Friday, June 19, 2009

Sleep training

This might be one of the most confusing topics I've ever researched. There are many methods, which is good because not all babies respond to one method, but figuring out which one is a fit for your family is tough.

I think during month 2-3 Ethan was only waking 1-2 times a night. It was fantastic. He would nurse and usually go right back to sleep. There were some nights where we'd have to sshhh and bounce him back to sleep after those wakings. He was also swaddled.

He went through that 4 month wakeful and he's been waking more often since then. There were a few nights where he woke up just 1-2 times but usually it has been more often, especially lately.

He's in his crib, in a sleep sack, currently uses a pacifier but loses it. He can sleep w/o the pacifier but sleeps better with it. We have an established bedtime routine, a comfortable room, and white noise. He seems to sleep better with the noise of the humidifier than the white noise machine (ocean or rain sound).

He's a very confusing child. He could put himself to sleep from an awake state. He would coo and talk until he fell asleep. We were amazed. In the middle of the night though, when he was half asleep (eyes closed but crying until he fully woke up) he couldn't put himself back to sleep. He needed help. Issue #1.

Issue #2 is napping at daycare. He goes to daycare 3 consecutive days a week. Sometimes he sleeps well there but most days he does not. There is just too much going on in the room and he doesn't want to miss out, no matter how tired he is. He has put himself to sleep in his crib at daycare a few times but usually he's either napping in the swing or bouncer. Anyone who has read about sleep knows that the better a child naps during the day the better they will sleep at night.

Issue #3 is eating at daycare. I think this has to do with everything going on around him too. He used to be able to nurse or take a bottle no matter what was going on. Now he has trouble nursing if I talk or if Matt is talking. Some days he takes 4oz from the bottle quickly while other days he'll eat a few ounces then loses interest. He plays with the nipple, looks around, talks to whoever is feeding him, etc. If he's not eating enough during the day then he's waking up all night long to eat. This is one of the main reasons I'm not sure we can do Cry It Out even after he is 6 months old. When we wakes to eat, he is really eating (sounds like he's chugging), not just nursing back to sleep.

I've read the No Cry Sleep Solution book by Elizabeth Pantley. I've used some of her discipline books/methods for work and have found her methods to be very effective. I'm hoping that her sleep training method works just as well. We're in Phase 1 and so far have seen some results. He's not waking AS often or for as long.

As with everything baby/child related ... this is a phase and could change at any moment. I've talked with other parents and it seems the majority have faced sleep issues and those issues change over time. Some have great infant sleepers but then have trouble keeping their 2 year old in bed. Some have done successful sleep training but any illness, period of teething, vacation, can set them back.

We're tired but motivated to make change. I'm not looking for a quick fix either. I can be patient as long as we're seeing progress. I think the only way we're going to see progress is if we're consistent. That is the tough part.

I can't end a post w/o a cute pic:

I love his little smirk here. Like he's telling me it isn't so bad.

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