Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I may have alluded to Jacob's sleep habits (or lack thereof) previously. He is not a big fan of sleep. During the day, he takes a couple 20-30 minute naps, and he still doesn't sleep as long at night as you would expect of a baby this old. I finally had to start turning off his baby monitor at night because I was just too exhausted to keep it on. I knew if I heard him, I would be compelled to go in there and nurse him back to dreamland, so not knowing what was happening was the only way for me to get any sleep and, as a result, to teach him to get some sleep.

(Peaking at me through his crib bars.)

I'm not sure how long it took or how much he cried those first few nights. I'd like to think he coincidentally slept straight through the first night I tried it. All I know is that now, we put him to bed around 7:30 or 8 p.m., he wakes up to eat maybe once or twice before 11 p.m. or midnight, and I generally don't feed him again until morning. Even when I have the monitor on, he rarely cries during this 6-8 hour period any more. So I guess my night sleep training has worked.

Besides his short naps during the day, which are not a problem for HIM since he somehow wakes up refreshed and happy (though Mama would like more time alone), the other problem was HOW he fell asleep: ALWAYS while carried or being nursed. And nice and cozy as that sounds, it's not always practical, and I knew we'd have to help him fall asleep on his own eventually.

(Sound asleep after being carried around outside...still in the Ergo.)

So lately, I've been putting him down awake. When I tried this when he was younger, he would cry for up to an hour before falling asleep (sometimes longer), which is why I hardly ever did it. What torture - for both of us! I was thinking I would have to "Ferberize" him, but going back in to check on him periodically seemed even meaner than just leaving him to soothe himself. Not only did I feel like I was abandoning him, I also felt like I was TEASING him by coming back in but not helping him.

Now all of a sudden, when I put him down awake, he's only been crying for like 5-15 minutes (sometimes, just a minute or two!) before falling asleep. Maybe he's maturing, or maybe I'm being more consistent. I'm not sure. All I know is I'm definitely very happy with the results, and I hope his current cold doesn't throw us off course. Mama loves her babies, but she also needs her sleep!


Anonymous said...

I'm impressed. I still haven't brought myself to do that with Hayden, and at work I do carry him around in the Ergo until he's asleep (which is usually only 5 minutes). And at night he still wakes up to nurse a couple times... Maybe it makes a difference that he's my first, so I just put up with it?