Friday, January 18, 2013

Sleep Diaries - A Plan

Thursday, January 17th - I am starting a actually sleep method tonight. I do not mean one I read in a book, I mean I am making myself rules for putting Benjamin to bed and I am going to stick to them for at least a week to see how it goes. Here is my new method (worked out some kinks tonight. DH was not home so I figured I had time and no one else to hear if there was some crying (on my or Benjamon's part). I will try to fully implement what I decided on tomorrow. Here is it - I will breastfeed, after he finishes eating I will rock him no longer than one lullaby, and then lay him down in his crib w a pacifier - When he is laying in his crib I will pat/rub his back if he seems to need it. If he is fussy we can turn on his singing seahorse. - If he sits up or stands up I will move away from the crib and not pay attention to him. If he starts crying/fussing I will lay him back down, and comfort him if he needs it (pat or rub his back). In other words, I will only offer him comfort while he is laying down. - I will not pick him up or talk. - If I think he is asleep and I leave, and then he starts crying (or wakes up really anytime while I am still awake), I will let him fuss for five minutes before going to tend him' - When I go to tend him, I will not pick him up unless he needs fed or changed. I will make sure he has his pacifier and comfort him if he is laying down. I will not offer him breast milk in the middle of the night unless its been at least four hours since he ate and he is acting hungry.

Results: I did most of this tonight, though with some hiccups and experimentation. It took a LONG time for him to settle in to sleep. Like a half hour the first time, then ten minutes later another half hour. But by the end of it he seemed to expect me to lay him down rather than pick him up when he fussed, which was really great. He did not stay asleep very well. There were extenuating circumstances though (cats and gas). When he woke up the first couple times I tried to comfort him the old way by picking him up/rocking. This was highly unsuccessful. The latter times I followed above more, and he went back down relatively fast/easy. At 5am when he woke up I just moved him to our bed out of habit and he was a little terror in there, rolling around and fussing. It used to be you could just bring him into our bed, lay him on the boppy and go to sleep. Not anymore. The fact it does not help anymore will make the habit easier to break.

Friday, January 18th - After last nights successes, failures and lessons I decided we need more of a bedtime routine. So our new bedtime routine is that around 6:45/7pm (depending on his behavior), we will change his diaper if needed, then go upstairs into his room. First we find all the pacifiers and put a couple in his hand but most in the crib. Then I lay on the floor and read a book. He can do whatever he wants while I read - sit and listen, walk around, pull out other toys and books, whatever. Then we turn out the light and turn on his projector. Again, he can do anything he wants during this time, but its darker and there is an image on the ceiling he likes to just sit and look at, and soft lullaby music. I will breastfeed him during or after the projector is on, and then when the projector is off or he is done eating, tell him its time to go to sleep and put him in his crib, then follow the rules like I described yesterday.

Tonight he was acting really tired, so we started this new routine at 6:40pm or so.

Results: The immediate bedtime results were a HUGE success. I can't believe how fast he is learning. I fed him while the projector was going then he wanted down. He went down and looked at some books for a minute or two, then the projector went off (it is nice and fades the light over about 30 seconds so I have time to react). I put his books to the side, told him it was time for bed, picked him up, hugged, kissed him and laid him in his crib. He fussed for a couple seconds and I turned on his singing seahorse and gave him a second pacifier, and put my hand on his back. He promptly rolled the rest of the way onto his stomach (I always set him on his side), and went to sleep. As in, I left the room before the seahorse even went out, and its been almost an hour with not a peep.

Stay turned for more results about how it goes tonight....


Rachel said...

Great job momma! I definitely think, after reading all the stuff on "official" sleep training methods, that you just have to do what works for you and your kid - what you are comfortable with, what your kid's personality is, etc.

Allison said...

Wow-I'm impressed! I hope tonight goes as well as last night did!

What kind of projector do you have for him?