Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sleep Training---Baby Bootcamp

Where have I been this week???  Well I have been deep in the trenches of sleep training Lil' C.  We started Tuesday night and it has been quite an adventure.  S and I are now even more sleep deprived and trying so hard to be pleasant.  We hope that all of this craziness will pay off :)

Z was sleep trained at 6 months and my goal was to wait until then for Lil' C but our crazy schedule and having to balance two children made it impossible for me to wait any longer.  We let Z cry it out (the extinction method) and it worked in about a week (you can read all about Z's sleep problems here). 

At C's 4 month appointment, the doctor and I agreed that C was a little young for that method and she suggested the gradual extinction method (a lot of people know this as the Ferber Method).  She suggested not trying this though until C was sleeping in her crib full time and eating every 4 hours.  Well we tried to do this but then C went through her growth spurt and all went out the window....she was back in her chair and eating every 2 hours!  So I got out my sleep bible (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child), borrowed another great read from a friend (sleeping through the night) and read like crazy.  I made a plan and discussed it with S.  The plan meant that we would not be able to sleep away from home for at least a month, which meant only going down to his parents for the day on Easter and no trips to the lake until the month was over.  We both agreed that C's sleep was very important and agreed to make these sacrifices and truly commit to my well researched plan :) Here was our Plan:

Starting Monday
      -Start nursing her downstairs 
      -bed routine
      -rock her to sleep
       -she sleeps in the crib
      -Bed routine, 
      -put her in her crib drowsy but awake 
      -let her cry for 5 minutes, check and console her without picking her up 
      -check on her 10 minutes later, then 15, 20 etc. until she fell asleep
      -Bed routine
      -let her cry for 10 minutes and then check and console and then 15 minutes etc.

Continue doing this every night until she falls asleep on her own.  I planned to go and nurse her to sleep if she woke up during the night.  We would then wait two weeks and then start nap training in the same fashion.

What actually happened????
     -cried for 40 minutes and then threw up!  S picked her up, cleaned her, rocked her a bit and put her in drowsy but awake.  She fell asleep in 2 minutes but then woke up an hour later.  I nursed her back to sleep.  She was up every 1-2 hours after that!!!

      -cried for 2 minutes, fell asleep 3 minutes later!!!  She woke up 30 minutes later.  We let her cry it out again.  She cried for 20 minutes and then stared at the light on her video monitor for 30 minutes before falling asleep.  She woke up 90 minutes later and I nursed (she uses me as a pacifier) her to sleep.  She was up about every 2 hours after that.

     -cried for 5 minutes and fell asleep within 10.  Slept for 30 minutes but this time I caved and rocked her back to sleepShe was up every 3 hours after that.

     -cried for 10 minutes and fell asleep within 15 minutes.  She slept for 90 minutes and then S checked on her (I was out to dinner) when he felt it was right and she cried herself back to sleep :)  She was up every 3 hours after that. 

     -We started nap training because we couldn't wait any longer!!!  Her first nap she cried for 40 minutes...we didn't check on her (we are so mean!) and fell asleep for 20 minutes.  Her second nap, she cried for 4 minutes and fell asleep within 15 minutes and is still sleeping right now!!!  It has been 45 minutes....well an ambulance just went by and now she is up but good job C :)

All in all she has been doing very well.  We are making small gains each day and I am so proud of us for sticking with it even though it is so hard to listen to someone you love cry.  Sleep training is a bit of controversial topic but we feel it is just like teaching C how to walk or talk....she (like many children) need to be taught how to fall asleep on there own.  Once she has mastered this skill, she will be better rested and so will we!

Happy Slumbers!



Beth P. said...

I am very impressed with your perseverance and consistency! I am sorry that you have to set such a structured plan to begin with, but way to go Baby C for doing a great job! I hope your efforts pay off very soon! How is Z doing with it? Has the crying at bed time been effecting him at all?

Connie Weiss said...

That's how we trained the kids too. It works!

Now I hope you can get some sleep!

Annie said...

I wish everything continues well with baby C. Your husband and you are doing an excellent job.

Hang in there!!

Enjoy the weekend.

PS: Thanks for let me know that you received the tshirt. Anxious to see pictures,ha.

BJ_Mama said...

We did the same thing...but used the "Baby Wise" book. It's a whole "training" approach that includes nursing as well.
I know how hard it is! I have a confession though. I found it easier to let Sam cry it out when I was alone....I know that sounds weird, but for me I think it makes me feel less guilty. (my hubby feels the same way)
Sam has been a GREAT sleeper...but we still find ourselves letting her cry herself to sleep sometimes (when she wakes up in the middle of the night) cuz all she wants to do is crawl into bed with us!

MommyBrain said...

I was just about to work on a post with the same title - Baby Bootcamp - that's what we call it at our house, too! Thankfully I already have a good sleeper, so it will just be a little fine tuning ... and I have to get her moved from the bassinet beside my bed (not really necessary anymore since she's only nursing once at night) and into her crib. It's more of a struggle for me to come to terms with her growing up so much ... motherhood is so hard, isn't it?! Keep up the good work - she'll get it - and my motto when it goes get tough, "Sleep is as important as food," and we wouldn't deprive our child of food, would we?

MamaB said...

Sleep training is so hard! I just try to remind myself that Jillian won't remember it when she grows up and will be thankful that she can sleep through anything when so goes to college!!! Your doing a great job and it won't be long be for you tell us all that you got 6-8 hours of sleep straight!

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