la Ketch

my life story

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hogging the bed - final summary

To summarise:
Then - We used to have to bounce him on the yoga ball or nurse him to get him to sleep. He would get up 3-8 times a night. I had him in bed with me a lot. I had the co-sleeper attached to the bed.
Now - After two months of focusing on "sleep training" he is sleeping in his own crib which is located in his own corner of the room sectioned off so that he can't see us in the bed. He can fall asleep on his own. He usually only wakes up once a night, sleeping for 5-7 hour stretches at a time.

It's a whole new world.

I am happier, he is happier, Dup is happier. It's ongoing. It doesn't end I think. It will go in phases. I'm not sitting here thinking he's never going to get in bed with us again or anything. When he was sick, that was a huge set back. Sometimes I just feel like he needs me, he's wide awake. So, I get up and help him get back to sleep.
Again, the Tracy Hogg book, aka "The Baby Whisperer" was a huge help to us. I do think there is a middle ground between Ferber and Sears and she is probably it but we still did our own version of it.

I do think that it is important to be consistent. I don't think you can be like, "oh tonight I feel like snuggling, let's let him sleep with us." and then tomorrow, "Oh let's put him in the crib he's too wiggly." He needs to know where his bed and be comfortable in it by himself for sure but the whole, "give 'em an inch they'll take a mile" idea about babies, I don't buy it. I don't think you HAVE to do the same thing every single time. I think it's important to listen to their cues and it's important to follow your instincts and not book is going to tell you how to handle every wake up.
I have also come to be ok with letting him cry. If you feel that all of their needs are met and they are still crying, let them cry. Crying is not the worst thing in the world. It's a form of expression. It's a release. If they are safe and dry and fed and sound and simply need to get to sleep, they can cry. Our general rule has become 20 minutes. If he cries for longer than that or if he's crying especially hard for longer than 10 minutes, we'll get him. There must be something going on. He usually cries a little when we lay him down but mostly it's just fussing and grunting. A few wonderful miracle times though I've put him down in his crib at bed time and he's all smiles and I say, "good night sweet heart" and walk out of his sight and I just hear him in the gurgling and cooing and then..... he's asleep. Wow, when that happens you just feel like running in there and waking him up, "GOOD JOB SWEETHEART!" But don't do that. That would be ridiculous. I should also admit that sometimes he falls asleep when I'm nursing him and I just let him fall asleep and put him down asleep. He's asleep, that's the goal. I'm not waking him up so that I can lay him down to go to sleep again.

I can't emphasise enough how important routine was and still is to this whole process. It makes a lot of sense to me why it would be. They can't talk. They understand a lot of what you're saying but the words aren't clear yet. They don't really know what time it is, time of day I mean. So you have to imagine that these little clues you give them are very helpful. Like, "oh ok mommy is home and we're having dinner at the table." and then, "Oh I recognise this, I'm having a bath." and, "Oh yeah this seems to happen after the bath, this music comes on and mommy reads me a book." and finally, "Oh ok, I get it. It's bed time. I'm going to go to sleep now because that's what I always do after the book."

So that's it. It's not over but it's OH SO MUCH BETTER. I have a chair next to his crib now and when I do get up in the middle of the night with him I sit in the chair with him and nurse him for just a bit, just enough to fill his tummy and help him go back to sleep. Then I lay him down and go back to sleep myself. Before he got sick this last time, after our trip to Florida, he had made it all the way through the night (8pm - 5:30am or so) about 2 times, then the cold set us way back. So now that he's feeling what seems like back to 100% again, I think I'm going to start asking him to cry it out a little instead of getting up with him and see if we can't get back to that spot. It's so much easier now that I know he can do it.

Nap times aren't totally consistent yet but they are definitely longer. He usually takes a good morning nap but a crappy afternoon one or vise versa but there's yet to be a day where we've gotten him to take a good morning and afternoon nap. Every day is a little different.

The end.
(No, not really the end but I'm so sick of talking about it that it's the end for this blog - thanks for listening if anyone is still there.)


At 4:09 PM, Blogger Meg said...

I'm still here, and will always be interested in every tiny detail of his waking and sleeping, I can't wait to see him and his new tooth!!!!

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Certainlia said...

Hooray, Davey!!

At 5:57 PM, Blogger bladio said...

i'm still listening. i love your blog.


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