2 nights of sleep training is enough to make anyone consider a Michael Jackson-style dangle or to jump out the window themselves. Our little precious had taken to the very naughty habit of waking all night. We think it was in an attempt to replace her dummy that had fallen out for the millionth time. At least that’s what we were doing to help her fall back asleep – plug her with that amazing silicone soother. After much reading and consulting with my bestie back in Vancouver (thanks Lis!), we decided to start
dog sleep training. I strongly dislike the name “sleep training.” Let’s call it “putting yourself to sleep encouragement (PYSE).” Phil and I have been dead set against the cry it out methods, however, some crying seems inevitable. If you have a magic trick, please let us know. We read all the books – The No-Cry Sleep Solution (thanks Marci!), Dr. Sears, Attachment Parenting. We landed on The Baby Whisperer and thought it was the best option between crying it out and being a dummy inserter until she’s 18.
Night 1: Phil endured 2.5 hours of picking up our sweet little girl and letting her know that we’re right here and putting her back into her bed. I honestly don’t know how he managed to keep at it not knowing if it would ever work. Finally, she passed out most likely out of sheer exhaustion. Phil pretty much had a nervous breakdown, which left me worrying about both of them that night. To listen to your baby cry is what I imagine being tortured would be like. And my superhero husband would not let me interject and help him. But she slept for 6.5 hours straight without anything to help her! And only fed once that night. So we were left with enough ammunition (jeez – lots of army type references) to soldier on with the PYSE.
Day 1: Oh yes, don’t forget about naps. Those are almost worst because you will never get a 6.5 hour stretch out of a nap after all your hard labour. She is a catnapper, which means we did this 5 times yesterday. It took between 10-30 minutes to get her down each time to literally see her smiling face 35 minutes later. Thankfully she’s still smiling at us; otherwise, I would assume we have done irreparable damage to her psychological well being. I joke, but we have seriously questioned whether this is the right thing to do.
Night 2: She was asleep by 6pm after 35 minutes of Phil reassuring her it was alright to go to sleep without her dummy or feeding. I actually went out for a run during that time and cleared my head in preparation for the week ahead while Phil is at work. Throughout the night, she woke up 3 times to feed, but fell back asleep in her cot. However, I had to keep getting up to adjust her, since she is still rolling over and making all sorts of noise.
Day 2: Well, the day has just started. She is currently asleep and having her longest unassisted nap ever – over 1.5 hours so far – after taking 30 minutes to get her down.
Being a parent involves so many difficult decisions and choices, but I think this has been our most challenging. We so want to be loving and caring and snuggly with her and this feels so much the opposite. I guess being a parent doesn’t always mean doing the easy thing, but doing what you know will be best for everyone in the family in the long term. I shared this mostly because I want to remember what we went through and also to get your encouragement back. Right now we need a little support, so I am asking directly for that help. I wish our parents were here to give us a big hug and maybe an hours reprieve. Luckily, my dad will be here on Wednesday! Thank God! Sorry Dad for starting PYSE right before you get here, and I’m so glad you’re coming!
I hope 2 weeks from now I can look back on this and say, “That was definitely worth it.” I’m a little terrified that our new routine will put an end to my enjoyable days out of the house, since the best place for her to learn to sleep is in her cot and there is no consistency in her nap times. I have a debate in my head that I can’t seem to figure out which is the best way to go. I have made some really great friends and really love being out with Keira and she loves seeing the other babies and having a change of scenery. I don’t have the answer to this one yet.