Monday, August 31, 2009

Sleep Traning

R and I bit the bullet and started sleep training last week. We had tried the No Cry Sleep Solution, which after night two I was calling the No Sleep Everyone Cries Solution, it lasted till the middle of night 4 when I gave in BF him till he was asleep and then went to sleep myself. I just could not do it and the fact that the book tells you it could take weeks and even months to work made me okay with stopping.

Bitting the bullet and Ferbering was HARD but in the end it was the best thing for us and Riley. Why did I finally decide to Ferber (method of sleep training)?
1) I have done it before, and while I know it sucks. It also WORKS!
2) Riley's sleep was getting worse again. And by worse I mean that 6-8 times a night he would get up for any where from 15minutes to an hour and half.
3) He slept longer than 2 hours one night and I dreamed I was being arrested for shaking my son to death. I then ran into his room and cried over him for a good 20 minutes till R came in and got me back into bed.
4) Lack of sleep was now effecting not just me and Riley but also R's job.
5) Timing. Riley is 8 almost 9 months letting him cry isn't as big of a deal as when he was 5 or 6 months. I was/am also ready to night wean. I also knew if we waited much longer it would be even harder because he would be learning new skills.

I can honestly say that when we started Ferber I was ready, I was scared as hell but I also knew something had to change. People kept telling me that it would get better but Riley showed no signs of that happening and like I said things were getting worse. I know that while I was still doing a lot of second guessing the first day by night fall I had decided we had to at least give this a try. R and I committed to a week and no more than 3 hours of Riley crying in a row. Traditional Ferber would have you let them cry all night as long as you keep going in, both of us were not okay with that.

I kept a log of our nights here is how they went:

Night 1:

It all went very well given how hard I thought it was going to be. He showed sleepy signs a little early yesterday so we put him down at 6:40 he didn't cry hard at first but about 10 minutes in he screamed like holy hell. I found it easier to go in with R than not to because then I could see that he was okay. We spent the time he cried watching TV so that we could not hear him all that much. It took him 50 minutes to go to sleep.

He then woke twice last night. Once at 11pm and once at 3am. Again we went into the living room and watched TV because our bedroom is next to his and no matter what we could hear him crying in there. It took him 40 minutes the first time and 30 the second for him to fall asleep.. For these only R went in. We figured this was best since we were trying to night wean as well. Riley woke this am at 5:50 only 10 minutes before his "normal" wake up. We decided to let it slide and just bring him into bed for his am feeding. I couldn't believe how much he was slurping down! He still only took one side, but that side was FULL since I hadn't feed all night.

I realize things are likely to get worse tonight or tomorrow before they get a lot better but I now know at least a little of what to expect. I feel really good about it. I didn't cry at all over him crying. I let R handle going in and stayed out of the way, big step for me. I only wanted to cave once and it was brief, he had just gotten to what we thought was asleep when he let out this pitiful yell and then was quite. I feel ready to do it again tonight, knowing that we really have made the best choice for Riley.

Question: When you go in... what do you do? Do you just check on him and leave, does he see you?

We debated a lot about what to do when we go in. For us we pick up ONLY if he is standing. We do this because a) if he is standing then he is still very much awake and b) he still has trouble getting down some times. We always say "We love you" and then that we know he is frustrated and tired, that we know this is hard for him but he needs to learn how to go to sleep. Then "It is time for sleep. We love you, good night" and we leave. He tends to scream a little more right when we leave but he calms down. Since we are also night weaning I only went in when we put him down the first time. For the rest DH went in. I could tell this was hard on him but he did GREAT and I made sure to tell him so a lot. If he is laying down or sitting down then we stroke his head or pat his bottom, both things I do when I nursed to sleep. I figured the soothed him before so they should be soothing now too, at least I hope so. As for when we go in tonight we did 3 minutes then 7 then 12, going in every 12 till he is asleep.

Night 2:
Tonight we went in at 4 then 8 then 12 this will be what we do from here on out.

As I thought night 2 was harder, not really from a physical standpoint but from an emotional one. First it took me till 10:30 last night to get to sleep, which is only late compared to the time I had been going to bed (8pm).

It took Riley only 15 minutes to go to bed last night! He did still cry but not as hard. He still got up at 11 and then once again it took him a very short period of time to get to sleep about 20 minutes. At 2 he woke again but this time it was a 1/2 hour to get back to sleep and he cried harder than the other two times. This was by far hardest on me. My breasts are full and I just wanted to make sure he was okay but I knew if I did it would make things worse. Plus while R was amazing the first night, last night I could tell he resented having to be the one to go in. I hate that he feels that way. However I don't think he realizes how much I let him sleep when I was BFing and up 7, 8 or even 9 times a night. I don't know what to do about him feeling this way. I am not going to be able to go in to soothe for at least the next week.

Night 3
It took him 15 minutes to go to sleep, he didn't cry all the time but did off and on. I must admit to thinking this would be the worst night. I figured the shoe would drop any second. When he woke at 8:25 after going down at 7 I figured "here we go" but when R went in he saw that he was asleep and crying from trying to roll over and hitting his head on the crib. He moved him from the corner to the middle of the crib and in less than a minute Riley was once again asleep. Riley woke up once more that night and cried for under 30 minutes before he went back to sleep.

Like the night before R was the only one to go in and he kept the same intervals as night two 4, 8, and 12.

Night 4:
Had two wake ups and each time cried for about 20 minutes.

Night 5:
STTN! Yep you read that right he fucking slept from 7pm till 5:50 am.

Night 6-10:
These nights we had only one wake up and it between 4-5am. It sucks that he still cries for a long time (20-50) but each night he cries less, and when I put him down at night he goes right to sleep no tears at all.

Has it been worth it? Yes. If he had only been getting up twice a night then I would say no but I was getting so little sleep some nights it was as if I hadn't slept at all. It still hurts like hell to listen to him cry but where I was before we ferbered was at the end of a rope about to hang myself. For our family this was the right choice no matter how much I hated the idea of it.

Long Term Effects: I am still worried about this. Riley's temper has gotten worse. When he wants the boob he means NOW! It breaks my heart that he thinks I won't give it to him but after all isn't that what we are doing at night? It still hurts though and I am sure to have a bunch of mommy guilt over this for years and years to come.

If you have Q's about something I didn't cover leave it in a comment I will be happy to clarify.

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