The first night went way better than I expected, and I can’t help but wonder if it was a fluke.
First of all, here’s my strategy:
I’ve decided to concentrate on getting him to fall asleep in the crib. I want to build up the classical conditioning so that he believes that the crib is a place where he CAN fall asleep.
Everything else, like night weaning, can wait. One battle at a time. This part is more like the No Cry method, which moves in stages, but slightly more extreme, because I’m skipping ahead a bit.
Like my friend recommended, though, I have decided be consistent and determined about it, even if I had to pick him up and put him back down a zillion times.
So after his normal bedtime routine, I started to nurse him down on the bed as per usual. Now, normally, as he begins to doze off, he begins alternately falling off the breast and then frantically latching back on as he wavers between wanting to sleep and wanting to stay awake.
This time, the first time he pulled himself off, I picked him up and carried him to the nursery. He decided that he DID want to keep nursing, so I sat in the rocker and nursed him for another couple of minutes. Again, his eyes drooped, and he pulled off. Then he stiffened, arched his back and began the struggling fussing that so often characterizes a difficult night. Instead of trying to cuddle and soothe him, I dumped him in the crib.
As I could have predicted (because we have tried this in the past when he starts fighting us like that) his fusses switched to high pitched screams of rage. But I started to pat him rhythmically and sing Old MacDonald to him, and he stopped crying and focused on me.
He was asleep by the 15th animal or so.
It was like a miracle.
He stayed asleep for an hour and a half, and when he woke up I give him a quick nurse and he dropped back to sleep before I could get him back in the crib.
He stayed asleep for another hour and a half. The next time he woke, I gave him a quick nurse and I DID get him back in while he was dozy but awake. More patting, more Old MacDonald, and he was asleep.
Before I went to bed, my friend texted me, and reminded me again, “Consistency is key!”
So it’s unfortunate that I woke up at two in the morning with Babby snuggled up against me on my booba, and no memory of how he got there.
Perfect Husband doesn’t remember either. Sometimes he brings Babby to me in the night, but he has no memory of it if he did.
So that was a flaw.
But when Babby woke at 3:00 am, I moved back into the nursery and didn’t come out until he had fallen asleep in his crib. This time took a little longer – I had to take him back out several times and re-offer him the breast. When he finally did fall asleep, though, he did it just staring at the seahorse while it played, and I just sat nearby and tried not to fall asleep.
I tiptoed back to bed at 4:30, feeling accomplished.
He slept until his usual 6:30 – in his crib!
His morning nap was easy. Nursed, laid down in the crib, and then patted, his eyes rolled back in his head almost as soon as Old MacDonald began, and he slept for two and half hours.
I decided that I was clearly awesome.
I had forgotten that the afternoon nap is usually a much bigger struggle.
On the bright side, it was a typical struggle, with him biting me and then crying for the breast, and then biting and arching his back. When he does this he often gets rocked to sleep, but this time I just kept putting him in the crib. I sang round after round of Old MacDonald, but he just kept getting more rageful. The fact that someone outside was trimming hedges with chainsaw did NOT help.
He would rage, I would nurse him, he would bite me, I would dump him in the crib and sing, and he would rage again.
After an hour, PH, who was home sick with a migraine (poor man – not the ideal time for a screaming baby) spelled me off and the change startled Babby into drifting off.
…We’ll see how tonight goes…
Crib training is important. And I bet after a couple of days you guys will have that down!
So far tonight is not going well. But dang it, he can’t stay awake forever!
That sounds exhausting but successful at the same time. Here’s hoping you have an easier night tonight.
Nope. Harder. Maybe tomorrow will be easier?
Grace Goldragon said:
I have a “three day” rule with trying any new system for sleep training, and it’s served me well. If after three days I don’t see an improvement (it doesn’t even have to be a huge improvement, just movement towards the right direction) I discard the new system, and try something else. I feel three days is a fair shake for any new technique, and it also prevents me from bashing my head against a wall, or wasting time on something that isn’t working. (FWIW, most techniques I’ve tried have shown at least a bit of result after three days. Maybe tonight you’ll see improvement?)
Yeah, especially with Babby – I KNOW he’s the kind of person who does not lose a battle of wills in one night…
He’ll get it, just keep with him. Soon he’ll be like Violette… she had troubles sleeping in our room as a tiny one; she needs it QUIET and apparently our snoring was too much for her:) so we moved her to her crib at 4 months old. Now she almost won’t sleep anywhere BUT her crib (which is difficult at times).
The afternoon nap difficulties may just be him wanting to change his sleep schedule… If you’re still wanting him to have the 2 naps instead of just 1 longer one, wake him (lightly) from his morning one and then put him down at the regular time for the afternoon one… or try keeping him up a half hour longer before the morning one and he might stay asleep longer and only need the 1 nap… Vi changed to 1 nap around 8 months, and if i remember Greyson did too around 10 months…
just a thought, i hope it didn’t come off as DO THIS! 🙂 i just remember being frustrated when they wouldn’t nap for the second sleep.
Babby keeps going back and forth on his nap situation. I thought he was giving up his morning nap back when he was eight months old or so, because the morning nap was getting shorter and shorter. It has come back with a vengeance, though…
ya the nap thing can vary from month to month, or day to day sometimes…i wish there were a manual, and i mean ONE manual, not a million different books filled with suggestions… books that tell me i’m doing it all wrong:)
Hang in there! He’s doing just fine. This is brand new for him, after all. You (all) can do it!!
Oh, and PH stepped up to the soothing plate after an hour of screaming, while suffering a migraine?
The man. Is a SAINT.
He didn’t come by his nickname lightly!
Considering Hubby and I are trying to have a little one, should I stop reading this? This with the bruised/bleeding nipples…yikes! Just kidding, of course.
I know, it sounds scary, doesn’t it? But it’s SO AWESOME.
You know that feeling you have, when you have just started to date someone and you just want to be with them, like, ALL THE TIME, and every little thing they say and do is amazing?
Parenthood is JUST LIKE THAT.
Wombat Central said:
He’ll get it and you’ll all sleep happily ever after! *twinkles wand*
I have to tell you that your song choice reminds me of a 6 hour car ride we took once when my son was young where we sang so many rounds of Old MacDonald I think we ran out of animals. Ah, good times.
Pingback: Go The F*** To Sleep: Week 1 « If By Yes
Pingback: Boob-Lady Is Back To Work, and Babby Is Starving, But Happy… « If By Yes
Pingback: Speech, Stress and Wistful Sighing – Same Old, Same Old. « If By Yes
Pingback: GO the F*** To Sleep. Srsly. I Really Mean It This Time. I DO! « If By Yes