Ahh, Sleep: Part 2

Originally, I was super against sleep training (ST). As an emotional pregnant lady, I read some articles about sleep training causing long term psychological damage leading to a child’s inability to bond with any caretaker. Reading articles made me an expert, obviously, and I began to tell Husband (and anyone else who would listen) about the dangers of leaving baby to cry and cry, refusing to go to baby or give him what he needs, and, frankly, being a little selfish just because you’re tired. Obviously, we would not be sleep training our babe, and don’t I look pretty on my high horse.

Sleep deprivation has slowly eroded my fierce anti-sleep-training stance. I began to research a bit more. I read articles that pointed out the fallacies in the original articles I had read. I read articles from actual scientific journals on the importance of getting good sleep. I began to understand that sleep training put another way is sleep learning, and learning a new way to sleep is something that baby may protest by crying. I read an article that put sleep training into perspective for me with one line: “just as we can’t start daycare for a baby, we can’t learn to sleep for a baby either.” Duh. I began to eat a little crow and accept that sitting on a high horse made me a bit of an ass. And mostly, I began to watch my child.

Baby boy was becoming increasingly harder to put down for naps and bedtime. The 10 minutes of bouncing it took to get Bubs to sleep was becoming 20, 30, 45 minutes. No longer was Bubba content to drift to sleep with polite little movements; he had begun to buck in my arms, as if he wanted to be put down, requiring me to tighten my grip and really jostle him, just shy of causing whiplash, to get him to settle. The 4-6 nighttime wakings we had been experiencing were increasing in number and sleep was shortening in duration. Besides one good 2-3 hour stretch of sleep every evening, Bubs was waking nearly every hour during the night. And the most blantant indicator: Bubba was crying in protest of sleep, even in my arms. He was ready for more independent sleep.

So, we made a plan. We decided Husband would take a long weekend from work, and we would begin sleep training on Wednesday. So, naturally, Tuesday night went great:

 

6:30-7:20pm:

Sing bedtime song. Put adorable baby in swaddle sack and bounce vigorously for 45 minutes. Baby protests but eventually falls asleep. Sit on bed next to cosleeper and rest arms. Offer baby a dreamfeed and take a mental snapshot of that beautiful boy all snug as he gulps from his bottle. Once he has finished, gently place baby in bed. Settle in to get needed rest during what is typically baby’s longest stretch of sleep.

8:15pm:

Check clock on phone. What the crap, baby hasn’t even been down an hour! Scoop baby up and feed. Once asleep, carefully transfer baby back to bed. Lay head down and close eyes.

9:05pm:

You’re joking. Scoop boy up, feed him. Once asleep, gently place baby in bed. Lay down and close eyes.

10:10pm:

Again, feed and set back in bed. Lay down.

11pm:

What is happening??? Feed baby, try to put him back in bed, stop when he starts to cry again. Feed him some more. Hold heavy-with-exhaustion head up with hand as baby finishes his bottle and smacks his lips. Make extra sure baby is asleep. Slowly and carefully place baby back in bed. Lay self back down.

12am:

Feel sleep being ripped away as the room lights up with humongous flashes of white lightning that wake the baby. Burst into sleep deprived tears and curse the universe’s obvious will to sabotage sleep. Scoop baby up as thunderous roars shake the windows and make the house feel like it’s going to fall down. Pop bottle into baby’s mouth. Try not to jump 10 feet when lightning strikes the field behind the house and thunder belches from the sky. Imagine lightning hitting the house and cry more from both an unhealthy exhaustion and a new and healthy fear of Mother Nature. Once baby is back to sleep try not to let tears drop onto his face.

12:20am:

Silently curse all of existence as baby wakes up again. Announce to Husband his turn is starting early. Jam earplugs in.

12:40am:

Get up and find thumb tacks. Gather all the available blankets in the house. Tack blankets up over windows for makeshift blackout curtains because of damn lightning. Lay head down.

2 am:

Hold flashlight for Husband while he pedals baby’s legs to relieve gas. Lay down.

2:15am:

Hold flashlight for Husband while he changes poopy diaper that may have been the sleep stealing culprit of the first half of the night. Lay down. Get back up because baby is not sleeping and Husband is annoyed. Bounce baby.

3:15am:

Pass baby off to Husband and lay down. Try to sleep while Husband bounces baby.

4am:

Wake up because Husband woke baby as he tried to make the lap-to-cosleeper transfer. Bounce baby. Sit with baby in lap. Attempt lap-to-cosleeper transfer and wake baby. Bounce baby. Sit with baby in lap. Cradle baby in arm and gently shift body weight until laying horizontally with baby asleep in crook of arm. Have Husband prop pillows around body and head. Fall asleep

5:45am:

Feed baby. Repeat body weight shift trick. Prop pillows.

6:30am:

Feed baby. Repeat body weight shift trick. Prop pillows.

7:30am:

Baby wakes for the day. Husband gets ready for work. Transfer the mother loving crib to the mother loving baby’s room because ST is happening TONIGHT. Pray to the almighty and beg for postponement of any storms. Tack up blankets as makeshift black out curtains in baby’s room just in case.

After Tuesday night, we’re gonna need a bigger boat.

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