The past week had been epic for us… the little berry is undergoing a major case of night sleep regression cum separation anxiety and has been screaming herself hoarse every night for 30-50mins each time when I put her to bed. Then she would collapse in a pile to snooze until 1ish am when she would wake up and scream again.
The worst had been the night before, where she screamed and cried for 3hours (!!!) before collapsing back to sleep. It was terrible to hear her crying, GY and I could only hold hands and pray for her in the dark.
I went to her the other night after she started crying because I couldn’t bear her damaging her already hoarse throat further – I ended up sleeping with her on a mattress in her room. We were wondering whether this was the reason why she screamed so much the following night, because she expects the same thing to happen.
Anyway we are all learning through this. Last night GY suggested that I lengthen her wind-down routine (previously when she didn’t want to nurse I put her in the cot and leave the room) so I laid down on the mattress with her, read her a book when she didn’t want to nurse, waited for her to be ready and kept encouraging her to “lie down”, which she sometimes did. Eventually, she nursed and fell asleep on the mattress. We waited 30mins for her to enter deep sleep before GY went in to scoop her up and put her in the cot. It was a night of nerves and prayer and much hope, and we both heaved a (quiet) sigh of relief when she was finally settled into her cot.
But we are still learning. She woke up at 1am this morning, crying. This time round, her cries weren’t deafening because her voice is so hoarse. She couldn’t reach certain octaves, and ended up whimpering instead like a sad kitten. In between whimpers, she was crying out for “mama…mama…” It broke my heart, but I could only force myself to lie in bed, remind myself that going to her would only lengthen her suffering, and trust that God is in control.
Like I told GY, sleep training is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Probably more emotionally draining than Everest.