Monday, January 3

That Sleep Thing

I had kinda made a decision that I wasn't going to keep returning to the subject of sleep, 'cause everyone had probably heard me complain enough.
That said, we recently started some sleep training and I've had a couple people ask me about it, and rather than repeatedly answering intermittent questions here and there on facebook, I figured I'd get it all out once and for all for those who want to know.  The rest of you, stop reading, I guess.

As has been established, my dear boy has never been a huge fan of sleeping.  At one, we were still bouncing him to sleep for naps and bedtime, and he was waking up anywhere from twice to five times a night, his longest stretches of sleep maxing out around 4 hours (he did sleep through the night once...and occasionally he would sleep 6 hours, but those were pretty rare occasions).

So.  It was time to do something, 'cause we were becoming pretty cranky, disfunctional people.  Haydon, somehow, was perfectly functional and downright happy-go-lucky all day long, which completely baffles me, but, apparently he doesn't need as much sleep as I do.

I got EVERY possible book out of the library or from friends.  From Ferber to Weisbluth to Sheedy-Kurcinka to Pantly to Douglas, we've read it (and a couple others, I just can't remember their names right now).  We tried some things.  Didn't have much success.  Finally, my parents offered to pay for us to have a consultation with a sleep doula.

So, for too much money, we filled out a questionnaire about what our daily routines are, whether or not Haydon has any health issues, what we do to get him to sleep, how long he sleeps, etc etc.  The next day, we had a phone conversation with the sleep doula, she asked some more questions to clarify and expand on what we had stated in the questionnaire, and came up with the following:

- at 1, he should be able to sleep through the night without nursing
- he needs to be put in his bed awake
-he needs to learn to use "his own tools" to put himself back to sleep at night

The method she suggested to accomplish this is to stick with a consistent bedtime routine, put Haydon in his crib awake, tell him it's time to sleep and that we'll come and get him in the morning.  Then, we offer verbal support from somewhere where he can't see us - so, for us, just outside his bedroom door.  On the first night you talk consistently as long as he's crying, reassuring him, telling him he's safe and that it's time to sleep.  The second night you don't talk, but you shush as long as he's crying.  The third night, you shush intermittantly.

The first night James did it on his own, 'cause we were both worried that I wouldn't be able to handle it.  I slept at my parents, while he tackled the night.  Haydon fell asleep after about an hour.  He didn't wake up again until 2:30ish (which is huge - he usually wakes up at least twice before we go to bed at night, and again once or twice before 2:30).  It took him another hour to fall asleep at that point.  He woke up again at 6.  James (based on the sleep doula's advice) decided to stick it out because our goal wake up time is 7.  He cried for 50 minutes, slept for 10, then started the day.

The second night I put Haydon to bed and did the shushing.  He went to sleep after about 25 minutes.  He woke up around 11:30, and fell asleep after 15 minutes, and then again 2:30ish, and was up an hour that time.  He woke up just before 7.

Night 3...ugh.  Bedtime went well.  He fell asleep after 15 minutes, but was up consistently from 12:45-3:30.  That was long and painful and harrowing.  We got him out once to change his bum, gave him a good long hug, and put him back in.  Shortly after that (which was a good 2 hours in), James went in and laid on his bedroom floor, but didn't look at or talk to him.  He fell asleep about 10 minutes after that, woke up 7ish.

Last night.  Oy vey.  Again - huge bedtime success.  He didn't want to be put down, and was pretty clingly as I approached his crib, but he laid down, let me cover him up, didn't stand up as I left, and was totally out within one minute.  He slept 'til 12:30, but was then up for 2 hours.  The frustrating thing is, at first, he put himself back to sleep right away, and then 5 minutes later he was up again, and couldn't calm himself.  James went in and patted his back for awhile.   I eventually changed his bum, gave him a hug and put him back, thinking we could try a repeat of the night before, but he was screaming (not just fussing as he had other nights).  I gave in and nursed him.  He didn't fall asleep nursing, and we put him back down awake, and he fell asleep shortly after that.  Still semi-successful, I'd say, 'cause he did the falling asleep on his own.

I'm not sure where to go from here.  I've started putting him down awake for naps, and he isn't crying.  He plays in his crib and talks to himself, calling out occasionally.  He just took an hour to fall asleep, but I think that's progress.  I'm so happy that he's falling asleep on his own, but not sure what to do about the night -wakings.  I'm ok with nursing once or twice in the night, but not sure if he'll return to waking up more frequently if he expects that I'll nurse him, and not really sure I can explain to him "I'll do this once, but then that's it 'til morning."

The frustrating thing is that the sleep doula says that most children at this age have a hard time with the initial put-down, but not with night-wakings.  I'm not really comfortable just leaving him to cry and cry, and she says "He's just being feisty.  We know he can do it because he does it at bedtime."  I don't really like turning not sleeping into bad behavior at this time, because I'm not sure that he's able to rationalize it in those terms, and I know I certainly like having someone to cuddle with at night, so why shouldn't he?

So that's where we're at.  I think it's better than where we were a week ago, but I'm not sure that it will be any better a week from now, and James and I can't really handle being up for such long stretches in the night while trying to work and do school.  If you're a pray-er, please pray with us that Haydon figures out how to put himself back to sleep at night, and pray that we would have wisdom in knowing how to respond in the night in a way that won't cause us to return to a multiple wakings, but wouldn't leave us up for hours either.

1 comment:

Related Posts with Thumbnails