Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sleep Training

All is quiet in the house and here I am with *gasp* actually a few moments to myself to relax, catch up on my blog reading and research. Yes, research.

See it all happened about two days ago. My once sleepy infant who was beginning to stretch her feedings out to 5 hours at night suddenly stopped sleeping. I know. I couldn't believe it either. I was so excited, thinking that we were moving in the right direction to having a good nap schedule and a full night of sleep when all of a sudden I am hit with a curve ball.

Let me clarify. It's not that she totally stopped sleeping, but now she is awake practically all day long unless I take 1-2 hours to try and get her down for a nap. Then at night, when you would think the little bugger would be totally exhausted from barely sleeping all day, it takes me at least 2 hours to settle her down and get to sleep. What person in their right mind doesn't want to sleep?

As I think back to Kaiden's infant days I seem to remember (in my foggy sleep deprived state) that he went through the same pattern. He was a great sleeper then POOF, stopped sleeping. So this really makes a stressed out Mommy even more stressed out as I am totally a schedule-a-holic. Not to mention, that I would love to grab a few minutes of sleep during the day myself when (cue fantasy music) both kiddos are quietly snoozing at the same time.

I am a big believer in the "cry it out" method. We used it with Kaiden when he was 4 months old and after 3 nights of him crying less and less each night he finally slept through the night. Ever since, he has been an amazing sleeper. He was one of the last of his friends to give up his two nap routine and still sleeps 12-13 hours a night even after taking a 2-3 hour nap during the day. I don't have to rock him to sleep. Although the first year I did rock him each night before bed after we read books, and even still do, before bed for a few minutes before putting him in his crib. Even with that, he has never had a problem going right down to sleep.

Madelyn is now 6 weeks old and from the "experts" view point (as I have read on the Internet) recommend establishing a stricter routine closer to 3-4 months old as they can tolerate longer sleep patterns at that time. So, although I have not given up on having an infant that goes down for naps without a fuss or a full night sleep sometime soon, I guess I need to get used to the fact that it may happen a little later than I once thought. In the meantime, I guess my sleepless days and nights will continue. I suppose it's nothing that a strong pot of coffee can't cure.


chandy said...

Those early months are always rough... I think one thing that makes it easier the second time around is knowing that it won't last forever! At least you have the experience to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Allison said...

Don't forget that when they're about to master a skill (at 6 weeks...hmmm...learning to hold things placed in her hand??? Not sure.), their sleep gets interrupted as well. Still thinking here...have you changed anything about bedtime? Stopped swaddling her or anything? Or maybe she's just becoming more aware, and doesn't know how to cope just yet. Have you given her a bedtime "routine" yet? That always helped my girls. Well, she's only 6 weeks old. She'll get it. Natalie didn't sleep through the night until she was 10 months old. I can't remember with Eboni. She was such an easy baby, and I just decided with her to enjoy every minute no matter how tired I was (boy am I glad now, since we can't have anymore). I remember watching on A Baby Story about a mom with twins and how she talked about with her first 2 she obsessed over how much sleep she lost. With the twins, she decided that she would enjoy even the sleepless nights. I remember her saying how precious it was that they needed her so much that they woke up in the night to eat or snuggle. I took that mindset with Eboni, and it made it so much easier to accept those nights that she had a hard time. Hang in there. I am living proof it does get better. Sorry it went on and on. :-)