I can’t decide whether this is working or not. The second night Babby had caught on to our game, and was not so easily tricked into falling asleep. There was a lot of screaming, and singing, and rocking, and screaming.
Now, a week after we’ve started, I’m exhausted and I don’t know whether to feel encouraged, or discouraged.
I have been fairly consistent about getting him to fall asleep off of the breast. I’d say a real lapse only happens once every couple of days or so.
Babby no longer bursts into heart broken tears when we lay him in the crib, and he no longer objects to being taken off of the breast and sung to sleep. GENERALLY speaking.
On several nights, like last night, Babby’s wake-ups have been much more spaced than usual, occurring after three hours stretches instead of the usual 1-2 hour stretch.
Often putting him down for nap time or after a wake-up at night takes no longer off the breast now than it did when he was on the breast. Sometimes, it’s even faster.
On multiple locations Babby has rolled over in his crib with his BACK to me and laid there quietly until eventually drifting off into sleep.
For both his naps yesterday, at bed time, and all three wake-ups in the night, Babby drifted off to sleep on his own while staring at his seahorse while I just sat and hummed in the gliding rocker.
There are sometimes nights like the night before last, where he has woken up every hour and then taken an hour or more to go back down EACH TIME.
Sometimes the long sessions are because he won’t stop screaming and kicking his feet, and other times they’re just because he has decided that he would rather play in his crib than sleep, but then starts to scream if we just walk out and leave him to it.
I swear, when he rolls over and gets up and then SMILES at me while standing in his crib, it’s more frustrating than the screaming. If I could just find a way to stop him from FRIGGING STANDING UP, I would thank God on my knees.
If he is lying quietly on his side with his back to me, I can’t tell when he’s really asleep, and if tip-toe out the room before he is properly asleep, he starts to scream and we have to start ALL OVER AGAIN.
The thing that is really frustrating is that everyone talks about teaching him to soothe himself, etc etc.
Well, what if the problem is that he doesn’t want to be soothed? Babby just doesn’t WANT to sleep. He fights it at every pass. Remember when he was a newborn and wouldn’t sleep for EIGHT HOURS AT A TIME?
He has a million tricks for keeping himself awake and he uses them even when he’s sobbingly, eye-rubbingly tired. He seems to think that if he falls asleep, God will eat him.
There’s the kicking feet trick, which he does much the same way I might jiggle my leg to keep myself awake on the road late at night.
There’s the flailing arm trick, which he uses the same way.
The most annoying trick is the Lazarus trick – just as we think we’ve gotten him to sleep, an arm shoots out, grabs the rail of his crib, and then he just, like, HAULS himself out of unconsciousness as he pulls himself to standing FROM HIS SLEEP.
Perfect Girlfriend, who has raised her own child plus multiple siblings, says she has seen babies who can’t soothe themselves, but never a baby that just HATED sleep like Babby does.
So, should I be encouraged by nights like last night, where he woke up three times but in three hours spaces and went to sleep without too much fuss, or discouraged by nights like the night before last, where he was up constantly and fighting sleep like his life depended on it?