Tales from the Diaper Bag

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream. . .of More Sleep

I didn’t think we’d be doing sleep training until the baby was 3 months old but the last several weeks have been ROUGH.  She’s not sleeping as well as she did when she was 3-6 weeks old and moreover, she’s miserable. She has been screaming for hours during the night and in the morning she’s a cranky and sleepy baby.  Last Thursday when she screamed non-stop from 8:30 until 4 AM (and no, we were not letting her cry it out or Ferberizing her) we surrendered. We decided to find a sleep training method and try it. We had to get this situation under control because it’s all taking its toll.

The lack of sleep is making me wacky. I forget common words like “coffee” or “door.”  I call everyone by my daughter’s name. . . my friends, my mom, the cat.  Last Thursday I put on my husband’s jeans. . .and didn’t notice the difference. That’s how out of it I was. And then there’s my poor husband. I’m still on maternity leave, so at least I don’t have to put on a suit do any deep thinking after a night spent walking to halls with the baby. My husband . . yikes. The poor guy is getting less sleep than a long distance trucker hopped up on No-Doze.  I don’t know how he’s doing it.

So we hired a sleep consultant (more to follow on that) and bought a new baby sleep book:  Good Night, Sleep Tight.  Essentially, you put the baby down “drowsy, but awake” and sit next to her crib and help her fall asleep in the cribby patting her stomach, telling her she’s ok, etc. but you absolutely DO NOT PICK HER UP OUT OF THE CRIB. Unless she’s completely flipping out, the goal is to help sooth her to sleep in the crib. After a few nights, you move your chair to the middle of the room. Then the door of the nursery. Then outside the nursery, etc. 

We have always rocked our baby asleep, so this is a rough adjustment. We’ve only been doing this for a couple of days, but she’s still  annoyed that we don’t pick her up (and tells us so) and we itch for the times when 20 minutes of rocking soothed her to sleep and let us go back to bed. . .alas, this is probably better for us in the long run. Certainly if she’s able to get herself back to sleep, she won’t cry out in the middle of the night as much.  

Ultimate goal: 8-10 hours of solid sleep. For the baby and for us.  A girl can dream, can’t she? (well, she used to. . when she got REM sleep)


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