*WARNING! EXTRA LONG POST!*
As I've stated many times before, C-Man has the habit of waking up several times in the middle of the night to complain that his pacifier has fallen out of his mouth. Bolstered by the pediatrician's insistence that he should be sleeping through the night and that I can let him cry it out, I decided to relieve him of his pacifier last night. Let me just say that my neighbors are probably hating me now. No one got any sleep last night and my husband now thinks that I own a spotted fur coat.
It all started peacefully enough. The baby went to sleep without the need for his paci. He had his 6oz bottle at 8pm and I put him in his crib awake. He went to sleep by himself as he usually does. I was expecting him to rouse at around 11 or 12 that night so that I could give him another bottle to hold him over for the night, but alas, he never did. Not until almost 2am anyway. At this point I had three choices:
a) feed him even though I am trying to get him to stop associating night-time with feeding time
b) give him his pacifier even though I had decided that tonight was the night that I would try to take the paci habit away so that he would stop waking us (read: me) up several times a night or
c) do neither of the above and see if he would soothe himself to sleep or if he would wail like a madman (my money was on the latter).
Well, since I hadn't had enough excitement in the day yesterday, I chose option c. He immediately started crying like a madman, I picked him up and held him for several minutes to see if he would settle down on his own, but no such luck. I put him back in his crib and decided to give him five minutes to see if he would stop crying and go back to sleep on his own. Shortly thereafter R bursts into the room wondering what I'm doing to the child. I explain that tonight he will be crying it out because I do not want to be on pacifier duty anymore. At this point C-Man's screams have escalated and he starts making coughing/choking noises. My husband glares at me and says, "he's choking now!, NO WAY!" and proceeds to pick him up. I got pissed off and left to my room but not before telling him that if he was going to undermine my efforts, then he could do pacifier duty and he said "fine I will"...yeah ok.
R finally listened to me and put the baby back down at which point he began to wail again. I pointed to one of my many baby books that stated that it was ok to let the baby cry it out for a little while. The method I was trying to use said to let him cry for 5 min, then comfort him for 1 min (without taking him out of the crib), then leave and if he was still crying after 6 minutes come back and comfort him again, each time extending the amount of time that you wait before coming back. Well, let's just say that R practically broke out the stopwatch. He was like a little kid in the back seat "are we there yet?", "have 5 minutes passed yet?".
After the 2nd time that I went to comfort the baby, he finally fell asleep on his own. An hour later, he was up again. This time, he fell asleep before the 5 minutes elapsed. An hour later, he was up again. This time, it took several comforting sessions just like the first time. An hour later, he was up again (I'm detecting a pattern here...). This time, he also fell asleep before the five minutes were up. It was then about 4:30 am. I figured that if he woke up again in 30 minutes, I would just give him his morning bottle since that was the time that he usually drank it anyway. But he didn't wake up, not till 7 am anyway. At which point almost 12 hours had elapsed since his last feeding.
When I picked him up out of this crib this morning, I was worried that he was probably starving, so I quickly made him a 6oz bottle. Oddly enough though, he didn't seem to be asking (whining) for it. I mean, he was happy when he saw it, but not in a ravenous "oh my God finally some food!" kind of way. He finished the whole bottle, which he hardly ever does, so he was hungry, but not angry and starving. Ideally, he should have had a bottle at 11 or midnight so that it could hold him up for the night, but his eating schedule was so wacky yesterday, that his last bottle ended up being at 8pm. I then began to wonder if towards the end he was crying not because he wanted the paci, but because he was hungry. I feel like such a terrible mom. The whole day I have been racked with guilt over making my poor baby cry, but I just don't know what to do anymore. I really don't want to be waking up several times a night to replace a pacifier, but I don't want to play the crying game either.
I'm in for another crappy night tonight. Does anyone have any suggestions?