Monday, November 26, 2012

Early Days of Sleep Training

Sleep training seems to be making me much more tired than Levi. Not really, but certain moments feel that way. This one for example, it's 8.30pm and I am fully jammied and in bed, yawning and ready for sleep. Last week I blamed jet lag from our England trip but I have no real excuse now except that we are sleep training Levi and it's hard work!

He has been doing well adjusting to this new adventure. We are only two days in, but at the same time we started sleep training  we began to have him sleep in his's like we are trying to kill two birds with one tearful stone.

The 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child' book I am reading makes the point that children respond just as much to "cry it out" as they do to routine behaviours so this has been the backbone of the plan we created for Levi. We accept that we might have to let him cry for some very short periods of time as he learns to settle himself and also deals with his own opinions about going to sleep if they differ from ours (!), but I am not prepared (at this time, but not saying never) to let him cry for any extended periods.We are trying to use nap-time and bedtime routines to create an expectation of sleep in Levi. We will be using quiet play and story time prior to naps when we see signs of tiredness so that we can get him settled before he is overtired.

The book also makes the point that it's important for him to be soothed in a way that allows his to get as much sleep as he needs through the day so he is in a good place to sleep well at night. This means that whether nursing, rocking, using the swing etc. is right for getting him soothed, that is what we should be doing, but that if those methods are used after he is sleeping he should be moved or put in a position to have 'motionless sleep' which allows his to fall into a deeper and more restful sleep state.

That last point makes me uncertain about how the swing might continue to be a part of our napping routine. I had been so wanting to stop using it altogether, but as Levi gets used to the environment of his own room and sleeping alone, he isn't yet taking the long 2-3 hour naps he was in the swing, and it's showing in his more emotional demeanor in his awake time. He is also not sleeping long stretches at night and I think it is because of the poor nap quality/time of the naps in the day.

It might seems like I am going to be a slave to his naps, and for a while maybe I will be but I am making that choice intentionally for this short time to give him consistency as we teach him and work with him to create better sleep habits. This doesn't work for everyone and especially with multiple children I am not sure how you would do it but I guess we'll figure that out if we need to in the future. For now, we have one precious little man, and we want him to be a good sleeper :)

Tonight it took me an hour and a quarter to get him to sleep, I gave him a bath, then we played quietly in his room with the lights dim, I read him some stories in the glider and as he nursed I sang some songs and lullabys, and then I laid him down. He wasn't asleep and he struggled for a while to settle. I gave him some space and offered comfort over the next 45 minutes or so and eventually he finally settled to sleep at around 8.15pm. I am not sure how long he will stay sleeping this time, or what the night will hold but I am really hopeful and prayerful that he is able to find his groove and do a good stretch before he wakes. He needs it, and so do I. 

Tomorrow I am hoping to find even more of a rhythm and hoping that Levi will be right there with me.

In other news, the desserts I posted about in the previous post both turned out great. They both fall into the category of simple and delicious which makes them perfect for this time of year when there is too much fun to be had to be slaving away in the kitchen for hours unnecessarily!

And full disclosure, I have been letting the leftovers console me through this sleep training business...we'll talk about post-baby weight-loss, or lack thereof in another post! ha ha!

1 comment:

  1. Oh it sounds like you are doing everything right!!! And I agree that getting them to take good naps (no matter how it's accomplished) sets them up to sleep better at night. After night time is established then you can focus a little more on the naps.

    Who knew teaching someone to sleep is the most tiring thing ever? :)



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