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.