The Bean has made me behave in a way I never thought possible. 

When she was born, I swore that we would get her sleeping under control early and easily.  We did, which I suspect has a lot more to do with her nature than with the tactics we gleaned from Dr. Ferber and the sleep lady.  She slept very well starting at about four months until about four weeks ago, when a combination of teething and an incredible development spurt changed everything in our household.  The Bean now goes to bed like an angel, only to wake sometime between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. for a quick scream and then again around 5:00 a.m. for good.  My husband and I are once again sporting purple circles under our eyes and shaking our heads imperceptibly to try and clear the cobwebs from our sleep-deprived brains.  No matter what we’ve tried, the situation isn’t getting better.  My confession is that I know why: it’s because of me.

When I walk into The Bean’s room late at night and see her standing in her crib while looking at me with the biggest, most pleading eyes I’ve ever seen, I turn into a complete ball of mush.  I am physically unable to lay her down again and leave the room with a quick pat on the back and yet another, “I love you Bean, now get some good sleep.”  I am compelled – by a force stronger than myself, I’m sure of it! – to pick her up, sit in our rocker, and snuggle with her until she’s comfortable again.  She has completely and totally manipulated me, and I know it.

Each time she wakes up in the night, I tell myself that I won’t do it again.  Like an addict, though, I find myself kissing her soft little wisps of hair and stroking her cheek until she’s asleep again.  I soak up those moments like a tanorexic with an unlimited monthly pass at Hollywood Tans – I know it’s not good for either of us in the long run, but the short term gratification is so…well, gratifying.

As the night wakings get more frequent because of my poor behavior, I know that I have to cut myself off cold turkey.  I’m writing this post today so you can all check in with me and make sure I stop doing this.  I’m not proud of my behavior, but it feels like I’m leaving my heart in her crib if I don’t.  I feel powerless against this, and need your help to regain my strength.

Please, readers, share with me your tips and techniques to be tougher with The Bean at night, when my defenses are down and her eyes are working their magic voodoo on me.  I can use all of the help I can get.

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