Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sleep Training

I decided this was the right call for me: Ferberizing. I was never anti-sleep training. I threw out my beliefs about one-size-fits-all sleep solutions when my baby spent the first couple weeks of life in bed with me. I was never intending to co-sleep, but when you pit your will against a newborn baby, the baby always wins. He transitioned out relatively soon, but I have remained flexible about sleep methods ever since. No ideology here except for: do what works.

So, last night the Dude was out at the movies with his brothers. They went to see The Conjuring, which is, if you ask me, not a good recipe for ever sleeping again. I love horror movies, but they linger in my mind at night and ruin my life, so I don't typically watch them. And while he was out, I was at home with Jack and a new sleep pattern that neither of us really wanted to deal with.

I started his bath routine early. He was rubbing his eyes and I wasn't going to make the mistake of pushing his bed time back if he was tired. No second wind tonight. So I gave him his bath and he pooped in the tub. Baby poop is not like adult poop. It turned the water a gross colour and I had to get Jack out, clean the tub, refill the tub and rinse him off and dry him with a new towel. Fun!

He fell asleep well enough, except he woke up after 30 or 40 minutes. Previous nights we had rocked him, but this was not a hole I wanted to dig. While we have some support in the city, the Dude and I are more or less alone in this with few breaks (Especially me) and I was not about to add a new exhausting sleep routine to our lives.

So I let him cry. I'd go in after a few minutes and stroke his belly and give him some comfort. He'd quiet and I'd leave. The crying would resume, I'd wait a little longer before going back and I'd do the same thing.

I learned something about myself. I found this much easier to do if I was alone. If someone else is there, my resolve breaks, like I feel worried the other person will think I'm being cruel. I've tried to let him cry a little in the past and this emotion has launched me out of bed or off the couch faster, or I've asked the Dude to do something. But when I was alone, and had a game to distract me from how long each dragging minute was taking (Time moves at a snail's pace when your baby is crying), things worked out quite well. I'd say he fell asleep after less than 30 minutes.

And he stayed asleep. He woke up at 6:30 in the morning, refreshed and smiling. I put him down for a nap today and he fell right to sleep. He's now rolling around on the play mat in front of me. And by rolling, I mean trying to roll. He was successful once, several days ago, and hasn't been able to do it since. Which is also when the new sleep issues began.

He's so cute, just flopping his body from side to side, trying to roll successfully. Then he takes a break and grabs at some toys, regroups and tries again. Occasionally I hear a grunt of frustration. It's really something to see a little baby figure out how his body works.

Oh man, I just watched him roll onto his tummy, only his hand was trapped underneath him. He attempted to get some leverage by grabbing the mat. He's so close!

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