Tuesday, March 06, 2012

my thoughts on sleep

Someone made a funny comment on Facebook the other day that all parents of children under two years old should be required to join a separate Facebook account (thus making us all write about poop, napping, eating habits and cute toddler phrases in one place). I'm totally one of those people on Facebook, and I'm sure many of my friends have blocked my statuses because they're tired of it, but other people post about their co-workers, their bosses, their work environment, what they ate for lunch and so on . . . I figure, being a stay-at-home mom is all those things in one. So, here's my "status" right now. I'm really tired. Like, really tired.
Once upon a time I thought that once you've sleep trained your baby to sleep on their own at night, you're free and clear. I sleep trained William at about 6 months (he had co-slept with us prior to that) using this technique and it really worked well for us. William was doing really great for a while (about a year) and it left me feeling good about my parenting abilities. About a month ago, we moved William out of his crib and into a queen size bed in preparation for the new baby and also because he was constantly climbing out of it. He did really great for a month or so but I started noticing that he was giving up his naps. Then I noticed that he was actually doing pretty well without a nap and if he did take a nap, he would stay up really late. I could live without the naps but the night time routine was really getting to us.

Long story short, after a few weeks of him coming into our bed at 3 a.m. every night to finish off his night-time rest, I had enough. I plan on co-sleeping again with the baby here in a few weeks and we needed to get William into his own bed independently ASAP. So, again following the advice of Dr. Weissbluth, we put William to bed last night after reading him stories and singing songs, but awake. Then David went to bed (we planned on taking turns at night) while I would silently and very nonreactively put William back to his bed every time he came out of his room. In the space of three hours I put him back into his bed a total of 78 times (I kept a record) without saying a word to him or even really looking at him. He finally fell asleep sometime before midnight and was exhausted all day.

Tonight though! I put him to bed at his normal bedtime (7 p.m.), which includes reading 3 books and singing one song and saying prayers. I told him that I loved him, that it was time for him to sleep and for Mommy and Daddy to sleep and that if he got out of bed that I wouldn't talk to him or play with him because it was bed time. He only came out of his room twice and after 30 minutes of that little game, he's passed out. If you're having trouble with your child's sleep habits, I totally recommend this book. I like it because it's very adaptable. There are others and some people like a more scheduled method and some like a softer approach (this is pretty cut and dry) but it worked for me.

8 comments :

  1. way to go! Great to see such progress after only one night :)

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  2. I am a silent lurker.. but not in a creepy way :) I love your blog! THANK YOU for posting this. I had my son, Carter, right around when you had Will. I have an older son who NEVER had a problem with sleeping in his bed. Now I have one who calls my bed "Carter's bed" and I have been trying to get him back in his room. THANK YOU for the book recommendation. I so needed this today!!!
    Best of luck to you with the sleep.

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  3. Seriously. A good sleep makes all the difference in a day. That is the book I used too, I still refer to it all the time for my 3 year old. Congratulations on your new addition!

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  4. Oh my gosh Liz. Good job for holding to your guns and taking him back to bed 78 times!!! You are an amazing mother! Looks like it worked! Yay!

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  5. Good for you Mommy! You will not regret it!

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  6. I love HSHC! It has been life changing for our family & has a permanent place on my nightstand.

    I'm so glad you are tackling sleep now. It will make it so much easier when his little brother arrives.

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  7. Geeze! I wish I would have come across this a while ago; our little girl is doing the same thing...stay up late with naps, but so tired without them. I'll have to try this out and check out that book!

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