Sleep Training – 1 week later.

April 16, 2010

Hmmm. I’m not sure where to start on this one. Obviously we have some big changes. Bella is certainly sleeping in longer stretches, but not through the night. It’s usually tough to get her to stay asleep in the hours of 9-11ish, for some reason those are times when she just won’t go back to sleep.

There’s always the 1 or 2 am wakeup. Usually she’s already nursed before that so she goes back to sleep fairly quickly. Especially if Sam goes in. Then there’s a 4 hour stretch, and a wake up every hour after that. And I am sorry, but 5 or 6 am is just too darn early for me. I can barely drag myself into her room, much less function enough to start the day.

Her naps have gotten really bad. I have no idea why – she used to be a great napper. Even after the inevitable 45 minute wake up, she’d just pass back out for at least another hour. And now? Now she cries and hollers and does this awful grunt/yell thing.

Today she went down at 11:30am. Back up at 12. Good Night Sleep Tight strongly stresses that if the nap is under 45 minutes, the child is still worn out and must take a longer nap. Which is so true for Bella. So I rocked her and put her back to bed. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And diaper change. And sit in the chair next to her crib holding her hand. And sitting there while she dangled her paci above her face and stared at me through the crib with large eyes that said, “I will not be going to sleep. You and I both know this. Don’t be dumb, take me out of here.” So finally I realized whatever I’m doing during naps is both disturbing her, and setting a pattern I can’t continue. I mean, really, I can’t stay in her room for a half hour at every nap time. The point of this is to get her to sleep on her own. Taking her out repeatedly caused her to wake up more, scream louder, think she was going to be nursed, and flip out when I put her back.

So you know what I did? ::hangs head:: I let her CIO. :/ Yep. I didn’t know what else to do – I was fried, she was a total mess, and no matter what she kept crying. So I finally left her alone and waited to see what happened. Because, after a week of picking her up and soothing and naps getting shorter, I thought, “Whatever I’m doing isn’t working.” I had the monitor on, and it was so hard to listen to. Surprisingly, she wasn’t actually sobbing, she was just really mad, and after a while she would pass out, wake herself back up a few minutes later to scream, wait, pass out, and repeat. Eventually, she fell completely asleep, and stayed asleep for an hour in a half.

Was I proud? No. I feel awful that’s what we resorted to. But I’m at my wits end. Her short naps were affecting her sleep at night, and it wasn’t good. You can tell by looking at her during the day that she’s exhausted because she doesn’t get enough sleep. I’m ready for comments telling me what an awful person I am, and in some ways I understand. I hate CIO. I didn’t want to do it. Ever. But if you lived here, you would understand what I finally saw. That I was the problem. She needed to just be left alone to sleep, not constantly picked up, bounced, poked, prodded, soothed and shhhed.

Tonight? She went down at 8pm for bed. It’s 9:45 and she hasn’t woken up once. That, my faithful readers, is amazing. There was no 45 minute wake up. She is completely out.

I don’t know what will happen tonight. I do know I still wait for her to wake for the late feeding – usually around 12am. Which is fine with me. I so much hope she stays asleep after that. I say a little (desperate) prayer every night as my head hits the pillow to please let her sleep 6 hours. Just 6. Four is as far as we’ve gotten so far.

I also pray for the phantom cries in my head to stop. The ones where I jerk awake out of a dead sleep and fall out of bed thinking, “OMG how long has she been up?” as I stumble into the nursery to realize there is no crying. Love those.

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