Thursday, February 3, 2011

Learning to sleep

As a new mom, I feel like I am constantly learning new things. Like how to make my owlet laugh. Or how to change his lovely blown-out diaper when we are out and about. How to nurse him in the backseat of the car. All sorts of fun things. My owlet is constantly learning new things too, right now we're in the process of mastering sitting up. He's totally getting the hang of it too. It's awesome to watch.

Something else we're learning is how to sleep on our own. We're starting to try the No Cry Sleep Solutions. My owlet, he is not the best sleeper at night (or at naptime, for that matter. unless he's on me. Then he's king of the nappers.) Anyway. I am not a cry-it-outer. I realize that this is a huge personal decision, you're either a cry it outer, or you're not. I am of the mind that if my child is crying or screaming for any reason, that I should go to him and meet his needs, assuming that I can. I want him to learn that the world is a safe place, not that he has to cry alone in a darkened room for hours before he eventually wears himself out from screaming. But that's just me. I know that there are plenty of other mammas out there who can let their child cry it out. And if it works for you, that's great. I'm not here to offend anyone or try to change anyone's mind. I'm just here to speak to my experiences. Maybe it would be different if the owlet wasn't still sleeping in his pack-n-play in our bedroom, where his cries are that much louder, but I doubt it.

Anyway. No Cry Sleep Solutions is a great book. The author has actually been there. She's dealt with kiddos who no matter what, just won't go to sleep on their own. And she didn't want to let them cry it out, nor did she want to be up every 2 hours for the rest of her kids life. And I don't blame her, because I don't want that either. Who does? As an author she feels very different from the other "experts" out there, because she's been there and done it and has 4 kids who learned to sleep through the night, with love and caring, and without crying for hours on end.

The first part of the No Cry Sleep Solution is creating a log. At first I was a little turned off by this, because do I really want one more thing to deal with in the middle of the night? But here's the thing: I'm up anyway, holding the owlet til he falls back to sleep. Plus I text the hubs everytime he wakes up, so all I had to do was write down when he fell back to sleep, and what he did when he woke up. Easy-peasy. The first night I decided to log, the owlet thought he'd be especially nice and ACTUALLY SLEEP 8 HOURS IN ONE STRETCH! I started to think that maybe we didn't need this book afterall, until I remembered that he actually took nice, long naps that day. The second night was a much better picture of what we go through every night: up every couple of hours, nursing for about 5 minutes each time, falling asleep on my shoulder, back to the back-n-play for another 2-3 hour stretch. Fun. Times.

Tonight we are on night 3 of our new routine with our new sleep associations thrown in. I've been sticking to a more strict bedtime routine of: bathtime, storytime, swaddle and eat. I haven't been letting him fall asleep with my boob in his mouth either, and instead either give him his binky if he's fussing a little, or just let him fall asleep on the boppy (or start to fall asleep. I guess that part's key). I'm also trying to nurse him with a lovey, so that when he put him down he has something comforting. And I'm not trying to hold him til he's in a deeeeep sleep anymore, because let's face it, I was always falling asleep too.

So we try this for 10 days, do another sleep log and evaluate where we're at, and if we need to change anything. Its sort of ironic, but I want to see change NOW, much like the parents whose children I work with expect to see change immediately. I guess the difference is I'm actually trying to make things work whereas they're just expecting me to do it for them. (No, I'm not bitter at all thankyouverymuch).

Anyway. I'm really hoping that at the end of 30, 60, heck even 90 days that we're seeing some sort of progress and that the owlet isn't waking up 7 times in a night. (She makes no promises that change will come quickly, damn her.) I'd honestly settle for once a night. At this point I'd be ok with twice a night, really. Just not every 2 hours anymore.

Hmmm. Maybe my nickname for the lil man shouldn't be a nocturnal creature. I bet if I start calling him something that's awake during the day he'll start sleeping better at night.

Or not.

No comments:

Post a Comment