Monday, August 20, 2012

Sleep Training

      C was a really good baby right from the get go.  When she was newborn she was always tired and slept for what felt like 20 hours a day.  Then she hit the 6 week "fussy" period and like clock work she hated sleep.  She would get so overtired and fussy that putting her down for a nap was at least an hour long process.  At around eight weeks things started to look up and we began sleep training her.  I've been in between two books, The Lull A Baby Sleep Plan and Healthy Sleep Habbits, Happy Child.  So far a combination of the two have helped me come up with something that works well with our lifestyle. 


     It says somewhere that sleep training should take a week to perfect for both baby and momma so I decided to cut off all contact with the outside world and devote myself to helping C with her sleep schedule.  It's really not a whole lot to ask if the outcome is a baby who puts herself to bed and sleeps through the night.... sounds too good to be true...but here we go!

     I made a VERY big mistake the week before we began sleep training.  Since C's nap schedule had been pretty random in the sense that she napped when she wanted and for however long she pleased, I wanted to first try to get her napping at the right times.  So my way of thinking was that as long as she gets her nap in at the right time, I didn't care HOW or WHERE she fell asleep.  WRONG... apparently both are very important.  I began nursing C in our bed while laying down beside her with hopes that she would fall asleep at her "scheduled" nap time.  It worked! and C dosed off every time and napped for a good two hours in our bed.

"Hi Momma! I'm not sleepy!"  
     Let me just add that C slept by herself, in her crib, in her nursery since she was one week old.  Why I decided to take her out of her crib and teach her to sleep in our bed is beyond me now that I look back at it.  At the time it seemed like the only way to get her to nap when she needed to.

     At her bedtime, we took C up in to her nursery after her bath, nursed her, swaddled her, read her a bedtime story, turned on her Sleep Sheep and placed her all peaceful into her crib.  And then it began...  first fussing, then ear tugging, then full out death screams.  While researching sleep methods, I learned that... WAIT.... C is yawning and it's 8:45 am .... pause this post for a few minutes because if I don't get this kid into her crib before she passes out in her swing, she'll be screwed up for life. but that's the kind of mindset you have while sleep training.  Okay she's asleep... success!!  To continue with my last thought... What I learned from my research is that timing is everything, and watching for sleepy signs is the most important thing you'll take away from either of the two books.

"Nope I'm not ready for sleep yet"
     Once I realized that somewhere along the way I messed up and C was way off track with the sleep training, I desperately cracked open the sleep books and learned a few things that I guess I skipped over the first time.  I realized that... 1. I taught my once independent baby to depend on me to fall asleep and 2. I taught her to become comfortable in a different bed than her own.  What is wrong with me?!  Blame it on the ma ma ma ma ma mommy brain.

     I knew I had to get her back on track, so we began our new and improved sleep training routine.  It's intense... like training for the Olympics.  And it really sucked for the first few days.  C was not having it, and I'm pretty sure I consumed a few more glasses of wine than I should have once she was asleep. 

     Now that C had established a pretty solid napping schedule, I just had to get her to fall asleep on her own, in her crib, at those times.  Easy enough right?  WRONG again.  I spent quite a bit of time at the side of her crib trying to comfort her and negotiate with her.  I think I even bribed her with extra long bath time.  It took a couple days of me pulling my hair out while trying not to cave and put her in our bed, for her to come around.  She got used to her crib again and learned, for the most part, to soothe herself to sleep. 

     Don't get me wrong, we hit a couple of speed bumps along the way, but we stuck to the plan and things got better.  Now C puts herself to sleep at every nap time, she's starting to phase out her third nap of the day, and she sleeps 12-13 hours a night, waking only for a quick 5 minute feeding.  She actually slept right through the night a couple times last week.

"Okay I give in, I am Le Tired!"
     Sleep training works. I'm not a psychologist and I really have no idea why it's so important to teach your baby how to sleep, but it works.... for now...

xo Kiara

No comments:

Post a Comment