My new bloggy friend Mina thoughtfully sent me "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" (and Nap solution) a couple of weeks ago. (side note: I recognized the handwriting as German before realizing who it was from and that was a stark reality check of how my Oma has influenced me...).
Being in the midst of holiday prep (please be over soon!) it has been difficult to really get it started. We (I) have tried so many things. One thing we (I) realized is that crying it out is NOT an option for us.
We also have one fairly difficult obstacle: I am up at 4 am, and have to get P out of bed by 4:45 am to take him to the sitter many days. He is used to that. And while he tends to fall back to sleep in the car, and then sometimes at the sitter, on days off, he is awake BRIGHT AND EARLY. A regular schedule is difficult to maintain with that early morning start.
In the beginning, he spent much of the night in his cradle, and I could successfully get him to sleep many nights without boob or bottle in his mouth because I could rock it, rub his back, etc, right next to me. He ended up in bed many nights if he woke frequently, but it wasn't too bad.
When he outgrew that cradle a few months ago, nights took a turn for the worse. He will ONLY fall asleep if cuddled next to me, with a bottle to doze off. This goes for many naps as well. With that close proximity he wakes up A LOT. Sometimes upwards of 4 times a night. It is EXHAUSTING.
But I am not going to lie...I love having him next to me. The apron strings are short and tight...
One of the things in this book says that you have to actually be READY to make a change toward longer sleep patterns. That opened my eyes. I realized that part of the cosleeping arrangement was due to convenience and that I slept more doing it that way than up and down to the crib all night. And sleep won out. (And cuddles.)
Another thing I learned is that babies wake up. A lot. As part of a normal sleep cycle. So the trick is to teach them to fall back to sleep on their own. But while I hear all the time from friends about their children sleeping through the night very early on for long periods of time, this is the exception rather than the norm. That helped me to feel a lot better about our situation. That and a post by Mama Daisey and her insane cosleeping issues (which seriously could have been written by me it was so similar to our situation).
So, taking these 2 things into account, and reading the various sections, I have started a basic plan. I kinda skipped some steps as I just want to try out some things to start out, and after the insanity of the holidays, really dig in. Also, if (WHEN) Hubby starts working, we may need to tweak things, and I don't want to go through it twice so early on. Especially when the process itself means LESS sleep in the beginning. Trying to fix that, not make it worse. Zombie mama wants sleep.
Okay, so (also mentioned in another post), we have (ahem, I have) moved the crib into the bedroom. Due to our old house with tiny doorways and horrid angles, this meant actually nearly a full dismantle and hauling up steep stairs. Good times. Then, because the highest setting on the crib is well below our mattress, I (making sure it's stable) rotated the support bars to make it the same level. Now, this means I have to be uber careful as the mattress is now only a few inches from the top of the crib. Once he is a bit more adjusted I will lower it again. It is set up sidecar style, one side off and pushed right up against the bed. (Yes, this makes my ability to get in and out of bed really fun).
Last night was NIGHT ONE of Operation Crib Transitioning. This idea, the sidecar style, was recommended for the cosleeping parents and what not. There is also a whole thing about babies who are dependent on boob/bottle to fall asleep. What I did last night was do the bottle before heading up to bed, or most of it anyway. Then, got in bed, put him in his crib, gave the last of the bottle, and tried to get him settled.
FAIL! LOL. The thing on the side of the crib meant to soothe him got him all excited and he got soooo mad that he couldn't detach it and play with it. So, turned that off. By now he's in full meltdown mode. Told Hubby to get another bottle, but began trying to soothe. So I did cuddle him at this point, rocked, put on chest, etc etc etc. (Ears are bleeding ears are bleeding!). I started singing one of the songs I use to settle him and bam, the mute button went on! I was letting him lie next to me, and he was getting drowsy and looking at me all lovey...this went on for a number of minutes until he seemed to be just about out. The move over to the crib was not so smooth, and he woke up. Hubs had brought a bottle, but he didn't really seem to want it, and after a lot of kicking, mumbling, wiggling...he fell asleep. ON HIS OWN.
It took an hour. Start to finish. And he only stayed asleep for 2.5 hours, by which time he had rotated 180* and moved himself over to where my mattress and his meet. Cuckoo boy.
We played the get back to sleep game twice last night before the 4 am wakeup. Not bad. I had to schooch over and snuggle a bit or pat him, and there was still some bottle dependency, but we will try this new technique for a bit and then move forward.
Note: When P is not right next to me, he is MUCH more active in his sleep. Moving, kicking, fussing, TALKING. I slept LESS. Mom radar was on high alert.
Thank you for making it to the end of this post, if you did. Seriously. Since I am not truly logging, this offers me a way to document. And since I know some of you are in a similar predicament, I thought I would share.