Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Challenge: Accepted

This boy declared war on naps. I countered his attack with sleep training. That's right dude, we don't live in a duplex anymore, you can cry it out without angering the neighbors. 

This is a preliminary post, since I just started sleep training him Monday morning, but so far, all is well. On Monday morning when I laid him down in his bed he was pretty pissed off. I put a toy dog of Ava's in his bed that plays bedtime music in 2/5/10 minute intervals. I set it initially, then reset it a second time before he was asleep. It probably took about 20 minutes before he finally gave in. The crying wasn't too bad, it was the sobbing in his sleep that traumatized me a little bit. Poor dude, but sorry, you have to nap.

On Monday night I didn't make any attempts at sleep training, except for when I put him down at bedtime, he cried for 20-ish minutes, then David went in and picked him up. After that I cut my losses and just went with my normal routine of picking him up when he cried and pretty much just letting him sleep in my armpit half of the night. But throughout the night he was restless and sweaty. He was uncomfortable, he didn't want to sleep with me. I had to make a decision to commit to teaching him to fall asleep on his own, because clearly our current routine was NOT working.

So yesterday, he took a ground breaking 3 naps, which is kind of unheard of for him, especially since on Sunday he practically had to be forced to take 2, and the second one didn't happen till about 5 pm. Then at bedtime, after he was full of applesauce and milk, I laid him in his bed and somewhat coerced David into letting him be. The dude tested our patience for sure. He would cry for 1 or 2 minute intervals, then pause as if to evaluate whether or not someone was coming to rescue him from the torture he was being subjected to. Eventually, he lost. I won the battle, victory for me! But then I just had to wait around for him to wake up again, because the main problem with his sleep patterns is that he wakes up around the time I want to go to bed and he's really restless. He needs to learn to self-soothe so that I can actually sleep, and so can he for that matter.

He didn't wake up again for awhile, after everyone else had gone to bed. That first time I made a crucial mistake, I let him see me. Not gonna do that again. He eventually went back to sleep, and it really didn't take that long. Every other time he woke up he didn't really cry, he just randomly yelled out, testing to see if I would get him. I was in the room with him the whole time, but I didn't let him see me again. I did pick him up one time when he woke up at about 4 am, just to feed him really quick and then I put him right back down and he slept just fine. I didn't really do that for him, I did that because he is breastfed and I'm used to him nursing at night, so cutting him off of nighttime feedings cold turkey is kind of uncomfortable for me. He cried again at like 5:45, which is around when he usually gets up, so I picked him up and fed him and we played in his room until the girls got up.

I came out of last night considering myself mildly successful. David, on the other hand, has a hard time falling asleep, so he probably should've gotten a hotel room or something. Witten never really screamed uncontrollably, if anything he just tested the waters to see if someone would get him, then when no one did he went back to sleep. If that was the hardest night then I will consider myself lucky.

Right now, the dude is asleep. Knock on wood. This is his second nap of the day, and it was taken without protest. If he had continued to just take naps by falling asleep nursing, I probably wouldn't have changed anything. But he is a stubborn little man, and easily distracted. Every time anyone would make any noise, we're talking even a little sniffle, he would shoot up like his alarm clock had just gone off. And I don't want a cranky baby who's always tired and rubbing his eyes, I owe it to him to let him nap so he can party hard and continue to try to bite my shoulder and make huge messes with his toys.


Kerri said...

Right there with you on the sleep training thing. It sucks. I'm running on about 3 hours of sleep today. I just don't have the heart for CIO though.

Jennifer said...

He hasn't really had to cry much, and all naps and bedtime today were tearless. Its too early to declare victory, but I'm clearly winning the battle against my baby for sleepytime domination. And he's way happier when he's had enough sleep.

Heather said...

You are doing wonderfully! It WILL get easier and seriously there is no greater reward than a child who knows how to fall asleep and STAY asleep on his own. Good job!


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