So it turns out that the first two days of the Sleepsense program are totally observational. You just write down what your baby does during the day, the hope is that after two days you will notice some patterns. After your two days of observation and “pattern noticing” it’s time to make a schedule that you are going to try to stick to as close as possible. I like this method because it takes baby’s natural routine in mind, but also relies on the parent to establish a routine and keep it- babies like routine, so this is good. So today is day one of observation, I feel like a scientist, lol.
In reading the Sleepsense guide last night- yes all 150 relevant pages from cover to cover, I learned that we aren’t really setting Everly up for sleep success, so no wonder she does not go to sleep on her own! I wish that I had read something like this before she was even born (there is a chapter for birth to 3 months) and we could have started with this routine from the beginning. The reason I say before she was born is becuase she was a great sleeper back then and I wouldn’t have felt the need for it. Well she was a great sleeper because I did a good job of helping her get to sleep. Now that she is older and showing signs of wanting to learn how to sleep on her own (which they do), she is a little bit confused about how to go about it- which is understandable of course.
The author of the program talks about crying, because yes, some crying will be involved. I like her techniques to avoid crying though and we plan to have those techniques in our personalized program! But back to crying, she said something interesting about babies crying when they start a sleep program and they have totally stuck with me… 1) when we as adults start a new routine it is hard for us and basically we complain- ever start a diet or gym program or tried to quit smoking? It’s hard and we complain; crying is complaining! 2) If our child was playing with our keys and we had to take them back to drive somewhere they would cry and we would make them deal with it because we need to drive… well we need to sleep and they need to sleep, perhaps more than we might need to drive in that moment, but it is easier to see our child cry during the day than at night for some reason. Interesting hey. So our plan is going to limit the crying as much as we can, but I know it will happen a little bit and I feel much better about it now, I am kind of comparing it to immunizations- she cries when she gets those! The beauty of this program, compared to traditional crying it out, is that you can comfort them through it, as you would for immunizations.
After reading the guide I also realized a lot of things have to change about our day. We are going to have to stick close to home for the next few weeks to get our routine established and I am going to have to be more mindful of her routine from now on, instead of just taking her along what I want to do, or think she should do. Before I became a parent I had a different view about this, I thought that you should just go about your normal life and that the baby should have to adapt. Well sure, you could do this, if you don’t care to sleep at night or want to have a happy baby. I said it before and I am going to say it again, babies like routine! So I think we will build this routine and then figure out how to add all the fun stuff we do when we go out back into our day! I think in the end it will also help me to feel like I have a little bit more control over our day and everything won’t be so unpredictable.
She has officially been sleeping for 25 minutes in her crib as of the moment that I write this! I began some of the simple steps this morning about sleep routine and not letting her fall asleep while nursing and then put her in her crib awake, after 20 minutes of fuss, she fell asleep. Yes she has her soother in and it’s a sleep crutch, but I haven’t fully decided if we are going to take that away from her. If it falls out when she is sleeping she doesn’t wake up so at this point I don’t see the harm, but who knows, I may have a completely different opinion on it in 2 weeks, lol!
Here’s a picture for fun!