his urge to rescue his crying Babycakes. She fell asleep three times Tuesday, no pacifier, in her crib, with a bit of crying at the start of each episode, but no intervention. And happily, no WHISPERING.

But wait, there's more. Last night she freaking slept from 830 until 730 this morning. 11 HOURS Y'ALL! She had two mini wake ups and snuffles but she went back to sleep on her own without anyone getting up or WHISPERING! It was a success!!! I woke up just for the fun of it at 4am to turn on the monitor and see Emmy wiggling around before she fell back asleep. The Good Doctor, light sleeper that he is, also woke up and watched with me. I was SO SMUG. Total South Park Prius Owner Smug. I even WHISPERED at him, "I TOLD you to let her cry a little! I TOLD you she would fall asleep on her own. I TRAINED HER. Woot woot, I trained my baby, I trained my baby" I sang to him in a WHISPER while doing the Cabbage Patch in bed. He then proceeded to roll over and crush me to stop me from laughing my fool head off. Insisting he was on the same team and he had been HELPING the whole time. 

But I think the one thing that made the biggest difference in all of this...I turned the heater on last night. Say it with me in a Napoleon Dynamite accent: Idiot! That's probably why she kept waking up those first two nights. Not because of the missing pacifier or the new room or even the water instead of nacho boobs. It was effing Siberia in that room. 

Vicky NguyenBloggity, Emmy