Thursday, March 15, 2012

The sleep story continued

So, I have been asked by people I didn't even know were readers how the sleeping is going. So I thought I'd write you a little update.

For those catching up, I was co-sleeping with BB, but since he started moving and became too big to sleep in his hammock or bouncer, I needed a new solution for the time between his bedtime and mine. He had a cot - but flatly refused to go to sleep in it. You can see the full story here, and the beginnings of my solution here.

So, I'm sure the sleep trainers would all be horrified, but here's what I did.



The first night I just fed him to sleep and popped him his cot. He did stir, but not for long. He slept right up against the side of the cot, and I did too. He still held my finger to sleep. It was sooo cute. I suspended the night weaning for the first couple of nights, just to get him used to the cot first. By the third night the night weaning was back on. He did really well, and I did leave him to put his self back to sleep, rather than breastfeed him, which he did successfully several times.

There was one time when he just wouldn't settle and I bought him back into my bed - we both went to sleep immediately and for a while there I did wonder if the cot was all a huge mistake.

I missed him. I like co-sleeping...

The physical arrangement wasn't much fun for me though. Getting in and out of bed was a nightmare, and lifting a sleepy baby over the side of the cot (even with the rail lowered) was a difficult manoeuvre, and I have a lower back issue that made the necessary twist and lift and lower a bit of a silly thing to do too. So after 3 nights I turned the cot against the wall.

I didn't do the controlled crying at all. At first I stayed with him, but then I discovered he actually dropped off quicker if I left the room. My own method sort of evolved which is more like controlled cuddling. Basically I cuddle him, then put him down, and stroke his back - he likes that, it makes him smile. Then I say night night and leave. If he cried I'd go straight back and pick him up and cuddle him some more (probably for less than a minute, I wasn't timing - but I was trying to show him that I really meant he should lay down and sleep!) and then put him back down again, stroke his back and leave. He did grizzle a bit sometimes but didn't sound distressed. I'd leave him for 5 mins and then go and check on him. He was usually asleep within 2 minutes of that. Now when he first goes down at night he lays there and chatters to himself for a bit, and then peacefully passes into sleep. I can't believe it was that easy.

Well, easy for  him that is! For me it was hard work. I would find myself awake at the time he would usually wake even if he didn't. And when he did wake I would be getting up to him. I often found it hard to go back to sleep, having grown used to having the sleepy hormones produced in my body when he suckles. It's possibly the tiredest I've been since he was born. I too am getting better at putting myslef back to sleep now though!

He still wakes in the night sometimes (he has gone through for a full 11 hours on several occasions though!) When he wakes, I cuddle him and put him down again. Mostly that works.

Although I thought I'd bring him back to my bed once I went to bed, and have done a few times, that's not what has ended up happening. Firstly, if he was asleep, I was not going to wake him. Then in the mornings it's handy if he is in his cot - that way I can get up and get on and leave him safely sleeping until he is ready to wake naturally himself. I thought it would be confusing for him that sometimes I'll bring him to my bed, and sometimes I wont. I couldn't find a way of differentiating between when it was OK and when it wasn't. So, he is in his cot all night. We have enjoyed a couple of lazy mornings together in my bed though.

Daytime naps haven't really taken off in the same way yet. I am following the same process though and he is getting a little better I think, but it does take a while for him to fall asleep. Hopefully he'll get there!

I do miss him! I feel like I see so much less of him now that he sleeps elsewhere. In a way that has been good though as it has made me make more of the time we do have together. Plus, with him having time in bed without me, I am free to try and get as many of the jobs done while he is sleeping as I possibly can, so I think we actually play together more as a result.

The next step will be to move his cot back to his own room. It's darker in there so I think he could sleep better during the day in there. I don't want to rush it and mess everything up though. And I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet - I imagine I might be up and down to his room all night to check on him! Maybe it's me that needs the next round of sleep training! Pin It Now!

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