|The swing has been moved from the reclining position to the sitting up position.|
Even though I knew that I would eventually sleep train Olivia, I rocked her to sleep for as long as possible. I imagine most of us reading this post were rocked to sleep at some point. That's just what they did back in the day. I think to some degree babies are meant to be rocked. But I also think the time comes for them to be taught how to self soothe and transition from sleep cycle to sleep cycle.
Since I now have a toddler as well as a baby, rocking Logan to sleep for every nap and at night time until he was 8 months old was just not going to happen. Ferber and other books say that you should wait until 4 months to start, so that was the absolute earliest that I wanted to try. But my pediatrician said that she preferred I wait until between 6 and 8 months when they learn object permanence. (And by sleep train I mean the cry it out method).
So in my head I knew that it would be after 4 months, but I wanted to go a little longer if possible. Well, it was just getting to be too much. Logan would start waking up when I transferred him to his bed at night. Or he would stay asleep, but then wake up after the 45 minute sleep cycle and be a bear to get back to sleep. So on Tuesday night when he woke up from being sound asleep as I laid him in his crib, I just made a snap decision that we were going to go ahead and sleep train him.
For those of you who aren't familiar, you go in at set intervals and calm the baby, let them know by your presence that you are still there, and hope that they go to sleep. The whole point is that they need to be able to put themselves to sleep, and if they wake up from a sleep cycle to transition back to sleep on their own. We began by waiting 5 minutes, then 7 minutes, then 10 minutes. We went in every ten minutes after that. It took him almost TWO HOURS to finally go to sleep. That was way worse that it was with Olivia. Then he woke up after two and a half hours (which never happens) and we began back at the 5 minute check. I know that he is still going to get up to eat in the middle of the night at this point, so when he woke up around 3 I fed him. Usually he goes back to sleep easily after a middle of the night feeding. Not this time. He was up for almost an hour and I just kept doing the timed checks. It was a rough night to say the least. He woke up a little after 5 and wanted to get up. I am trying to wait until at least 6, so I started doing the checks again. Nope. He never did go back to sleep. Ugh.
But then naps were great. I only had to do one check each time and he slept for an hour and a half in his crib for two of his naps, and then he took a shorter nap in his crib in the late afternoon. I was shocked it went so well.
Wednesday night's bedtime came. I put him in his crib awake after going through his routine. He didn't cry once. He laid there talking to himself for about 10 minutes and then fell asleep. Michael and I were amazed. We thought we were in for another night of things. He only woke up once in the middle of the night and it was to eat. He went to sleep easily afterwards.
Thursday's naps were a little more dramatic. I had to do the timed checks for a few, but it wasn't too bad. And only one check on Thursday night for bed.
We are getting there. Just the fact that he is napping longer than 45 minutes in his crib is amazing and oh so helpful. He has also been transitioning to a 4 hour cycle and has switched to only 5 bottles a day. Hopefully I can figure out his new schedule soon. I feel like we are slowly moving out of the difficult baby stage and into the more fun part. Slowly. :)