Torgesen Family Times

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sleep training

Now that Alex has ear tubes, which solves the medical reason he wasn't sleeping we are officially trying to help Alex learn to get to sleep by himself, and when he wakes in the middle of the night, get back to sleep by himself.

This has been going on way too long. He wakes up constantly. I wouldn't even care if he slept with us, but the problem is that he doesn't sleep. He wiggles, kicks, slides his hands under your back, steals your pillow, and generally makes sure you don't get even a solid few hours of sleep.

So, I was taking care of another kid, Jackson, for a day while his parents were at a football game. The routine for nap time for him was easy. Milk, blankie, put in crib, say "night-night", turn on the noise maker, turn off the light and shut the door. They had a video monitor and I could see him put himself to sleep. I was amazed! I wanted that!

So, I've read some books, talked to other Mom's, and generally thought about how I want to do this.

We are instilling a routine (which we had before, but it wasn't the way we wanted it. I was bath, pj's, 2 books and milk, and lay with him until he falls asleep. Which could be 1 minute, or 45 minutes - here is our problem - takes forever and doesn't last that long since he'll be up again in about 1-2 hours). So, the new routine is as follows: bath, pj's, 2 books and milk, snuggle for a couple of minutes with lights on, snuggle for a couple of minutes with lights off and say "night-night" and walk out. We are telling him what is happening and what happens next at each stage, since he really understands what we are saying. We are checking in on him every 5-10-15 minutes if he is really crying. If he seems like he's going off to sleep, but just crying a bit - we leave him.

Saturday night was the first night and it took 30-40 minutes of crying for him to fall asleep. Much better than I expected. He woke up at 2AM, but only cried for 5 minutes. He woke up at 6:45AM and that was fine. We just got up.

What is really a role reversal is that Lance is the one who's having a hard time with it. I'm not. I'm committed and fully think this will help all of us. We have to sleep better, all of us. Alex, Lance and myself. I know it's tough to hear your baby cry, but we are giving it the good ol' college try. If after, 3 weeks it's not working then we'll try something else. Lance was the one who originally wanted him to sleep in his crib, now he wants to have him sleep with us. He was the one who wanted to sleep train him at 4 months old, I wasn't ready. But, I guess looking back - Lance wanted ME to do it. He followed my lead and he is following it today. It's still tough to hear your baby's voice cry for long periods (part of the reason I couldn't do it at 4 months since my hormones were sky high and I was sending my kid to daycare AND starting back to work - a little much don't you think?). The crying is the most difficult thing to listen too, especially when you can't swoop him up in your arms and make everything better.

But, life is tough. Life isn't always fair. Life is pain and suffering sometimes. And we all get through it. We WILL make it through this and we will all be sleeping much more in the future.


becky said...

Amen Sister! We got a toddler bed from my sister a couple of weekes ago and it has been great, Alli loves it and is sleeping (and napping) in it! She loves her big girl bed and often goes and sits on it or watches a movie on it. It is, however, in our room so now comes the big switch to her room...To be continued