Monday, June 11, 2012

Phase One of Sleep Training Meghan.

I interrupt the video backlog posts to bring you news of Meghan's first phase of sleep training. Over the last few weeks, many signs have pointed to the fact that I am simply falling apart under the strain of sleep deprivation. Day to day I feel okay, but my ability to focus on something, or switch tasks quickly or multi-task is abysmal. So after an unexpected cancellation we found ourselves with a free weekend to devote to Meghan's first phase of sleep training. Having done this with Colin (at 15 months) we wanted to use the same routine, phase one- putting herself to sleep, phase two- nap time, phase three- overnights. Meghan's "good nights" consist of three wake ups (11/12, 2/3, 4/5), where she nurses back to sleep generally in about 5 minutes but is up for the day around 5:30. Meghan is a much different nurser than Colin was so I have always suspected that she takes in a large portion of her daily calories overnight, when she is focused on nursing (yes, for her 5 minutes is a long nursing session!)  I have hesitated to take those feedings away from her, hoping she would eventually eat more during the day and not need to eat overnight (ha!). Anyway, the time had come. Her normal bedtime routine looks like this:
Bath
Brush teeth
Pajamas
Nurse
Read Books
Get held/walked/sometimes nurse again
Go to sleep
Placed in crib
After re-reading the book Sleeping Through the Night we decided that I would go about her normal bedtime routine, but stop with her nursing session and then pass her off to Sean for books. This would break her association with me holding or nursing her again and hopefully lead to less resistance for a new routine. Sean read her books and then kissed her goodnight and left. I was expecting a big fight from her but night one she cried for 8 minutes, night two is was maybe 30 seconds, and night three (tonight) I only heard a mild protest that lasted less than 10 seconds. I was honestly very worried about how Colin would react to her crying while we "ignored her" but it was mostly a non-issue because she didn't cry that long and with the baseball game on he was distracted enough that he didn't really notice.
So far, overnight she has been a little odd. The number of night wakings is the same but at that last wake up around 3 she does not want to be put down. That is very unusual for her as she isn't really big on cuddling while sleeping. So while I was hoping for better sleep I've gotten worse...it is still early yet though so we'll see. Next week we will train her naps, I don't really think that will be much of a problem at all. Then after that goes well, we will work out the plan for overnight...that is a little trickier as Colin is in the room with her I'm not sure how long I can let her cry without waking him up..generally she doesn't wake him up at all so I'm hoping that trend continues. We will be trying out Colin's first sleepover at a friends house soon so hopefully that will be the night we start overnight training.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow sounds like it is going great. Nolan was never "sleep trained" but at 21 months he finally got the clue that nothing fun happens at our house after 8pm. I am so nervous when #2 comes because our house is so small and he wakes so easily so I may need to read some sleep books to train both of them. -Elaine