Monday, July 13, 2009

Sleep Training

For the last few nights, Ethan, Eli and I have been doing sleep training. That means none of us have been getting very much sleep! I have been reading and re-reading the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. It has been a real help to guide us along this really hard road. He focuses on healthy sleep:
1. Sleep duration
2. Naps
3. Sleep consolidation
4. Sleep schedule
We have started to see some big improvements! Ethan is now sleeping in his crib for all his naps and at night time. We decided to go "cold turkey" with him. I started by trying it only at night but the first night he ended back in bed with us by 4am. But for the past 2 days he has had his schedule of:
Wake at 7am
In bed napping by 9am for at least -1-1 1/2 hour
Awake for 2 hours
In bed napping by 1 for at least 1-1 1/2 hour
Awake for 2-3 hours
In bed napping between 3-5 for at least 1 hour--Can be a shorter nap but should be at least 1 hour
Then we do our bed time routine: Eat solid food, bath, book, nurse, bed
The last one is the hardest. He really fights it because he is so tired. As he starts taking his naps better then he won't be as tired for the bed time and it should get easier and he should go to sleep quicker.
I think the main point of the book is that sleep is learned and if your child doesn't learn how to put himself to sleep and stay asleep for a good amount of time then he will have sleep problems all his life.
Eli and I both loved him sleeping with us. But it was really hard on me during the day because he would not sleep unless I was right next to him. I would even try to slip out after he was asleep but he would wake within a few minutes. He would also stay awake really late at night, sometimes till around midnight. If I wanted him asleep earlier then that I would have to go to bed with him. At my age, I don't think I should have to be in bed while it is still light outside! I also don't think he was getting enough sleep. He would get really grumpy around 5pm everyday and it was a fight until I nursed him to sleep and was with him for the rest of the night in bed.
I think this is the hardest thing we have done as parents so far. You can ask Eli, I have not been the nicest person the last few days. But I'm doing much better now!
Ethan is doing well with it all. He is smiling when I go to get him from his naps. His first nap this morning, he woke up and started playing in his crib instead of crying!
I recommend this book highly to all parents.

3 comments:

Brandy said...

i could probably learn a thing or 2 considering grayson only sleeps in our bed if I'm next to him.

Holly Wilson said...

I was dead-set against Emma sleeping with us for various reasons, including that I did not want her to only sleep if we were next to her, but she ended up sleeping with us anyway. While we were at the hospital or the second time, she only got to get out of the crib with the bili-lights to nurse, and it didn't take her long to discover that if she was nursing, I would hold her. After we got home, she tried to nurse for 4 1/2 hours. Every time she would fall asleep I would lay her back down and she would wake up screaming within 5 minutes and nothing would calm her besides nursing. So I finally laid her next to me instead of in her bassinet and she slept 4 hours. The best laid plans of mice and men...

Anonymous said...

I am so glad all is working out with Ethan and you wonderful parents!! It is a joy to see your children being good, healthy parents. Ethan is a lucky little boy to have you both.
JeeJee
p.s. good looking green suit!

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