It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been a bit busy, a bit tired and just a bit lazy. But I’m back. I’ve been inspired by a blog post a girlfriend sent me today: Sleep Training – A baby’s view. She swears it was written by our two babies, I think she’s right. I was laughing so hard I almost cried. (I’ve included the post in italics below)
When you’re pregnant people tell you that most babies start to sleep through the night around three months. Few people tell you how it really is. Out of the nine babies in my circle of friends–ranging in ages from six to 11 months–only three of them sleep through the night consistently. I’m no mathematician but even I know that certainly isn’t most.
I’ve tried several sleep training methods, I’ve tried letting it ride. I’ve tried different bedtime routines. I’ve tried just about everything. On a good night my dear daughter will sleep for eight hours straight, wake up for a bottle and go back to sleep for four more hours. On a not-so-good night, she’s up every four hours and won’t go back to sleep without being fed. I should add that those “good nights” come around on a monthly basis.
When things get really bad, I start back with the strict sleep training. Things are good for a few days but then they slowly slide.
I’ve decided that while I can encourage her to sleep better, I can’t really teach her. She’s got to figure it out on her own. According to the all the books, I’m doing everything right. So why does it still feel like I’m doing something wrong?
Sleep Training – A Baby’s View
OK, here’s my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great–I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I’ve talked to other babies, and it seems like it’s pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months. Here’s the thing: these Mommies don’t really need to sleep. It’s just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep–they just don’t need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle.
It goes like this:
Night 1–cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it’s hard. It’s hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it’s for her own good.
Night 2–cry every 2 hours until you get fed.
Night 3–every hour.
Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights.
Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don’t give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT’S HARD! But she really does not need the sleep, she is just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it.
Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with. My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn’t eaten pears since lunch, what’s up with that? The cat said “meow”. I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL. Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right–doesn’t matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies’ internal clocks.
P.S. Don’t let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me.