Sleeping through the night

IMG_4146My son slept through the night when he turned 2 years 5 months. I used to nurse him in lying position till he would fall asleep and then he would wake up at regular intervals – every three hours or so, for a feed. This was more of a comfort feed for him than hunger as he loves food and ate well. So for these years I also never had a straight 4 hour sleep.

Its a long day with a toddler and I was too tired to wean him off. Experiences of mothers I read about on weaning were too much for me. The crying and screaming through the night, night after night until little one fell asleep. I could not go through with that for a week or two. Not yet. I was just not ready.

We never had an actual plan to wean him off. We just decided that tonight was the night. So hubby took over task of putting him to sleep that night. He carried our son around who cried for a long time and eventually slept off due to exhaustion. Then he woke up a couple of times for his comfort feed. On the second day same thing happened. On Day 3, since he sleeps with us, we put him in the centre, switched off the lights. He asked for ‘boo boo’ and I firmly said no. We remained silent as he tossed and turned. He slept off. But the comfort feed continued. On Day 4 when he woke up for his comfort feed, we told him no, you cannot have boo boo. He cried for a short time and went off to sleep. He did not wake up for the rest of the night. And that was it. I read that weaning off is better when kids get older, because they understand. And maybe that was it, too.

This is one of the biggest milestones we have crossed. Whoa! what a huge relief. However it took me longer than my son to sleep through the night again. I would invariably wake up a couple of times to check on him. A couple weeks later both son and mother slept soundly, uninterrupted undaunted by a snoring hubby.

More often than not I get an affirmative answer when I ask fellow new mothers if their kid is sleeping through the night. Only a follow up question “Does your child get up for feeds?”  reveals “Yes, ofcourse, but they go back to sleep right away” that sleeping-through-the-night is open for interpretation. For me sleeping-through-the-night means just that sleeping-through-the-night.