Catherine had a great sleep last night!
For Catherine, this solid night of rest is (sadly) a-typical. From the time she was born, she was a textbook sleeper... until she turned four months old. Maybe my body was getting ready to get pregnant with Camille and my milk supply was dropping, causing her to wake hungry. In my insecurity as a first time mother, I fed her everytime she woke up... just to make sure. This could happen multiple times at night. That may have created night-waking habits that we just haven't been able to break with her.
Certainly one factor for Catherine's habits was caused by the loved/hated pacifier. We took away Catherine's pacifier around two years old... cold turkey (Erik's idea... this soft mama would have broken it of her for the next ten years). She would lose her paci in the night and cry out because she couldn't find it. We took Camille's away the same night, and in less than a week they were "cured".
Finally, we have listened to Catherine's type of cry in the night, and at times she sounds frightened. We know our child. We have a very sensitive, aware, and imaginative little girl. We do not want to block/ignore her cries if they are legitimate, but we do want to help break any habits that are causing her a poor sleep (and consequently a tougher next day). We pray that God will give us a sensitivity from night to night in how to respond to Catherine.
Our bedtime routine includes reading, singing, and praying - all of which we intend to be encouraging and reminders of God's love and care for her. We have encouraged her to talk to Jesus, too, on her own in the night, or to sing a song.
We don't know how long this will continue. Sometimes it's tough on us if she wakes multiple times in the night. We also get tired and grumpy the next day. We are honest and share with her how it affects us, but we assure her of our love which won't change. Please pray for us to be sensitive to God's counsel for supporting Catherine's sleep. If you or someone you know has a child with a similar experience, we would be open to hearing suggestions. Thanks, friends!