"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

- The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carrol
(From Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sleep Training Day One: Begin

Sunday, our first full day of sleep training, wasn't too bad. It could have been worse. Could have been better - but it could have been a lot worse. Having caught some zzz's the night before, I definitely felt more in my right brain to take this task on.

So, the day started with the morning nap. After some comforting, I put Abbey in her crib and she begin to sputter and cry. I told her I loved her, kissed her cheek, turned away, walked out the door, turned off the light, and shut the door behind me. She whimpered for another 15 minutes or so and then...nothing. Blissful, sweet, nothing. Sleeping baby. And that continued for another 26 minutes exactly. Then she wailed like a banshee. Our program is a bit wishy washy on naps. Basically if she sleeps over 30 minutes, she's probably good and done. If it's a lot under 30 minutes, then we're to let her cry and see if she'll go back to sleep, but for no longer than an hour. So, that's what I did. And she cried. And cried. And cried. Finally settling down enough to take another 15 minute snooze before waking up again. I raced to her room to get her. Anxious to see her again and to investigate the damage I had done. To my delight, she was pretty happy.

We played for almost two hours - a happy, peppy play. Like nothing ever happened. Then she started to show signs that she was tired again. We went through the naptime routine, put her down and she went to sleep right away this time. And slept for a whole 25 minutes. And that was all she wrote. The tears and screaming came again until I retrieved her 20 minutes later when I had - frankly - had enough.

At this point, my nerves were pretty shot. Though I've been turning the volume off on the monitor when Abbey starts to cry, I can still hear her even though I'm a floor below her. I try to read, or watch tv, or blog. But even in a semi-distracted state, I still know that my bayybeee is cryyyyiiiing!

As we approached the 3pm nap, I called Scott (who was at the car show) and informed him we had a decision to make. We were coming up on the 3pm nap and If I could put her in her swing, I thought she'd sleep longer. But we have to turn the swing off once she falls asleep (it's one of the rules of this technique - no sleeping while in motion). We knew she was exhausted, so we thought we'd be doing her a favor by going this route. When the time came, I placed her in her swing and within two minutes she was soundly asleep. I turned the swing off. Peaceful baby. For 20 minutes. Then, sad, wailing, crying baby. In. The. Same. Room. As me. . . Shit. There goes that nap. Again, I picked her up and comforted her and she played pretty contentedly until about 5.30 when we started seeing signs of sleepiness.

We whisked her upstairs, gave her a bath, and started the bedtime routine. She went right to sleep. No fussing. At 6.15 in the evening. And she slept until 9pm, when she cried out for us. And cried for 45 minutes. Ugh. But then she slept through night to her 3.30 am feeding, and again after that until 6am - her normal waking time. In an overnight span of 12 hours, she was awake three times. That's a lot better than her previous pattern of waking up 6 times - every two hours - over a 12 hour period. 50% better in fact!

Rome wasn't built in a day. Abbey's sleep problems won't be solved in a day. But we're about half-way there.

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