So the time has come to try to get Noey falling asleep on his own without me rocking him to sleep. The doc mentioned at his appt on Monday that we really need to break the habit now otherwise he’ll be a bear to deal with later. My problem is – I LOVE LOVE LOVE when he falls asleep on my chest. I love staring at his little squishy face and smelling his hair as he sleeps. And I hate to hear him fuss or cry. But alas, unless I want to be rocking my 3 year old to sleep, this has to happen at some point and I suppose now is as good a time as any!
Now, I’m not a cry it out fan – AT ALL! Like I said before, I can’t stand to hear him fuss or cry but the only way we were going to get on this self soothing train is to allow some fussing and potentially a little crying -yikes! I don’t subscribe to any one particular sleep training method, but rather I’ve found something that seems to be working for us. A little Ferber, a little Weissbluth, a lot of mommy kloep:) Now, we just started this three days ago but it seems to be working!
First, I’m very aware of how much sleep he’s had for the day and will adjust his bed time accordingly to make sure he gets at least 12 hours of sleep (preferably 13 or 14 hours). Second, as he gets home from daycare (or throughout the days on the weekends), I’m watching for his sleep queues. It’s pretty much a given that they start to show up within an hour or so of being home or within 2 – 3 hours of him being awake. For naps, we simply head off to a quiet spot and I’ll hum to him until he starts to nod off. Then it’s down on a blanket or in his crib if that’s near. For bed time, we start with a set bedtime routine as soon as he starts to show sleepy signs so he knows it’s time to wind down. We’ll have a bath, a gentle conversation or song while getting him dressed, a bottle or a story (depending on if he needs the bottle) and then it’s into the crib.
Since I can’t stand to hear him cry my method was to let him fuss all he wanted but if he started to wail, I’d rescue him, rock him until he stopped and put him back down. Rinse and repeat. The first night it took a while to get him to sleep. He was pretty tired and probably had fallen over the “over tired” wall which meant he fought me tooth and nail! I had to rescue him twice and he fussed for another 30 min before finally nodding off. Night two only had one rescue and 10 min of fussing. Last night no rescue or fussing AND he slept clear from 7:05pm until 6:30am! A first in this house (even though I was up at 3 and 5 to check on him).
Plus, we tried it for his nap this AM and he fussed for about 20 min (with some crying that I couldn’t get to because I was in the shower) and then was out. I felt bad having to wake him to go to daycare – he was so soundly asleep. Another benefit of this is that when he does wake up, he’s more able to put himself back to sleep. I heard him up once last night but after about 2 min of fussing and rustling (probably burying his face in the mattress) he was back asleep. Normally we’d have to go in and rock him again!
So, I can’t say for sure if this is the ticket but so far it seems to be working!