Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Operation: Sleep For God's Sake

Apparently I'm the only one in the house ready for sleep training. Well, I could potentially put the dogs on that list too, but really they're more complacent on the topic.

But Michael, The Bean and the cat (yes, the cat - he's a better hippie than me as he's a big supporter of co-sleeping) are far more skeptical about my attempts to instill Operation: Sleep For God's Sake.

This was going to take a lot of work. Up until now, The Bean has been (1) sleeping in the Pack-n-Play in our bedroom exclusively; (2) soothing via binky or feeding with help from me or Michael; and (3) not sleeping through the night.

I appointed myself Dictator of Sleeping about a week ago. For starters, Michael is a giant soft touch when it comes to matters involving The Bean. His general go-to response with her is 'Make It Stop Crying Right Now I Don't Care What It Takes.' Also, his sense of urgency around Operation: Sleep For God's Sake is far less pronounced than my own. Mainly because he's not the one waking up to soothe The Bean back to sleep.

Like any good dictator, I made up all my own rules for sleep training. Armed with minutes of internet research and a previously unproven intuition on such matters, I went into battle. Knowing I would need Michael's support to make my sleep training efforts succeed, I mapped out our plan: Do what I tell you to do.

The Battle of "Hey That Wasn't So Bad" - Day One
After our usual bedtime routine, The Bean started to drift to sleep in my arms. I waited until she was conked out to put her in the crib. [Why yes, I ignored all the advice telling me to put her in her crib when she's drowsy. Advice was intended to be ignored. When I put her down too soon, she gets all cocaine eyeball-y at me and then it takes another 5 hours to get her to sleep.]

She slept until 3 AM. I consider 8 hours of sleep a wild success. So when she started to fuss, I happily retrieved her and put her back in the Pack-n-Play because why be traumatic on the first night of sleep training? She's actually slept in her crib! In her room! For a long period of time!

The Battle of "You're Fired" - Day Two
The second night of sleep training was not so smooth. After about 20 minutes, The Bean started her fussing. As Dictator of Sleeping, I instructed Michael very carefully: "You are to go in there and not say a word. See if the binky has fallen out of her mouth and if so, so just pop it back in without talking to her - she'll fall right back asleep."

He marched off, the good soldier, and opened the door to the nursery, "Hi Baby! What are you fussing about?"


He called for reinforcements, "Babe, she looks really freaked out."

From Dictator to Mother in .4 seconds flat.

Day Two ended in an aborted mission. And Michael is no longer involved in sleep training [perhaps part of his greater master plan...touche, my friend].

The Battle of "Maybe I Can Make This Work" - Days Three through Six
3 AM became the magic time. The Bean would go down (most nights) without trouble, but at 3 AM she would wake up. 3 AM is a really inconvenient time to implement a sleep training routine. One's resolve to let an infant Cry It Out disappears when you could also just pop into the guest bedroom next to the nursery and lie down in bed together and GET SLEEP.

The Battle of "I Hate You 3 AM. Die. Die. Die." - Day Today
In an effort to not let 3 AM be the new black, I decided that if sleep training at 3 AM is what it takes, so be it.

3 AM struck and The Bean was awake. I went into her room and without speaking to her we do a quick feeding, change her diaper and get her back in the crib.

By 3:30 I was ready to throw in the towel. Maybe she just isn't ready for sleep training. She was not having any of this go back to sleep in the crib business. Not when the guest room was right.over.there.

So, I picked her up...

And she fell asleep nearly immediately, so I put her back in the crib. This is new! This is good! This doesn't last...

She wakes up at 4 AM...but I don't pick her up this time. Just put her binky in, adjust the blanket and stroke her head...she bought it!

We repeat at 5 AM. 5 minutes ago. She's still in her crib and back asleep...

Dictator of Sleeping is advancing. Stubborn infants beware.


Missy said...

How old is she?

Mrs. D-Zo said...

A little over 5 months (so I know I need to have patience, but we are very much at the "mama may lose her mind, if we don't have you sleeping in another room" mode).

Funsucker Extraordinaire said...

You are so much braver than I. At 4 years old, our youngest still climbs into our bed around 3am.

Masshole Mommy said...

LOL! You are a brave woman. Both of my boys went into their cribs in their own rooms from day one. I slept in their rooms until they were sleeping through the night, which thankfully was around 12 weeks for both of them. I know I hit the lottery with TWO good sleepers, but my little man is making up for it now. He's 4 and up at least once almost every night for one thing or another. Even if he has to pee, he can't just get up and do it - he has to wake me up to tell me.

Venassa said...

The part about cocaine eyeballs? I laughed out loud at that one, scaring my two month old who was in my arms eating. I have been there so many times. Curse the cocaine eyeballs. I wish you luck with the rest of your sleep training. I don't look forward to it myself, but I know it must be done.