Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rocking/Singing/No Cry/Cry it Out/Co-sleeping and Everything Else: Part IV

Greater difficulties began in the middle of December and got progressively worse until the 2nd week of January. Ty began resisting our traditional methods of rocking him to sleep. He struggled in the cradle hold, and he'd wake up immediately when being put down in the crib. By the beginning of January it was taking 45 minutes to an hour get him down, and he cried, kicked, scratched and flailed for much of that. 

December 18th, 2013
It was a very difficult night with Ty. He's only had about 40 minutes of sleep in the past 5 hours. I lost control a few times. I had to take a couple breaks and let him cry. I felt helpless. I got down on my knees and prayed for patience. God reminded me how much I love this boy, and I calmed him and myself down by hugging him and holding him chest to chest. It still took some time, but I felt so much better and he's sleeping now. The power of prayer is amazing!

December 27th, 2013 
And Tyler's decided he won't be put down now except by being held on his tummy and swayed while walking. I'm exhausted after 90 minutes of trying to get him down. I yelled at him several times which made me feel bad. I apologized and committed not to yell at him again.

Ty was beginning to spit up less, so I thought about committing to cry it out at this time. But one of the things I'd read was that if you decide to do cry it out, you can't nurse your baby to sleep anymore. You have to be consistent so the child doesn't get mixed messages. If he falls asleep while nursing, you're encouraged to wake him up so he can consistently put himself down. Nursing Ty to sleep at nighttime was great bonding time for us, and usually helped him sleep through most of the night. If I was super tired, we had some lovely nights that we'd both fall asleep while he nursed on the recliner. Those precious moments weren't something I was willing to deprive us both of.

December 28th, 2013
What a refreshing morning! Fell asleep with Ty in the recliner at 8:30pm, I put him down and then was briefly awake from 11:45om-1:00am, I slept until Ty got up at 6, then slept again when Ty went down for a 90 minute morning nap.

January 1st, 2014
Now this is just getting ridiculous. We were at my sister's Lord of the Rings marathon party, and at bedtime I took Ty up to Hana's room to rock him to sleep in her banana chair. The lights were off and we had the white noise on my from IPad, so it was about as close to imitating his bedtime routine as I could get. He did nothing but scream, scratch, and kick for 20 minutes while being held, rocked, and sung to. If I'd had a crib, I would have left him to cry it out. Why bother rocking him if he's still going to make just as much of a fuss? He eventually fell asleep and I put him down in his car seat, but he woke up when a little girl bumped his seat while running across the room. We drove home while he spent another 20 minutes crying before falling back asleep on the drive.

January 3rd, 2014
Ty needed to be put down 7 times for nap yesterday and 4 times plus co-sleeping during the night. Come Monday we're starting sleep training again.

January 4th, 2014
It was the hour of coughing that never needed to all started with wanting to check on Tyler and unintentionally waking him up with the tiniest touch on his diapered bum. I don't know how I can sleep train him if he has a coughing fit like this one. He woke up coughing for 20 minutes straight with no end in sight. I decided to nurse him so he had something to do with his throat that wasn't coughing. After he fell asleep nursing, I put him in his crib, and he woke right up and started coughing again. I was so upset I had to go run to my room to jump up and down. I couldn't calm him in his crib so I took him out and held him super tight. Fortunately the coughing only lasted about a minute and he's now in his crib asleep.

On January 5th we decided to commit to cry it out sleep training, and after months of failure, it finally worked. Within a few days, Ty started sleeping at least 11 hours at night and getting 3 nice long naps each day. It was wonderful! I suddenly had a ton more free time now that he was sleeping more, and I didn't have to spend so much time helping him fall and stay asleep. But the benefits were even greater for Ty. He started sleeping a LOT more than he ever had before, and thus he was happier throughout the day and woke up in the morning feeling energized and refreshed. 

By that point it was taking ridiculous amounts of time and effort to get Ty to sleep, plus most of the time we rocked and held him, he was crying in our arms. I remember once reading a no-cry advocate's comments on a cry-it-out forum "you people are cruel. I'll rock your baby since obviously you can't be bothered to." Oh if only it'd been so simple! I longed to only do only no-cry methods. I hated hearing my child crying miserably. But by 7.5 months he cried just as miserably in my arms while I was rocking him as he did if I left him in the crib. If all it took was a little rocking, soothing, and loving to get my boy to sleep through the night, I would have gladly continued doing so and never even bothered with cry it out. As it was, though, I knew some serious action needed to be taken. It was draining all 3 of us, and I asked myself "what if Ty weren't my only child? What if he had a 2 year old brother? I couldn't just leave that child on his own while I went into a dark room for an undetermined, extended amount of time multiple times a day." There had to be a better way. 

On the 1st day we resorted to crying it out, I was trying to put Ty down for a 6pm nap. After 45 minutes of flailing and crying himself to sleep while being rocked in my arms, he woke up as soon as I put him in the crib. I was exhausted and upset, and I didn't think it would do any good to pick him up again. He was determined to cry, so we let him cry. It was killer! We'd go in and check on him in 5 minute intervals, and after an hour he fell asleep for the night. I hadn't given him his nighttime nursing session, but there was no way I was going to wake him up for it. He had a coughing fit in the middle of the night (though he remained asleep), and I did nurse him to help the coughing stop, but the rest of the night went swimmingly. I wrote about it on the Sleep Lady's wall since I wasn't sure what to expect at that point. I'd never had any success with it before.

January 6th, 2014
We started sleep training again last night for the 6th or 7th time and saw our first real success! All previous attempts had enough lack of results to convince me he wasn't ready yet. This time he cried for an hour with us going in to comfort him in intervals, 2 hours later cried for about 6 minutes with only one comfort after 3 minutes, then cried again 7 hours later but self soothed before we even got to him. I do have a couple questions though. It started at 7pm, he fell asleep by 8, and he had his most recent wake up crying at 5:30am. How do we know when the night is over since 8pm-5:30am would have been a decent amount of rest for a 7 and 1/2 month old? Fortunately he self soothed and made it easy for us, but at what point do I stop sleep training and know he's awake?

Also, what do I do for naps? Naps are much worse than nighttime sleep when it comes to falling asleep without rocking. Any attempts in the past to use the shuffle during the daytime were fruitless, plus he'd spit up all over himself and the crib. He'll cry for well over an hour, and by then it's time for him to eat again, he's spat up so much I'm sure he's hungry again, and I don't know whether to feed him or rock him to sleep since he's so exhausted. Is it okay to rock him to sleep during the day but do the shuffle at night until nighttime has become consistent?

The sleep coach responded that I should keep sleep training him until 6:00am, and that I was free to rock him to sleep for naps. She warned, though, that there would come a point that I'd need to sleep train him for naps too. I'd know because my traditional methods of helping him fall asleep would stop working. She was right, and unfortunately it happened the very next day. I so wanted to rock him to sleep during the day and only do CIO at night, but it wasn't meant to be.

Things didn't go perfectly from there on out, but they were considerably better than before. For awhile he slept great, then struggled, then slept great again. The nice thing was he would occasionally fall asleep nursing, and it didn't stop him from being able to put himself to sleep on his own at other times, so I didn't have to entirely give up nighttime bonding with my baby. 

Although the sleep training books recommend waking him if he falls asleep nursing, I never do. I don't see a good reason to wake up and upset a happily sleeping baby unless he's becoming too dependent on you to get him to fall asleep. Fortunately Ty doesn't nurse to sleep consistently enough to turn it into his sleep crutch. He'll only fall asleep nursing before bedtime about 50% of the time, and only about 75% of that time does he stay asleep when put down in the crib. Most of the time he's put to bed for the night, he still has to do some self soothing in order to fall asleep in the crib, and if he wakes up in the middle of the night after falling asleep nursing, he self soothes back to sleep. Why should I deny him the occasional pleasure of falling asleep nursing if it's not preventing him from being able to put himself to sleep on his own?

January 7th, 2014
Ty's doing better with CIO than we ever expected.

January 8th, 2014
CIO is soooo hard, but it's giving Ty such fantastic sleep. I just ache to hear him cry, but the fact that our old methods don't work anymore makes it easier to bear. It's not like I can just say "I can't take it anymore" and run in to rock him to sleep.

January 9th, 2014
Ty had a rough night. He woke up much more often than usual. Between 3am and 4am he woke up multiple times in succession, so I gave him his feeding a little early and let him fall asleep on me in the recliner. I hope I didn't mess up the sleep training. 

His naps went great! He cried of course, but the nursing didn't throw him off and he's still falling asleep on his own.

He put himself to sleep for his 2nd nap with only a minute or so of crying.

Janurary 11th, 2014
Now this is a new development. Ty wouldn't nurse to sleep at bedtime, so I had to put him in his crib completely awake. He basically talked himself to sleep with only a few short cries here and there. He woke up an hour later but self soothed with only one time needing to check on him.

January 14th, 2014
We've finally resorted to intervallic cry it out with Ty since the old methods of nursing, rocking, and singing him to sleep have simply stopped working. Even co-sleeping, the swing, the car, and the stroller are considerably less effective. He wasn't ready for it before 7 months, but he is now. The fabulous news is his nighttime sleep is fantastic. He falls asleep quickly and sleeps 12 hours straight sometimes, but the naps need some work. Yesterday he only got 3 naps of 30 minutes a piece after crying for at least 30 minutes before falling asleep (one he cried for 90 minutes!). Today I covered the blinds with a sheet, and both naps so far it took him less than 3 minutes to fall asleep. Yes! He just needed the darkness to convince him it was sleepy time. I vastly prefer my baby sleep with as little crying as possible.

Singing will help calm him when he's fussy now, but it no longer puts him to sleep. I still sing to him to get him ready for nap/bedtime, and then if there's crying, I sing a verse of the same song while I go into him and pat him on the back for about a minute. I go in at 3 minutes, then 5, then 10, then 15. So far it's only twice gone longer than that, and most typical is just the 3 and the 5 before he'll sleep. Sometimes it makes him more upset to see us than if we'd just let him cry, but I feel better knowing he knows he's not been abandoned. He at least knows we hear him and still love him. I'm much more okay with him crying because he's not getting his way than crying because he feels we've deserted him.

January 15th, 2014
After tons of crying, I let Ty fall asleep nursing. Even if it sets him back a bit, which I doubt, I wanted him to have a peaceful sleep.

January 17th, 2014
I'm feeling like a horrible mom. I let Ty cry it out the other night because I thought he was tired. It turns out he was just hungry. I didn't think he could be since I'd just nursed him, but I figured out today that I don't produce as much milk as he'd like around 5 in the evening. He started getting fussy after nursing again today,so I gave him solids, and he's perfectly happy. This is one of the detriments of cry it out. It's much more difficult to determine now when he's just fussing himself to sleep verses when he has a genuine need I should take care of.
(later that night)
I love how good Tyler is doing at self-soothing! Even when he wakes up and sees me he falls back asleep quickly.

January 18th, 2014
Hoorah! Right to sleep in the crib without any crying! This was after about 30 minutes of crying for the previous nap.

After lots of tummy sleeping, Ty now seems to enjoy being on his back again.

January 21st, 2014
Ty's been an early riser lately and crabby throughout the day, so I gave him a 7:20pm bedtime since supposedly sleep begets sleep. We'll see...
And he woke at 4am. Still crying at 4:48am...
Fell back asleep until 7:30ish
Attempting nap now at 9:08am  

I asked for advice again on the sleep lady's wall. I'd heard that naps would regulate themselves once the nighttime sleep regulated itself, but it never happened for Ty (not even now that he's been sleeping through the night for over 4 months).

Janurary 25th, 2014
My baby's nights are wonderful now that he's finally responding well to sleep training (7:00pm - 7:30pm bedtime and waking up between 6:30am and 8:00am), but his naps are still very inconsistent. He can sleep tiny 20 minute naps or nice long 2 hour naps, but I have no idea what I'm going to get come nap time. He puts himself down with only 1 or 2 checks, but once he's up, there's no hope to get him back down. He'll cry for an hour without falling back asleep, and by then he's exhausted from not getting enough nap, and it's also time to feed him. How can I help encourage him to take longer naps?

On the other hand, sometimes he takes excellent naps. Today he had two 90 minute naps and is just waking from a 45 minute nap. The problem is, sometimes a long nap is his final nap and it messes with his bedtime. He'll wake up around 6:00pm, so I have a hard time putting him down for bedtime at 7pm. I end up having to put him down around 8:30pm, but then he wakes up around 4:30am or 5:00am. If his last nap is too long, should I wake him? What's too late and too long for that final nap to be? If I should wake him, should I still do so if his previous naps were super short?

A sleep coach responded with a couple follow up questions about how long he'd been sleep training and how old he was. Unfortunately I never got an answer to my questions since the sleep coach was switched out before she got back to me, so we've just had to deal with the random napping without knowing what we're "supposed" to do. He gets much longer chunks now, but it's still not a consistent nap time I can count on. 

Nights were generally good in late January, but there were still occasional times that he simply fought his own sleepiness. He'd wake up, fall back asleep, and re-wake shortly afterwards multiple times for up to 2 hours. It seemed like nothing, though, after what we went through from months 4 through 7.

January 27th, 2014
I love the rare occasion Ty falls asleep nursing now, but then he seems crabby for the rest of the night. He gets upset when he wakes up and realizes we're no longer holding him, but he will fall back asleep eventually.

January 28th, 2014
Since Ty's not feeling well and wasn't squirming around like crazy, I rocked him to sleep. It was lovely! I've missed it so much! He fussed initially when I put him in his crib but sleep overtook him immediately.

January 30th, 2014
Crabby baby today! He's completely uninterested in solids and is fighting being left in his crib. He's slept a ton but still seems constantly tired. Letting him play with the pacifier seems to have just stimulated him.

Note to self - don't put Tyler to bed with a toy that could fall out of the crib! He fussed for 70 minutes and only slept for 20!

February 3rd, 2014
Major Ty tantrum at 2:00am. Barely even calmed when I caved in and rocked him. He
cried for an hour, slept for 15 minutes, been crying for another 1/2 hour since...

February 6th, 2014
I don't know that letting Tyler cry for 40 minutes is helpful just because he's woken up an hour early. I'm going to get him up soon.

February 7th, 2014
Enjoyed rocking Ty to sleep after he'd had a very crabby day. I hope he's okay.

We took a trip down to southern California from February 9th through the 18th. He actually slept more consistently there than he did at home. He was willing to get his morning and late afternoon naps in the stroller or car, but he insisted on having a nice long 2 to 2.5 hour nap in the pack and play during the middle of the day. As wonderful as it is to have a baby who sleeps a lot, one of the detriments of sleep training is that now he struggles to sleep anywhere but a crib. This makes leaving the house rather difficult, and going to a 3 hour block of church followed by choir practice an hour later means Sundays aren't exactly a day of rest for Tyler.

March 9th, 2014
Everyone's complaining about one less hour of sleep tonight, but Ty slept in 45 minutes more than yesterday and went to bed an hour earlier than yesterday, so I got extra sleep.

March 13th, 2014
How did my baby already adjust to the time change? I was hoping the time change would push bedtime back to 8:00pm since Oscar gets off at 7:00pm. It'd be nice if he could play with Tyler and help me with the bedtime routine, but every day since Sunday Ty's pushed up his bedtime earlier and earlier. 

My mom told me when my brother and I were babies, she only put us down for one nap each day. A friend of mine who works in a daycare also says her 12-18 month old babies only get one nap each day. Even now at nearly 12 months, Tyler would never last on one nap a day. He has a hard time staying awake more than 2 and 1/2 hours at a time, and he struggles to stay awake more than 90 minutes in the morning unless he slept in a little extra at night. Now if he gets a great nap of at least 90 minutes he can stay awake for about 3 hours before another nap, but he'll be screaming for sleep if we push it back any longer than that. This is why I end up staying home so much. I sometimes have to bring a pack and play with me if I want to visit anyone. Taking him out of the house can be more trouble than it's worth. The flight to southern California was killer on him because he won't sleep well without darkness and without a crib. He got so worked up he gave himself a fever.  

March 16th, 2014
12 and 1/2 hours of sleep for Tyler today!

March 16th, 2014
Taking a nap on one of the pews during Sunday School

March 21st, 2014
I had a bizarre dream that Tyler crawled into a 300 degree oven, curled up, and fell asleep. My only thought was "it's only 300 degrees. It's not like he's broiling! But now I have to put him in new pajamas since those ones are all dirty!"

I just walked in to find Tyler had pulled his crib mobile down and was taking it apart while sucking on his socks.

March 24th, 2014
I usually go and check on Ty at night just before I go to bed, using only the light from the hallway to see him with. I was a little alarmed when I first walked in and couldn't find him, but on closer inspection, he was curled up in the corner.

March 26th, 2014
And this is why I rarely leave the house...Now that Ty can put himself down, usually in 5 minutes or less, he sleeps a ton. He'll get 11-12 hours at night and 3 good naps during the day. It's difficult for him to stay awake longer than 2 and 1/2 hours at a time. Today Oscar and I had an eye appointment, and Ty only got a 30 minute nap in the car. I put him down for his 2nd nap 50 minutes ago, and he's still up there making noise. Not full out crying, just whining and groaning. He loves his sleep and gets overstimulated incredibly easily. It's easier for me to stay at home and have a happy baby getting tons of sleep than to leave the house and have an unhappy, tired baby the rest of the day. I don't think I'll have this option whenever we have more kids. Hopefully any future babies will be able to be taken out and about without it completely messing with them.
Every once in awhile we'd have a weird day that he'd be too inconsolable to put himself to sleep.

March 27th, 2014
Yesterday I put Ty to bed awake. He made no noise so I checked on him only to find him playing with his crib mobile. He gave me a beaming smile as I said goodnight and left. I thought he would scream, but he still made no noise and 5 minutes later was asleep. Today I put him to bed awake, and he became completely hysterical. After 25 minutes I went up, held him, calmed him, and nursed him to sleep. Oh the inconsistency!

April 6th, 2014 
If we keep Ty awake too long between naps, he goes into this overstimulated, deliriously happy state where everything is super funny. The detriment is that once he's gotten to this point, it then takes him 20-30 minutes to put himself to sleep, but sometimes it's worth it for the awesome giggle fest.

And this is the type of day we get if we don't let him get the amount of sleep he's gotten used to.

April 11th, 2014
This is why I rarely leave the house and hesitate to make plans unless I know someone's going to be home with Ty. As wonderful as it is that Ty can put himself to bed now, if you mess with his nap, you're gonna pay for it. I had to take the car to pick up my Zaycon order when he needed his 2nd nap. He'll normally sleep for about 90 minutes, but I only had a set hour window to pick up the order, so I couldn't just wait until the nap was over. He got 15 minutes of sleep in the car, cried for 50 minutes when I took him up to his crib (he'd woken up as soon as the car turned off), and has been miserable all day since then. He fought the next nap for 30 minutes, slept less than that, and was constantly, horribly grumpy all day long. Now he's been screaming for over 90 minutes after waking up in the middle of the night. Nursing, rocking, singing, patting, everything has been tried. He calms, but he won't fall back asleep, and as soon as we stop, he's screaming again. This is what always happens when he doesn't get naps when and where he wants them. I'm not complaining or asking for advice. Most of the time he puts himself to sleep easily, including middle of the night wakings, and when he can get at least one good long middle of the day nap in a crib or pack and play, he's delightful. I only mention this if you ever wonder why I always ask people to come here instead of going to them, or why I rarely make appointments when Oscar's not home, or why I do my visiting teaching by calling and saying "can I come over right now?" I'm only trying to avoid days/nights like this.

April 17th, 2014
He put himself to sleep first, but it was a random terrible night for Tyler. He woke at 4:45am crying for nearly an hour. I nursed him and he cried some more until Oscar got up with him at 6:40am. It's 8:20am and he still hasn't fallen back to sleep.

Tyler ended up in the hospital with bronchiolitis while we were down in Portland on April 23rd. Helping him sleep that night was even worse than the difficulty we had during the 4 month sleep regression. They had to keep an oxygen feeder taped to his face, which he kept trying to pull off, and they had to keep a sensor attached to his toe, which limited his mobility in the hospital crib. We didn't have the option of letting him put himself to sleep because he'd step all over the sensor, which would make the alarms go off on the monitor. They only had room for one person to sleep near him, and since they wanted me to breastfeed him as much as possible to help calm him after his respiratory treatments, I was there all night with him. I didn't want Oscar to stay since he wouldn't have had anywhere to sleep, so it was all me all night long constantly battling to get him to sleep. Rocking my 24 pound wiggly boy to sleep was next to impossible. Eventually he'd fall asleep, so I'd get him in the crib, pull up the sides, and just get down onto my bed right when he'd wake up and start stomping around on the sensor. I only got about 2 hours of sleep plus the occasional 10 minute interval. Even if he did go down successfully, he'd roll over and the oxygen feeder would fall out of his nose. In attempting to put it back in with the nurse, it woke him up, and I had to rock him back to sleep again. He only had very short intervals of sleep that night, and I had even less. He did once roll and stay asleep without knocking the feeder out, which is how I got my two hour interval, but he still woke up a lot. It freaked him out to wake up and find himself in an unfamiliar place with the oxygen feeder taped to his face and the sensor pulling on his toe when he'd move. I tried to stand behind a curtain and let him cry it out, but he got the wire from the sensor wrapped about his ankle and I had to stop it from cutting off his circulation. It was an awful, awful night! After he was discharged, he got a little nap in the car on the drive back, but then screamed for nearly 2 hours. Once we got him back home, Oscar got him to sleep in his arms, but then he woke up when he was put down in the crib. Fortunately, though, he was back in familiar territory and wasn't restrained by wires, so he put himself to sleep in a couple of minutes.

April 26th, 2014
Oh it's nice to have my Tyler back home sleeping soundly and breathing comfortably in his crib. 

May 6th, 2014
Ty slept in 90 minutes (12.5 hours for the night) and is now at almost 2 hours for his nap. Not sure what to do with this...
He fought the 2nd nap for about 20 minutes but is snoozing now
Turns out he has a stomach bug. Lots of puking and diarrhea. That explains the extra sleep!

May 9th, 2014 
Ty fought the 3rd nap today for nearly an hour. We're trying to transition him down to 2 naps, but because he has a hard time staying awake very long between naps, it's hard to do if either one of those first two naps is shorter than 90 minutes. If I let him get up instead of taking the 3rd nap, he wants bedtime at around 5:30pm.

May 14th, 2014
Ty's started having night terrors. For the past two nights he's woken up screaming after 4 hours of sleep. Yesterday Oscar took 30 minutes rocking him back to sleep. He woke and screamed when Oscar put him back in the crib, but it wasn't long before sleep overtook him. Last night I held him for about 7 minutes, then put him back in the crib. He was still screaming bloody murder, so I did a modified version of the Tracy Hogg method. I wouldn't take him out of the crib, but since he was standing in the crib, I hugged and held him and hummed "I Love to See the Temple" for about a minute. I left and came back in every couple of minutes until he became "the little engine that couldn't." Like crying it out in January, this is another testament that just because a method didn't work for your baby once doesn't mean it won't work later on.

May 15th, 2014
Ty woke up from his night terror later than usual (after 7 hours of sleep). I held him for 5 minutes, then put him back in the crib. I only had to come back to comfort him in the crib once.

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