Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Project Go Back to Sleep

I think our Baby Boy reads parenting books, because somehow right when he turned 4 months began his "4 month sleep regression". To be fair, the kid got some vaccinations that made him not 100%. This pretty much coincided with a crazy growth spurt, and some major drooly-bitey teething. All these things, coupled with the fact that Baby Boy was recently moved to his own crib (albeit still in our room), and decided he did not want to be swaddled any more, made for a few craaaaazy loooooong nights. We tried the pacifier, we tried swaddling only one arm, or only the legs, but the kid would not sleep. By "would not sleep" I mean up every 1-2 hours all night long.



So we decided it was time for some mild sleep training of sorts. Knowing that Baby Boy just gets more and more riled up the longer he cries we didn't want a full-on cry it out method. We were however, committed to doing something to get him at least back to the status quo (5 hours + 3 hours, for the main portion of the night). Our goals were this:

1) Baby Boy sleeps in his crib all night
2) Maximum 2 night feedings
3) Baby Boy goes back to sleep on his own

and the advanced goal is:

4) Baby Boy has new early bed-time (and all of the above goals are still being met).

Our chosen method was letting him cry for 5 minutes before picking him up. We would then calm him down and put him right back down to sleep. The first 3 nights were a nightmare. The first one in particular he was up every couple of hours crying. A couple times it took 20 minutes to get him asleep, but most of the time in about 10 he was out (that is one pick-up/put-down).

On the second and third nights we let him sleep part of the time in our bed because we just NEEDED to SLEEP. But he only got up about 2-3 times once he was in the crib, so it was already an improvement. We realized, however, that at the moment it was not worth it to fight with him about the early bed-time. (He would fuss from about 8pm to 10pm, which was his old bed time). So we would continue with more naps, and first make sure he knew how to fall asleep on his own, in the sleep sack, and not get up for feedings multiple times a night. We also noticed that he was just "snacking", so I decided that before 5 hours passed he would not get a feeding.

Yesterday, for the first time since Baby Boy was born, he was in bed at 7pm and I watched a MOVIE with my HUSBAND on the couch with a glass of WINE in hand. That, my friends, is progress! (and motivation to stick with it!) I can say that at this point Baby Boy is sleeping in his crib, but that's about it. He had 3 feedings and is still taking a while to go back to sleep on his own, but we're working on it. You can be sure that I WILL update when we have this figured out.

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