January 22, 2011

Sleep Training

I'm not a fan of the term "cry it out", as I'm sure not many are. I'm also not a fan of "sleep training" either for some reason. But, that's what's been going on around this house for about a week.

Actually, we were not planning on doing this, it just kind of happened.

Cooper has always been such a good sleeper. In the past, we've never had any issues with him going to sleep. However, we have pretty much always rocked him to sleep. Mostly because I like to rock my baby, and he would let me. And it worked and he didn't freak if we laid him down or later on if he woke up he wasn't like "where ARE you?!"

THEN, week before last happened. He started taking FOR.EV.ER to fall asleep rocking, then would fuss if you laid him down. On that Thursday, he simply would NOT sleep unless I was holding/rocking him. He would cry and cry. Plus, he had been waking up so often in the middle of the night, for his pacifier or whatever. That was so annoying. We would get up about 5 times a night just to turn him over and put his pacifier in. And by 'we', I mean 'me' So that Friday, when he started doing the same thing again as I was trying to get him to sleep, I just decided that Cooper needed to learn to fall asleep on his own.

So, I laid him in his bed, told him I love him and that it was time for night night, and left the room. Now, we HAVE done this once before, for 2 nights. The first night, he only whined around for about 20 minutes, so that's what I was expecting this time. Uh...no. He cried, a lot, and really hard towards the end, for FORTY FIVE minutes. That was hard. I went in in increasing intervals. 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15. Never more than 15. And those of us that have had to do this know, 5 minutes feels like 5 hours. So hard. The first night, I don't even know if I made it to 5 minutes the first time. But, he finally fell asleep. And you know what? Not a PEEP until the next morning, at SIX! That's late for our little man, usually it's 5am. And no middle of the night pacifier hunts!

Night two he cried for 25 minutes, but he cried harder that time :( But, slept again until 6am with nothing in between.

So, by night 3, I was really hoping that the trend would continue. And as I was about to go in after 8 minutes? Nothing. He was out before I even went in the first time! I was so happy! And he barely cried that time. Then, about 20 minutes later, he started screaming. I was so confused about what to do. I just started the interval thing again, but then as I would be ready to go in, he would be quiet. Then a few minutes later, screaming again. :( I was wishing I had someone to tell me what to do. Really, that night was the hardest. Because he was literally screaming. Finally, I went in and picked him up. And he still was screaming, Then I realized that this was something he has done a couple of times before. No one, including the dr really knows what's going on. (Because the first time he did this, a looong time ago, it was for a super long time and nothing would calm him so we called the dr) Dr's best guess is night terrors, which sounds so sad! Anyway, basically you have to wake him up, because he really is still sleeping, eyes closed and everything. It really is sad :( So after I got him woken up and sat with him for a couple minutes, I put him back down and he fell right asleep and slept all night.

I was worried that, because of night 3 and the fact that I picked him up, night 4 would basically be like starting all over again, but he did really good. I think I had to go in once, and that was it.

And you know what, nights 5 and beyond? He doesn't even make a peep! Just falls right asleep! And sleeps all night! It's so crazy. Naptime too! I just lay him down and he goes to sleep! Sometime he does roll around for a while and make some noise, but who falls asleep immediately anyway? It takes me a while, so obviously it will for babies too. The thing that I was surprised about is that it has helped him sleep DURING the night, not just the way he falls asleep. It's so nice not to have to stumble around looking for a pacifier at 2am in the dark. Especially when his new favorite game is "throw my pacifier out of my crib" and it can be anywhere in his room.

Lee was out of town when I did all of this. And, honestly, it was better that way, because he is NOT a fan of sleep training, and that's why we didn't continue the first time. But, he isn't the one that puts Coop to bed at night, so of course he wasn't as worried about it. I thought that he would surely be mad at me, but now that he's seen how much better Cooper is sleeping in general, I think I brought him over to my side. :)


Perfectly Imperfect said...

Oh girl. I could have written this post. BG has been such an excellent sleeper for so long, but somehow we recently had to buckle down and get her on track. She was getting used to being rocked and was taking full advantage of that. Then, if she started crying, Mr. P would always go get her and bring her back out to us and rock her. No good. So a couple of weeks ago, I picked a week that Mr. P worked late all week and I buckled down. I did increments (but longer ones since I read that at this age they will get even madder if you leave them) and it took a good three nights of some hard core screaming, but it worked. She now goes to bed and nap time while she is still wide awake. And she puts herself to sleep. Amazingly, it's actually bought us an extra hour of sleep each morning! We never had the paci issue thankfully, but I'm so glad it sounds like all has worked out.

Longest comment ever. Sorry!

Lindsey said...

I am thinking we need to do this.. ugh! I should have done this over Christmas break but we were dealing with other issues then and it was not a good time. Does he sleep on his belly or back? Connor is a belly sleeper so that is why I think he wouldn't be able to put himself to sleep. He gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth.

Thoughts? Would it work for a belly sleeper? Honestly, It only takes two minutes to rock him to sleep... it takes me ten minutes to put him down. I just love staring at him!

Sarah said...

Yay Cooper (and Mommy too!)!!! We had to do the same thing with Ava at around 6 months. Well, she was never a good sleeper before that! Ha!

Meredith said...

Thanks so much for your comment, Ashley. :) That is crazy what happened with your giveaway--I had no idea it'd gotten that out of hand with some people!

Re. this post, I don't have much to offer. But, I can tell you that Cooper is adorable and that counts for something, right? :)

Ashley @ KiwisandCocktails said...

I need to bookmark this post :)
The night terror thing made me sad though!! I had no idea little babies could have night terrors! Poor guy! Glad you and him are both sleeping better now :)

katandkarl said...

You know what this post makes me miss? A CRIB. Nate was such an easy crib sleeper - just plop him in, no tears... done. The 'big child bed' - not so much!

Additionally, I have to tell you that Nate has had a night terror (just one) and it was seriously the worst experience of my life and we were on the verge of the ER when he stopped.

jv726 said...

I'm too need to bookmark this post for future reference!! Thanks for sharing...I am sure it will be helpful for me eventually. I am glad he started sleeping for you, and I hope his night terrors don't come back. Poor little dude!

Quinn said...

Quick question - would you put the paci back in when you would go back in? I have a 4.5 month old who is always up during the night when she loses her paci!! Thanks!