The night before last was beautiful. He woke up only once and that was oh-so briefly before he settled himself back to bed. He slept 11 & 1/2 hours that night and it was blissful. Last night, however... Well, it was too good to hope for two in a row, I guess. He woke at about 1:30 but it was very briefly, more like a cry in his sleep... but he kept doing them and they got steadily louder and more upset. I got up finally at 1:50, poked my head in and said that it's night-night time and blather blather blah blah to go to sleep.
Queue the tantrum. Like the screeching at the top of his lungs-I-can't-believe-you-just-did-that kind of tantruming. He did that through the next check in. Then he was quiet. Until just after what would have been the 3rd check in (he's way good at that - staying quiet long enough to lull me into a false sense that he's gone to sleep and allows me just enough time to start to drift back off).
I got up 7 or 8 more times and finally at 4:30ish I gave up. Nick went in, cuddled him to sleep and now he's sleeping away. I had the most disturbing dream during that 1:50 to 4:30 yuckfest that led to me giving up. I had a dream that something was terribly wrong with Ben, something that could not be fixed and we had to put him to sleep (like you would an animal). It's literally haunted me ever since.
In the last 14 or so months I've gone back and forth, back and forth. I don't want to let him cry. It breaks my heart. I don't mind cuddling him to sleep - he's a baby, this won't last forever and it's my job as a parent to make him comfortable, right? However... I DO mind when I drag my tired self out of bed, stumble down the hall, hold him long enough for him to fall asleep and I attempt to set him back in his bed and he wakes up and sobs. That I HATE. Plus, am I helping him figure out how to do it on his own? Surely he knows how. He puts himself to sleep at bedtime every night and for every nap. He's hit & miss on putting himself back to sleep when he wakes in the middle of the night.
Ugh. This has been my biggest challenge with being a parent. To you parents that have babies that slept through the night right away or those that are finally there and have ones that do sleep through the night, I'm supremely jealous. Mine goes to bed okay. He starts out fine. If I could just convince him to go back to sleep without me....
I don't know. Is it worth it? Is letting him get all worked up for HOURS in the middle of the night worth it? We're both exhausted today (well, he's still sleeping but I know he will be) and we'll struggle to make it to nap time. He'll be cranky, I'll be cranky and it's just no fun. On the other hand, getting up four or five times or being held hostage in his room because he'd rather sleep on my shoulder than in his bed makes me cranky, too.