So the first step in our seep training process was to log night wakings and nap times. The book said to just do one day and night, but I did three nights and three days because I thought it would give me a better picture of how things are. Three full days gives some wiggle room for schedule changes and various other things that might pop up last minute (which in effect is a more realistic representation of our daily life!). So below are logs of Matthew’s night wakings and his naps:
9:04 Put down in bed, woke crying
9:16 Asleep (nursed)
9:53 Wakes nurses back to sleep
10:30 Evie briefly wakes him, goes back to sleep on his own
12:54 Wakes nurses back to sleep
1:58 Wakes nurses back to sleep
3:54 Wakes nurses back to sleep
4:48 Wakes nurses back to sleep
5:02 Wakes nurses back to sleep
5:45 Wakes nurses back to sleep
6:53 Wakes nurses back to sleep
8:26 Up for the day
TOTAL: 10h, 40m
9:00 Falls asleep nursing
9:40 Wakes up
10:12 Falls asleep nursing
11:06 Wakes nurses back to sleep
1:44 Wakes nurses back to sleep
3:02 Wakes nurses back to sleep
3:23 Wakes nurses back to sleep
4:14 Wakes nurses back to sleep
4:23 Wakes nurses back to sleep
5:55 Wakes nurses back to sleep
6:57 Wakes nurses back to sleep
8:20 Up for the day
TOTAL: 11h, 20m
8:30 Falls asleep nursing
9: 24 Wakes nurses back to sleep
10:15 Falls asleep
1:00 Wakes nurses back to sleep
2:32 Wakes nurses back to sleep
3:08 Wakes nurses back to sleep
3:50 Wakes nurses back to sleep
4:53 Wakes nurses back to sleep
5:41 Wakes nurses back to sleep
6:33 Wakes nurses back to sleep
6:49 Falls asleep
7:30 Wakes nurses back to sleep
8:15 Up for the day
TOTAL: 10h, 10m
January 24 (no preschool)
8:45 am – up for the day.
10:48 am – down for nap, fell asleep nursing, put in vibrating chair.
11:20 am – wakes up happy cooing.
1:30 pm – down for nap, fell asleep nursing, put in vibrating chair.
2:00 pm – wakes up cooing, then cries.
4:15 pm – down for nap, fell asleep nursing then moved to vibrating chair, he woke so I bounced it and he went to sleep.
4:40 pm – wakes from nap, coos.
7:51 pm – falls asleep nursing.
8:20 pm – wakes and I put him on other breast. Drinks a bit, pulls off, stares into space and falls asleep.
January 25 (preschool)
8:30 – wakes
9:30 – falls asleep in car
9:40 – wakes
10:15 – falls asleep in car
10:35 – wakes
11:30 – falls asleep in stroller
12:20 – wakes
3:00 – goes down being bounced in vibrating chair
4:00 – wakes up cooing
6:30 – down for nap
7:00 – wakes from nap quiet alert
January 26 (preschool & swimming)
9:30 falls asleep in car
9:40 wakes upon arrival
10:55 falls asleep in car
1:55 falls asleep nursing, put in vibrating chair
2:46 wakes up
7:50 falls asleep nursing
8:25 wakes up crying
In case you are wondering- YES, I do wish we had a gas oven some mornings. But then I sit back and reframe it. I am lucky to have my healthy baby, and he is a typical baby. Recently I had a date with a fellow mom and we talked about how the baby that wakes during the night is actually the “normal” baby, not the one that sleeps 12 hours uninterrupted. Research it, you will find the same. But for some reason, us walking dead moms have “abnormal” and “bad” babies. My friend and I both agreed that it raises our backs to have people make comments like this, as there is NOTHING wrong with our babies. The problem is that our babies’ sleep cycles do not coincide with ours and so we are tired! That’s mother nature’s fault if you ask me! I will never again have these days with Matthew, so I refuse to be negative about them because I am not getting any sleep.
Now with that said, here we go with sleep training, lol. Like I mentioned before, we are sleep training because it is time for Matthew to be in his own bed. After six months of co-seeping, I am seeing signs that it is time to make the switch. Some of these signs?? Well for one, I am waking him through the night as I roll about in my sleep. Additionally, he is starting to go down earlier for the night than I do (8:00pm) and so it makes sense that he should be put to bed in a safe and quiet place. Also, I don’t think that him sleeping next to the all night buffet is helping the night waking situation at all! Oh and one more- I am so exhausted I don’t think it’s safe for me to continue on like this. There have been days where I feel like I am on drugs or drunk, there have been days I have not driven the car because it didn’t feel safe. It’s time for some full adult sleep cycles and regenerative sleep.
Now onto our plan… The plan starts tonight. It involves three strategies really:
1) pull Matthew off the breast before he fully falls asleep. Although sucking to soothe is a great reflex, being a human pacifier all night long is really tiring! My intention is to help Matthew learn that he can fall asleep in another way.
2) at a night waking, I will wait 2 minutes to see if he is actually awake, if awake I will rock him back to sleep instead of nursing. I am choosing to use the rocking chair, as he really seems to respond well to motion. And I am going to start out with me rocking him, but if he gets too pissed off with being denied the boob this may become dad’s job so that it isn’t so hard on him.
3) a bedtime routing. We don’t have one right now, well not a consistent one. His night time routine will begin around 7:30 (depending on the time of his third nap), he will have a bath, short massage, song, book and then nursed.
Once we have night time sleep under control we will work on naps. Matthew is an inconsistent napper and it makes sense that he would be as his days are really inconsistent. I feel like I only have the energy to tackle one issue at a time so we are starting with night time. I can handle having a snack napper again. So, for daytime sleep I am going to continue to do whatever I need to do to get him to sleep and I am not going to worry about how he gets to sleep and where he sleeps. Sleep begets sleep, so my Hope is that if he gets enough daytime sleep it will help us at night time. And yes, that is hope with a capital “H.”
Oh and did I mention that Evie will be undergoing some sleep training of her own this week as well? I didn’t… well she is. For the last 6 months B has been sleeping in bed with her so that he could actually get a decent night’s sleep. So now Everly is used to having someone sleep next to her. She is a typical toddler in that she will go to bed and sleep on her own until the wee hours of the morning, and then she sounds the air raid sirens. B sleeping next to her has kind of killed two birds with one stone. We knew it was a dangerous deal we were making; all deals come with a cost/reward and this was one time that we felt that the reward outweighed the cost.
We figured that we might as well tackle both issues at once, no point in going through two individual weeks of hell when we can have a combined couple weeks of hell right. But then maybe it will go better than we anticipate. Now’s the time to think positive. Wish us luck! Will report on the first night in the crib and Evie solo sleeping.