Ethan has been learning that there is our bed, and there is his bed. This week he has decided he would like to sleep in our bed. If we do not put him in our bed he will wake up repeatedly and refuse to go back to sleep for long periods of time until we cave and bring him in our bed because we are too tired to deal anymore.
After a few nights of sleeping 4 hrs and feeling a bit delerious and desperate, we have begun to train him to sleep independently. Happy Independence Day, Ethan! I have been researching fervently my different options. Since I found three authors that say about the same thing, I selected The Baby Whisperer method since she was the most specific in what we should do (I am an extreme S in the meyers-briggs and I cannot stand vague). In case you all are interested, I am keeping a log to forever remember what my life was like training my child to Sleep Like A Normal Baby. I am feeling good about my choice. I have been praying for months that I would figure out a way that would teach Ethan to sleep well without psychological damage, and a way that would not drive me crazy.
Nathan begins the nighttime ritual of bath, book, bottle, bed at 7pm. One hour later he comes of out of the room saying, "I don't think he is really sleeping."
10 minutes later Ethan cries. I go in ready to start the Baby Whisperer suggestions. From now on we will not:
1. Rock Ethan to sleep.
2. Bring Ethan into our bed.
3. Pick him up when he cries.
I am to do the following. Lay him back down in his crib. Keep my hand on his back until he falls asleep so that he knows that I have not abandoned him, and he doesn't need to be afraid to go to sleep. Repeat each time he wakes up crying and doesn't put himself back to sleep.
I do this for 55 minutes. My pregnant belly is having a hard time making it over the crib to lean down and keep my hand on his back. My back is killing me. Nathan comes in and takes over. He reemerges from the room 10 minutes later. It is 9:30pm.
Ethan sleeps for one hour-10:30pm. Nathan goes back in. Comes to bed at 11pm.
Ethan sleeps until 4:40am. I get up and go to him. Back to bed at 5am. Lay there until 6am trying to fall back to sleep. Nathan's alarm goes off (on a weekend. drats) wakes up Ethan. Nathan goes to Ethan and Ethan decides 6am is a fine time to get up and start the day.
Please know that at the beginning of every Ethan-Wake-Cycle there was much cursing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth from Nathan and me.
Sleep Training Day 2
Due to his 6am wake up, and poor sleeping at night, he is tired at 9am. He closes his eyes, grabs his Elmo (or "Eh-mo") goes to sleep as soon as I lay him down for his nap. Score! Success! He sleeps until 11am renewing my hope for a bright and pleasant future.
2pm. I am tired. I need a nap desperately. I try to get Ethan to take another nap so we can make it until 7pm without him having some kind of meltdown. No such luck. He would rather stay up and play. And poop his pants.
7pm. We do the bedtime ritual. Ethan laughs and thinks he is playing a game with his dad for the first 20 minutes he is in his crib. Then he starts screaming and crying. This lasts for about 15 minutes. Nathan starts singing. Ethan decides to go to sleep. It is now 7:45pm.
3am. Ethan wakes up crying. Nathan goes into him and he cries a few minutes and goes back to sleep. He wakes up repeatedly until 4am. I go in. Repeat the same process until 4:35am. Decided to feed him. Ethan is sleeping by 5am and stays asleep until 8:20am.
Sleep Training Day Three
Ethan fights his nap for one hour. He sleeps for one hour. It is the fourth of July and my family is here and we have lots of fun. He is completely worn out by the end of the day.
7pm. Sleep ritual begins. He doesn't cry. He puts himself to sleep once he is in his crib. He sleeps until 3am and puts himself back to sleep. Wakes up at 4am. I feed him. He immediately goes back to sleep until 7:30am.
I had been dreading this process for months. I thought it would take weeks. It actually wasn't that bad. My child is capable of learning to sleep. Praise Jesus.