Friday, December 11, 2009

You're cut off

Tonight was the night. For the first time in 13 months and 3 days, Kaylani has been cut off officially. Tonight, Kaylani went to bed without nursing. Last week, she went to bed without nursing, but that was more like passing out. Tonight, she "voluntarily" went to bed without nursing. And I had front row seats to see it all unfold.

The plan involved Mommy being out of the house for the entire bedtime routine. The thought behind this was that if Kaylani even saw her at any point, she'd freak out...more so. So after dinner, Mommy said good night as Kaylani and I went upstairs for bath time. To make sure she was nowhere close, she left completely to get some holiday shopping down around town. That meant it was just Daddy and Kaylani in the house at bedtime. Woah.

I had no idea what to expect besides a lot of crying. This was all new for all 3 of us, so the only thing we anticipated was a lot of crying. Bath time went well with only a little crying (but that was because she slipped in the tub and splashed water on her face). Getting dressed went by without any crying. We even got through Goodnight Gorilla and Hush Little Polar Bear without any crying. But when it was time to flick off the lights and close the door, with no Mommy in sight, Kaylani knew something was up.

When the lights went on, the tears and crying started. She wiggled, she squirmed, and did everything she could to get down so she could open the door and look for Mommy. She screamed louder in case Mommy was still somewhere within the neighborhood and could hear her. She pushed herself sideways in my arms to see if that was an easier way out. She even did the hands and arms over the head trick to see if she could slide out. But I had a good grip on her and was determined to get her sleepy in my arms.

After 10 minutes of swaying, bouncing, walking, and singing songs that I was making up on the spot ("good night sweetheart well its time to sleep. lay down your head and don't make a peep. Close your eyes and drift away. Tomorrow will be time to play"), she started rubbing her eyes more frequently and screaming a little bit less. As I got closer to the crib, she pushed away from me which meant it was time to put her down. This is where the nerves kicked in. Was she going to scream and cry for hours? Would sleep training work? Was it mean? Should I just give up and pick her up again? All questions that I didn't have the answer to.

After her standing up and me kissing her and laying her back down 5 times, I decided it was time to leave the room. After a check-in with Mommy to give her the update, I went back in after 5 minutes to comfort Kaylani a little bit. Fortunately she was still laying down (which was a good sign). After a few "shhhs" and a few rubs of her belly (which she pushed my hand away from...another good sign), I kissed her on the forehead and left the room again. The next 6 minutes were agonizing as I stared at the monitor and listened to her cry while pulling at her ears...but still laying down. And then it happened. At 7 minutes. Silence.

She was quiet. She was laying on her side, with both arms on her left ear, but she was quiet. At the next "check-in" 3 minutes later, I didn't even go in because she was definitely asleep. Hands still on her ear, but definitely asleep. That was it. I survived. No, WE survived. And after texting Mommy to let her know, she responded with "I can breathe again!" Truer words were never spoken.

So night one of no nursing went relatively well. 13 minutes of crying in her crib plus 10 in my arm before that? Not too bad. Could've been a lot worse. Funny enough, yesterday she cried for 35+ minutes...and that was just a normal bedtime WITH nursing. Maybe this whole non-nursing thing isn't going to be so bad. In fact, I'm thinking it's going to be a real good thing. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'll see how the rest of the weekend goes first.

And speaking of the weekend, for the first time in a LONG time, happy Fatherhood Friday! Don't forget to check out the other posts at Dad-Blogs. Even though I haven't written for them in a long time, they're still there going strong and doing great, so head on over! That's where I'm going now too.

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs