Thursday, 3 November 2011

Adventures in sleep training

It's been a big week for baby boy! For the first time ever, he finally slept through the night this week. Hurray! He only did it once but that was a good enough for me, for now. It seems in line with his usual pattern. Any time he does something new, it happens once but then isn't repeated until a few days or even weeks later. But then it's constant.

For example, he's been very tentatively working on pulling himself up against furniture. It happened once successfully about two weeks ago and then nothing until this week. The other day I walked into his room to pick him up from a nap and almost had a heart attack when I found him proudly standing up in his crib! Now it's his favorite thing to do.

I know full nights of sleep will soon become the norm. Sleep training has been going really well. He no longer cries when I put him down to sleep and there are few instances where we have to let him cry it out during the night. He sleeps 3 - 4 hour stretches and only wakes to eat once during the night. So I'm a pretty happy Mom these days. My nights are no longer a nightmare.

Daytime sleep, however, is still a challenge. It is my albatross, my Moby Dick, so to speak. Those naps are still short and sweet and they seem to be getting shorter. It is completely frustrating! Thirty minutes is an unacceptable nap time for an 8 month old baby, at least in my opinion.

I know what needs to be done. Sleep training has done wonders for the night. It's time for nap training. In other words, letting him cry it out during the day too. But it seems so much harder than at night when my husband is there to support me and encourage me not to run to him when he cries.

I approach nap training like some people approach a diet. I keep saying "I'll start tomorrow. Or Monday." I keep putting it off because there always seems to be a good reason not to start yet. But I promised myself that once nights were under control, I would tackle days. That time has come.

Plus I am officially returning to work in 3 months, which is really soon (gulp). I need to get him on a normal schedule because I won't be around to coddle him to sleep during the day anymore.

I can do this, right?! If I tamed the wild beast at night, surely I can manage days too. It's time to change! Again.

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