It Was Me?
I pondered and contemplated and tried to figure out how to get my great sleeper back. I was not going to let teething win and take him from me! I thought of how the kids I nannied always take great naps and sleep wonderfully at night. So I asked their Mom for suggestions. She gave me some tips on things she had done but recommended the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. As I started to read it I was skeptical. It's a "cry it out" system. I am not that kind of parent.....oh wait or am I? Just last week we went from cuddling and rocking/bouncing Croix to sleep, to putting him in his crib and letting him cry himself to sleep. This came about the same time as the ..... post. After nights of bad sleep, and horrible napping I was exhausted, and in physical pain. My little Croix is not so little any more and bouncing him to sleep every night and for every nap was killing my back. Not to mention it wasn't working any more. We used to be able to snuggle him, rock or bounce and with in 2 min. he'd be asleep in our arms and would easily transfer to his crib. He had apparently out grown that stage in his life and we were bouncing for 10, 15, 20 min or longer. He would finally drift off to sleep just to wake up screaming the moment we tried to lay him down. As sad as it was I realized cuddling to sleep was no longer effective for us. Thankfully he has done really well with crying himself to sleep. The first time only took him 13 min. I watched the clock, partly because every minute of his screaming seed like an eternity and I wanted to give it a decent shot and not run in to "rescue" him after only 7 min. because it felt like it had been 30. He has improved over the last few days and when I put him down just a few minutes ago to go to sleep for a nap he only cried for 3 min. I'm so happy this is working!
I got going down for naps figured out but he was still waking up two or three times at night. I was thinking it was teething. As I'm reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child I'm realizing the problem was not teething it was me!!! I couldn't believe it! I had misread cues he had been giving as being ready to drop his 3rd nap. He seemed ok when he skipped it. So I was trying to condense his three naps into two. I had not even put together that about the time I started doing this, he stopped sleeping through the night! How did I miss that? I'm learning a lot from this book. Things I would not have ever thought of, like if you put a baby to bed earlier, they will sleep in later. More sleep begets more sleep! Who would have thought! He even says "it's not logical but it's biological" Basically it doesn't make since in your head but it's what the body does and needs! I'm very hopeful that once I get a good nap schedule established and figure out what time he needs his bed time to be (which may mean earlier) he'll easily sleep through the night again. Hopefully this will mean there will be no need to let him "cry it out" at night. I have a hard enough time letting him cry for a little while at naps, which it says not to let them cry longer then an hour, thankfully Croix didn't come close to that, I don't know if I could have done it. But at night time is says there should be no limit to the crying. My sister in law let her little one cry 4 hours! I really don't know if I could have done that! I'm a big baby! This is the Mommy who has cried every time her baby has gotten shots! I'm a little bit of a tenderhearted boob! :-p
So....if you're little one is not sleeping well I'd recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I'll keep you updated on Croix progress as we work on sleep training him, establish a solid nap schedule and an appropriate bed time! I also cannot express how excited I am to have a good solid schedule! It will make life easier in just about every aspect! Scheduling massages will be easier, scheduling Dr's apts., keeping my house clean, having anyone babysit, just about everything will be easier when Croix has a solid schedule!