Tuesday, July 23, 2013

54 Minutes

***This post is mostly for my memories, and to share with Archer someday when he is a daddy and dealing with his child's sleep training!***

We started our sleep training journey with Archer tonight. He is 7 months now and we felt it was time. Past time, really. We have been co-sleeping (or "attachment parenting" for those hip, well-read parents) since he was born. It was more a survival technique than a choice. Around the time of his birth, we had a lot happen in our family that was emotionally and physically exhausting. We had some serious health issues with some family members just prior to his birth, then two days after his birth, Cole's mom and step-dad were in a near fatal car accident. Then Christmas. Then Ava started school shortly after the new year. Things were just chaotic and life was in a bit of an upheaval. So we let him co-sleep and nurse on demand. And nursing became his sleep prop. For those who aren't down with the lingo, a "sleep prop" is exactly what it sounds like- something they need to sleep. So needless to say, the past 7 months (and really, before that, too, since I was huge and pregnant) have not been the best for sleep.

Archer is a sweet happy baby. Unless he is not getting his way. And let me tell you, being in his crib is NOT his way! The boy hates his crib! But we just decided that was tough. He was going to have to learn to sleep there. We had been researching several sleep methods. I had read a few books when Ava was a baby but never really "followed" any one method. She turned out to be my easy baby! We talked to friends, polled facebook, read reviews...

In the end, there are really two main types of sleep training- Cry It Out (CIO) and Limited Cry ("No Cry"). The difference is obvious. One involves a lot of tears, the other not as many. There are a lot of parents who SWEAR by one method or another. Me? I think each child is different and therefore there probably isn't one method that works for every kid. I think you just have to know your child well enough to know what will work for them. When it came to Archer, we decided that a CIO method would work best. After polling facebook, a friend turned me onto Sleep Sense. It was the most concise and logical I have come across- after all, when you haven't had a full night's sleep in over 7 months, who has the energy to read a big fat book!?!?! Sleep Sense, much like nearly ALL sleep training methods, advocates a calming, quiet bedtime routine. Since Archer HATES bath time with a passion, our bedtime routine for him is this: diaper change, massage with lavender baby lotion, pjs, reading time, nursing/rocking, laying down while still awake but drowsy.

CIO just seemed to be the right fit for Archer, for several reasons:

1. His Age: At 7 months, Archer is in the prime age range for CIO according to sleep sense. His separation anxiety isn't in full swing yet, and he is old enough to self-soothe and learn to be content in his crib.

2. His Size: At over 20lbs, Archer is plenty big enough to sleep through the night without jeopardizing his health.

3. His Personality: Archer is stubborn. I mean STUBBORN. It is bad. And I have no idea where he gets it (wink wink). Because of this, I knew that any method that had a parent attempting to sit with the baby or rub backs, etc. would only make him angry. I know that with Archer (unlike Ava), the band aid is best being ripped off. Ava likes things slow. She liked to know that mommy was there and had me rub her back or shush her back to sleep. Archer- that kind of thing just makes him "dog slobberin' mad." So I knew that the Sleep Sense method of a good bedtime routine then CIO would be the best fit.

And so far, so good. It took him 54 minutes. He cried almost solid for 54 minutes before falling asleep. The average for the program is 45 minutes on the first night, so we didn't do too badly. My money was on 1 hour 35 minutes. So he did a LOT better than I expected!


Lauren said...

Hi five to all the Brewers involved! Y'all hang in there. This parenting thing is hard. It's much harder with poor sleep. (Trust me, I know!)