Monday, August 29, 2011

Sleep Training

Ben is a SERIOUS nurser. What can I say, he likes boobs and HATES bottles.
So unfortunately, he started nursing himself to sleep - which meant it was the only way he'd fall asleep unless he was in a car or stroller.

It's one of those things you say you will never do - get caught in a bad sleeping situation - but it happened. With a 2 year old who is VERY active - I found myself letting him fall asleep that way because it meant we could keep to a schedule and I would get definite time with her.

It's been probably a good 2 - months that this has been the case and we just kind of fell into the habit. It wasn't bad at first, but then he started waking up 2 - 3 times at night and would only go back to bed if he was nursing.

With all the issues my thyroid was creating, this became MISERABLE for me. I had insomnia as it was (thank you thyroid) so getting such broken sleep for such a long period of time on top of having NO ENERGY despite anything I did (thank you thyroid again) was not good.

Someone suggested the Ferber book - so I got it from my library
(have I mentioned how much I LOVE THE LIBRARY)

Anyway, I didn't read the whole thing - but skimmed around and got to the part that made sense to me - Ben was in a pitiful spiral where he nursed himself to sleep - and then peed and got wet - which woke him up and then had to nurse back to sleep - causing the peeing to happen a few hours later - endless cycle = lots of very short feedings at night for my little man and horribly broken sleep for me.

So, I started sleep training. I was not looking forward to this because no one likes to hear their kid cry - especially when you know you are the sole reason they are crying and pretty much the sole comfort they know. (cause nursing is such a comfort for him)

The first day, I switched around his feeding schedule and put him in his crib without nursing.

He was not happy

For a good 30 minutes, back and forth - him crying - me waiting a few mins and then going in to rub his back or pick him up and kiss him and tell him it's ok - but put him back without nursing.

30 minutes - and he was asleep.

The second time it took only about 20.

The third time - it was under 10.

Now, I put him in his crib - he pouts his lip at me - (a little young for a guilt trip, no?) and cries for maybe 5 minutes - if even and then sleeps peacefully.

I haven't had the heart to make him cry it out at night yet because
a) he's teething (I feel like he's gonna get married toothless because we have been waiting so long)
b) with the Hurricane and tornado warnings, we had to camp out all together which messed up everyone's schedule and that wasn't his fault
c) he's only been waking up 2 times at night max

So, next week - if he is waking up numerous times at night, I will have to start to make him cry it out so that hopefully we get 8 - 12 hours straight out of him.

It wasn't fun - but it wasn't horrible either. He took to it in one day and I never had to give in once I started - which surprised me.

Anyone else have any luck with sleep training? Any tips for what to expect during the middle of the night?

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