I decided to record my sleep world ramblings here on the slight chance that my experience may benefit another tired, sad mama.
Here is the book we are following: The Sleep Easy Solution
Day one. Here is some of what we’re learning:
Ian should be ready to nap 2 to 2 1/2 hours after his morning wake up. Today, that was 7am, and he was rubbing his eyes at 9:30am, so he’s right on schedule.
I nursed him, careful not to let him fall asleep on the boob (which I have been doing SINCE BIRTH-like, I knew intellectually that this was not a great idea, but I did it anyway), and put him in his crib awake. He smiled, found his blanket, started playing with his stuffed giraffe (another no-no: Anything in the crib that they can play with. I took out everything except the giraffe, I didn’t want to make him go totally cold turkey).
9:40am baby in crib
10:10am baby still awake and mildly fussing (while standing up in his crib). I did a quick check-in (said I love you, it’s still naptime, I’ll come and get you in a little bit…). I didn’t touch him or try to lay him down.
All was quiet.
10:30am check-in. BABY PUT HIMSELF TO SLEEP!
10:40am Ian wakes up and makes some happy noises
11:10am check-in STILL ASLEEP. SAME POSITION.
I never thought we’d be working on naps at the same time as we are working on night sleep, especially because nothing seemed “wrong” about his naps, but this is another reason I’m glad we finally decided to read a damn book about this madness.
Answer: It’s best to use the same strategies for naps as it is for nighttime, so baby can learn how to soothe himself and fall asleep on his own faster. DUH.
Here is what we’re working to correct:
Nursing Ian to sleep. No more. I will still nurse him before sleep, but will keep him awake through the feed so he goes into his crib restfully alert. This way, he doesn’t wake up startled that mom and a boob were just there and now he’s alone in his crib. Now, he’s awake and thinks the only way he can go back to sleep is to create his known sleep association: Mom And Boob.
The nighttime will look like the nap. He gets nursed, but put in his crib awake. Now the hard part; getting him to sleep through the night. Now, I didn’t care about waking up once to feed him, but the theory is that he is not waking up because he is hungry, he’s waking up and then can’t fall back to sleep without his learned sleep association.
Solution: Dream feeds. I set an alarm to wake myself up before his usual wake up times (10:30pm and 3:30am), and I go in and nurse him while he’s asleep. Every night, I do this for less and less time until he is weaned. My night nurses with him now last around 20 minutes, so I’m going to start with 18 minutes tonight. Stay tuned!
Again, I was not in any rush to wean him, and the theory is that he will just nurse more during the day, but it does make sense to me that we need to break his sleep association in order for him to learn how to fall asleep AND STAY ASLEEP on his own.
I guess this is why I’m not working right now. This business is a full-time job!