Well, it’s time for another sleep log!
I spent the first week just doing the same as I always do, nursing him to sleep, but playing the musical seahorse to help build a conditioned association.
Then, Saturday night, I started instituting the pry-him-off-the-breast-just-before-sleep trick known as the “Pantley Pop Off”. I did it as often as I could in the night, until my own drowsiness meant that I fell asleep before he did, usually around 3 or 4 in the morning. It meant that putting him down to bed took a lot longer – he’d wake up and root again and again, but each night I have eventually met with success. Like most things, it’s a battle of the wills, and I am determined not to be out-willed by someone with half my brain capacity.
Over the last few nights he has fallen asleep off of the breast at least for that first sleep of the night. Sometimes he would be popped off for the umpteenth time, crinkle his face to fuss, and then fall unconscious before a wail could escape (which looks really funny). A couple of times he simply lay there drowsily, full of milk, staring that the light on the seahorse or the pages of my book until his eyes closed for good.
I haven’t done it much at nap time. Pantley says naps are so important that I should save any sleep training for night time to start and only switch over to boobless naps once he has mastered the art of falling asleep boobless at night. In fact, she predicts that once he gets the hang of it he’ll start doing it on his own, and it’s true that a couple of times during his naps he has pulled off the breast and simply stared into space until his eyes closed. So I think it’s working. But it’s going to be a long haul, I know.
NAPS ARE AMAZING. His napping has gotten a lot more regular. I put him down in the Sleepy Snow Suit for all of his naps, and he actually sleeps for two hours or sometimes even longer at a time! It’s unheard of. I love it. My days now have periods of previously unimaginable freedom. I now have a startling amount of time in which to collect garbage, put on a load of laundry, or even eat on my own time, instead of hurriedly while Babby fusses on his play mat. I’m still adjusting. Accustomed to only periodic dozes of 20 minutes or less, I am still slow to commit myself to things like showering or dish washing which are could drown out his crying for me. However, I have done both and he has slept through them all!
You have to realize that until a couple of weeks ago, my entire day was spent playing with, holding, singing to, or nursing Babby, trying to keep him cheerful and desperately hoping he would fall asleep, only to have him twist off the breast and start to fuss, or fall asleep on me and wake up the moment I tried to put him down or sneak away. Things like showers, quiet meals, and washing dishes were things to fantasize about.
I don’t know whether he is simply getting better at this sleeping thing or whether the consistent use of the snow suit at nap time is making the difference.
Here’s the latest sample sleep log: Keep in mind, this is after only five days of “pop off” practices.
7:40 wake up for the day
9:00 back to sleep (go in sleepy suit)
11:00 wake up again
play, nurse, fuss, try to type on keyboard, become frustrated that Mommy won’t allow it, nurse.
Go on walk (not independantly, obviously)
4:00 wake up,
play, nurse, fuss. Become increasingly cranky.
6:45 wake up
8:00 bedtime routine begun – bath, book, nursing with musical seahorse.
9:45 after over 20 “pop-offs” of the breast: finally turn head and fall asleep off of the breast.
11:45 wake up, nurse and fall instantly back to sleep.
12:15 wake up, nurse, fall instantly back to sleep
1:00 wake up, nurse to sleep
2:30 wake up, nurse to sleep
4:00 wake up, nurse to sleep
6:00 wake up, nurse to sleep
7:30 up for the day, razzing spittle onto Mommy’s face
Total Nap Sleep: 5 hours
Time Nighttime Sleep: 9 1/2 hours
Total Sleep in 24 h: 14 1/2 hours
Two weeks ago it was…
Total Nap Sleep: 3 1/2 hours (higher than his usual 2-3 hours).
Total Nighttime Sleep: 9 1/2 hours
Total Sleep in 24 h: 13 hours
Wow. When he was two weeks old, he was averaging 10-11 hours in a 24 hour period. Now it’s over 14. It’s crazy. He actually seems to spend half the day asleep which feels weird and abnormal.
The downside is that when he was a month or two old most of his sleeping was done between midnight and noon whereas he is waking up more frequently now than he did then, overnight. Is this a result of the naps? Naps are supposed to improve nighttime sleep, not rob from it… I wonder if I should try to cut back the naps but Pantley says no, that doesn’t work, and also he gets noticeably fussy after being awake for a couple of hours. The difference is, now he will fall asleep and stay asleep (possibly because of the snow suit) whereas he never did before.
What do you guys think? Should I be waking him up if his naps go too long, or try to stretch them apart from each other more?