August 24, 2012

The S Word

Sleep. Every mama of a 6 month old who is not sleeping through the night has surely put some time into reading about it. Weissbluth, Sears, Ferber, Mindell. No Cry. Cry It Out (CIO). CIO with checks. And here's the funny thing- no one talks about this "in public" because they are afraid to be judged for their choices.

Case and point? I posted on a mama board awhile back just asking, "Did anyone sleep train their 4 month old?" I just asked! I didn't even say I was going to do it! And I didn't say a n y t h i n g about CIO vs. no cry. Just about sleep training. And I got flamed. All the experts, even the non crying ones, say anywhere from 4-8 months is prime for sleep training because if you wait to long... well you've got a 4 year old who you are having to fall asleep in bed with and sloooowly back out of the room praying they won't wake up when you shut the door.

So with some major reading (I spent more time reading than sleeping) and some talking with some of my close friends who sleep trained anywhere between 3 and 8 months, we knew that we had to do something post 4 month sleep regression. We were back to waking every 2-3 hours. Mama works full time. This was not going well.

So we sleep trained. We did a mix of CIO with checks (S got pissed sometimes when we did this), CIO with checks without mama involved (Thank you J) and straight CIO at times. We also did some praying and hoping and rain dances to the sleep gods that this would work. And knock on wood, it keeps getting better. We have our nights that are horrible, but at 4 months we dropped to two night feedings and since about 5 months we've been consistently at one feeding. Bed time is at 7 and she sleeps until anywhere between 2:30 and 4:30, nurses for about 15 minutes, then sleeps until 6-7am.  I'll take that.
But it's not all sunshine and butterflies and always perfect. Sometimes things happen that are totally out of my control and just happen.

Like last night:
2:33am: SQUEAL!
2:35am: "ooooooooo me! ooooo iiii!"
2:40-something am: I decide she's happy and just having fun. Mama falls back to a very light sleep.
3:18am: wooden bumping noise
3:18am: check video monitor, foot kicking crib slats.
3:19am: Please go back to sleep
3:30am: Crying.
3:35am: Still crying
3:35am: I'm up. Wonder through the dark hall with cell phone light.
3:35am: Pick up S. S SMILES AND LAUGHS
3:36am: Yuck, what is that smell?! Change diaper.
3:40am: Nurse
3:48am: Done nursing, playing with mama's Yurman necklace
3:48am: Rock in glider for a few minutes.
3:50am: Kisses for baby, back in her crib
3:52am: Mama takes off glasses & goes back to sleep
3:52am: Two more big squeals and giggles "AHHHHh ooooo"
3:55am: Finally silent. Check monitor. Baby's asleep.
7:20am: What? The baby's not up! I need to wake her up to nurse her before work....

The funny thing is, seeing as I was only "awake" totally from 3:20-4 I consider this a very successful night.  Also, since we only wake up once to eat these days, I find that I enjoy our 15 minutes of quiet cuddle time. Other updates: S sleeps on her tummy now- butt up. We got breathable bumpers because she kept getting her legs caught in the crib slats. She couldn't be any cuter in her pajamas.

In another few weeks, it's time to cut our last night feeding. And while I know (oh do I know) that there will still be nights with many wakings, especially during teething or sickness, I feel like we've survived. Take that, sleep.


  1. Both of my kids needed sleep training. Liam even now wakes in the night and sleeps on our floor. I did more CIO w G andhe sleeps better but I was IP w him from 4-5 this am and again at 530. I try to wait 30 mins before I go in which is some CIO but comfort if he is really flipping out. Usually he goes back to sleep w in that 30 mins. Good luck!


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