Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sleep Training Update

Have I ever mentioned that my baby is an excellent baby?  I think he's pretty awesome.

He also does the opposite of what I think he will, and if I say something, I jinx it.  Even if I'm just thinking something - like, "He's doing so well on this drive!" - he'll go and change and do the opposite.  It's mostly pretty funny.

So when he was getting up four times a night and I wrote the post about thinking about sleep training?  That night he only woke once.  Just to mess with me, I'm sure.

But I did make my way through one book yesterday, and while so much of it is common sense, there is lots too, that you just don't think about until you make the effort to look into it.  Here's a few highlights of what 'THEY' say:

  • Have a routine for bedtime.  We do - around 7 he gets a bath, into his jammies, we play a little more, then I'd nurse him and he'd fall asleep. 
  • Have a routine for naptime.  Hmmm...
  • Naptimes are important to do at home in his crib.  (Especially while training him to fall asleep on his own.)  Lots of the time he would fall asleep in the stroller or carseat while we were out; when he got tired at home I would nurse him or rock him to sleep.
  • Babies need to go into their crib awake; the whole point of sleep training is to teach them how to fall asleep on their own - once they master this we can get a little more flexible in our schedule again.  I knew this, but haven't decided that it was something we needed to tackle, until now.  And I did put him in his crib awake some bedtimes and when we were home at naptime, but I was just introducing the idea to him, and would still help him get to sleep.
  • Take away the props - nursing, rocking, stroller, carseat, soother; and introduce the favorites - the blankie or the stuffed animal that he can use to help himself fall asleep.  I had started to give him one 'stuffie' at bedtime; now I'm more intentional about it.
So while closer to a weekend is better for letting him cry it out at night (less sleep deprivation for Sean at work), I figured I could still start some of these things with his naps.  Yesterday's first nap saw a new routine: clean diaper, nurse, story, light off, hold him for a lullaby, then into his crib.  "It's sleepy time..."  He cried for almost an hour, with me going in periodically to put him back down, sometimes to pick up and calm down for a minute.  His second nap he cried for 40 minutes.

Bedtime?  10 minutes.  Today's naps?  Two minutes this morning, three this afternoon.  This kid rocks!!  So glad he picked up on how to put himself to sleep so quickly.  In another day or two we'll have to address the nighttime wakings - it might be time to stop all nighttime feeds and just let us all sleep all the way through.  Hopefully he's got the skills now so that when I don't go in when he wakes up at night, he will just go back to sleep.  (Did I just jinx it???)

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