Thursday, December 2, 2010

No! Sleep! Til Brooklyn!

So, sleep training. Yikes, y'all. It sort of works. Mostly. The pediatrician gave me some pointers and suggestions at the 2-month check-up, advised that sleep habits become ingrained around 2 months, and so we started over the Thanksgiving holiday. First, we had to get him to eat a little more during the day and skip a feeding at night. Oh, that was fun. He did not respond to our logic and pleas and shushes and made-up silly songs and just wound up passing out from exhaustion after an hour or two. Fun times, for all. But it worked! He went for almost 6 hours without a feeding that first night, although only about two-thirds of that time was comprised of sleep. The second night, he slept from 8PM until about 2AM, which gave me my first major oh-mah-gawd-what-time-is-it-why-didn't-the-baby-wake-me-yet-is-he-still-alive-in-there moment. He's also stretching his second waking/feeding of the night out to around 3-4 hours after the first, so I am effectively getting up once a night (around 2AM) and then again around 5-5:30AM, ostensibly for the day. Although, in my sleep-deprived and poor-decision-making state, I usually try to cram another hour of poor-quality sleep in after the 5AM-ish feeding and that typically just leaves me feeling groggy and mildly annoyed that I didn't use the time to pump, finish laundry, make coffee, read the interwebs, or shower. Whatevs. I'm tired, yo.

We've had our share of setbacks even in the past week, and I'm confident there are more to come. I have to be careful to ensure Jackson nurses enough during the day so he won't be hungry when he goes to bed. Skipping that nighttime feeding means we have to work it in somewhere else. We've had a FAIL on this once already, when he woke up at midnight and I held a pacifier in his mouth for almost an hour, watching him suck on it greedily and wide awake, before concluding that feeding him off-schedule would be preferable to holding the binky in place for another hour to stay on schedule, ferchristsakes. And we've had a couple of mornings that began at 4AM-ish, which makes for a long day. But so far, KB and I declare the sleep training a preliminary success AND without any cry-it-out kind of torture. I'm not prepared to hang a banner on a battleship or anything, but we're feeling good about our progress.

So here's the problem: daytime naps, location of. The only place I can get Jackson to fall asleep and STAY asleep for a decent length of time (say, between half an hour to an hour and a half, ideally) is in a swing. That is, other than laying on me, which is his absolute preference any day, tiny hands down. My dilemma is this: he starts daycare at a Montessori school in a few weeks and they don't use swings and bouncers and whatnot. It's part of their philosophy of teaching, that kids should interact with and learn from each other, including older kids and adults, rather than be placed in confining/stationary "toys." (The principal actually told me that she thinks "positive peer pressure" may encourage Jackson to sleep in a crib -- serious? I hope my 3-month-old doesn't end up smoking behind the bleachers from all this infantile peer pressure that apparently influences babies.) Personally, I'm fine with the swing (he also has a musical playmat, a musical mobile, a jumperoo, etc., etc. that we'll use at home). But I like the gestalt of the Montessori classroom, so here we are. Must. teach. boy. to. nap. in. crib.

To all of you with baby-sleep experience of any kind (including babysitting, reading books, consulting Dr. Google, etc.) -- how can I encourage Jackson to sleep in his crib (or a bassinet, I'm not picky) for daytime naps instead of the swing? It seems obvious he doesn't require being held to sleep, although the swinging probably helps a lot, but when he's groggy or even fast asleep and I lay him down in the bassinet or the crib, he wails. And will NOT go back to sleep (or stop raging) until I pick him up. And I doubt this routine will work well in daycare, and frankly is not that awesome at home.

O, People of the Internets, Dear Bloggy Friends -- help?!?


Lauren said...

I've got nothing. It just kind of happened with my son. He was like yours for awhile where he would wail as soon as he hit the mattress, but I kept trying and it just eventually took.

I assume you're swaddling, so he's not startling himself awake... I tried hats so his head would feel snugger (didn't work for us). My aunt used to place her kids' heads in the corner of the crib (against bumper pads) for the same reason. She said it worked like a charm. Made them feel like they were in the womb. I never did that, but now, at 8 1/2 months, my son sleeps on his tummy with his head pressed up into the corner of his crib.

Go figure.

kdactyl said...

I was a nanny for several years and now have two children of my just 2 weeks old...I am back into the world of sleep training and it is a tough thing. I actually start sleep training my babies from day the exact same way your Dr. recommended. I make sure we get enough feedings in during the day so that the calorie needs at night are not so great. When they are super young I don't force a missed feeding...I let them feed on demand during the night, but I do make sure we never go more than 3 hours during the day between feedings and then by around 2 months...they usually drop a feeding all on their own. That is how it worked with my son...and my new baby is already showing signs of being awake more during the day and eating more and sleeping longer stretches at night. We typically get 3-4 hour sleeps in between her feeds.

Naps, however, is also where I struggled...with my nanny kids and with my own kids. It took a good 4 months for my son to even nap consistently (more than 30-45 minutes at a time) just seems they go thru so much rapid change from newborn to 4 months that you can't really expect that 2 naps a day pattern to really fall into place before that. I belong to a community of moms and we all have found this to be pretty much true. There is the occasional mom who gets the killer sleeper...but for the most part, it is tough to really establish a good nap routine before about 4 months. And in the crib/bassinet...well...he just needs to spend some time there and know they are happy start putting him there to watch his mobile while awake or just a few minutes here and there during the day. He will eventually do just fine once they become familiar, safe places. It just takes time. BUT>...I do say...don't stress yourself out your final few weeks of leave trying to get him to do all these things...he will fall into his own routine at daycare relatively quickly. My son was a great napper and sleeper when he went to daycare and it was such a new environment that all my hard work really didnt' do anything to make his transition any easier....he still had to get use to it and his napping habits totally sucked the first few I say...just enjoy being home with him for the next few weeks....concentrate on the night time sleep the most as you will need that in place to be able to go back to work and let the daycare professionals do the nap training....they really are quite good at it.


Esperanza said...

Check out my post from this Tuesday, about the sleep seminar I went to. The part about the "sleep sanctuary" really helped my daughter. Maybe that will help.

Good luck!


Trinity said...

No real insight here. Just wanted to express my outright jealousy that your Montessori takes infants, lucky duck. The youngest ours will accept is 2.5yo. Sigh.

I really appreciate all of the juicy info in your post, though. I'm cramming it all into my rapidly-depleting brain.

bunny said...

I say if the daycare has plans about his sleeping location, THEY can be the ones to deal with the repercussions. As long as you don't mind being the mother with the horrible screaming child. Or, alternately, I like the idea that you assume he'll be disrupted by the tradition no matter what. You can tell them he sleeps like a dream in his crib at HOME.

As someone with no experience at all, it looks to me like you're making awesome progress on the training! When you start working again, will you be able to schedule in a day time nap? 'Cause that would be awesome.

JB said...

Other important details: we swaddle at night and use all-night white noise, but I am hesitant to use either during the day for fear of confusing day and night routines, and also because I doubt they'll use white noise in daycare (for fear of disrupting other kids' sleep habits). He can startle awake and fall back asleep in my arms or in his swing, so I'm not sure if swaddling is necessary in the daytime anyway. For ladies with or expecting behbehs: get the Kidappotamus cheater-swaddlers or swaddler sleepsacks (with velcro). For realz, you can change a diaper in the dark without undoing the swaddle.

I do NOT like cry-it-out methods, but I am okay with (and the pediatrician endorsed) letting him fuss or cry a little (not the pathetic oh-mah-gawd-I'm-dying-monkey-death-shriek kind) for up to 10 minutes at a time, then go try to soothe him, and keep trying a few times until it either works or you pick him up because it didn't. The problem is, so far it rarely works. Boo.

I may have to let the daycare ladies work this out and just do whatever they do on the weekends to keep it consistent. They may end up holding him for naps for a while. Ugh. I so don't want him to be *that* kid. Hopefully it's something they deal with enough that it's not remarkable to them.

ASP said...

No insight here either, but like Trin, this is a great post for those of us getting ready to have a behbeh (fingers crossed) in the house soon. Thanks for info!!