Cookie Dough & Wine….AKA Sleep Training!

IMG_4692I am writing this post so that when baby #2 comes along (way far in the future) I can remember that it is worth it in the long run, even though it SUCKS in the present!!!  IMG_4695

Miss Madison came to us a very happy baby girl who loved to sleep.  In fact, after we straightened out her days and nights at week two, she was already sleeping about 5 hours in a row before feeding each night.  Really, we had a dream baby.  She loved her naps and would go to sleep around 11 and sleep until about 4 and then go right back down for 3-4 more hours.  I was pretty well rested and having a blast since I was not sleep deprived!!!  Then three months hit…. and everything changed….

HAHA! You just thought I was a good sleeper!

HAHA! You just thought I was a good sleeper!

Girl went from being a night owl to being a college freshmen refusing to go to sleep before 2 am and then only sleeping about 2-3 hours at a time?!  WHAT IN THE WORLD?! Clearly, since I had been spoiled with a great sleeper up until this point I was exhausted and needing a new strategy.  Around this time  we had just gotten back from a two week road trip/vacation and our routine was blown to bits, my milk supply was WAY low due to “excessive pumping…” and so Maddy was tired and hungry and well…………….. ANGRY.  It was awful. We needed answers,IMG_4709

so what did I do… I read a lot of blogs and websites with advice and we tried to really listen to Maddy and make sure she was getting good day sleep so that she wouldn’t be overly tired at night.  That helped.  We had a happier baby, but still going to bed before 2 in the morning was not in her plan.  It was then that I decided to take to where else, but Facebook and the advice of my Mama friends.IMG_4722

The Mr. and I had been talking about starting a bedtime routine when she hit 16 weeks at the suggestion of Maddy’s doctor, so for weeks we had been talking about our “ideal” routine.  Luckily, we are fortunate enough that I am able to stay at home with Maddy so really, our ideal routine is based upon her natural sleeping schedule.  This makes it pretty easy to work with, because as a good friend told me, “this is Maddy’s world and we are just lucky enough to be living in it :)”IMG_4723

I knew from the get-go that the Ferber method was not for me.  I am simply not strong enough to do it, and we didn’t need to put that stress on me when Maddy is this young. (talk to me at a year of not sleeping and I probably would have been a Ferberizing Queen!)  Back to Facebook… we had a lot of suggestions to let her cry it out, but then BabyWise kept sneaking into the list of suggestions. IMG_4725

Hmmmmm, Becoming BabyWise…. that sounds nice!  Amazon, one click purchase and instantly download onto my Kindle, YES PLEASE!!!  Two hours later and I knew this was a closer path to what we could use to develop a routine.  BabyWise is a parent directed scheduling system that was pretty easily modified to fit our needs as a family.  We started the Friday before last and here is how everything went…..IMG_4728

BabyWise is about three things: getting good sleep, having vivid awake times, and complete feedings…

All sacked up and ready for bed!

All sacked up and ready for bed!

Friday morning I woke Maddy up at 8:30 (about two hours before her norm) and fed her and we played and played and had quality active awake time until 10:00 then I made sure she had a clean diaper and fed her then put her in her swing for her morning nap.  She fell asleep at 10:30 and slept until noon when I woke her up again.IMG_4734

**** PARENTING FAIL:  this is our big according to the books parenting fail, we a) always put her down when she is sleeping, so she has no idea how to fall asleep in her crib…. and b) we let her nap in her swing.  We are not changing the nap in the swing thing any time soon, she sleeps sitting still in the swing and moving, so for now, it’s staying… only one change at a time and the first fail is WAY more important to fix.IMG_4749

After nap time, I fed her again and then we had great awake time and played and played for two hours.  Then again I fed her and then put her back in her swing and she fell asleep by 2:30 and slept until 4:30 and she woke up on her own.  Again… I changed her and fed her and by that time Justin was home so we both played with her and kept her awake. My original intentions were to keep her up until 7:30 when bath time would happen, but she got really fussy at 6, so we let her take a quick 20 minute cat nap in my arms and then everything was good again.IMG_4753

She ate at least two more times between 4:30 and 7:30 ( I am not limiting her feedings)— at 7:30 we took her up to the bath and she played for about 25 minutes in the tub, then we got her ready for bed.  I rocked her and fed her then Justin read her a couple of books and we put her in her crib.

She fell asleep instantly and woke up about 15 minutes later, CRYING! She was not happy!!! I poured myself a glass of wine… then ate a chunk of cookie dough.  Hello stress eater….. do not judge me!

Justin would stay in her nursery and calm her down, but not pick her up.  Then when she was calm again, he would kiss her goodnight and leave…. then repeat for about two hours.  I never went in, because if I saw her red puffy face I would pick her up and snuggle and give her loads of kisses, and NEVER EVER put her down again!!!!! Instead I sat on the couch drank wine and ate cookies.

But after the two hours of work, she fell asleep and slept for about 6.5 hours then went right back down. AWESOME!!!

I repeated the routine the next day, and everyday since.  The crib crying time shortened each night for four days, then it stopped.  Now, she just grunts and moans when we put her down like a little gremlin for about 10 minutes then she is OUT!IMG_4756

I am not going to lie or sugar coat anything.  It was awful. I hated every moment of it, and still I get a sense of dread around 7 just thinking about putting her down… but the rewards FAR out weigh the awfulness!!  Now, she gets in the tub at 7:45 until about 8ish, then I feed her, rock her and Justin reads to her then we lay her down by 8:30.  She sleeps until around 4 then eats, then sleeps again until around 6:30, eats again… then sleeps until I wake her up at 8:30 and we start our day!!!IMG_4758

The best part is our daughter is MUCH happier throughout the day because she is getting the rest she needs!!! We are happier because we can predict her needs and we even get a few hours alone together each night!!!

So, one bottle of pinot grigio and one tube of sugar cookie dough and a few nights of stress…. and we are not looking back!!! Phew!!!  Fingers crossed, for the most part we are settled in and enjoying our new routine!IMG_1930

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