Sleep-Training Fail. Now What?Naomi Odes
Remember last week when I asked if you could “Half Sleep Train?” Turns out the answer is yes, and no.
After we went to the pediatrician a week ago, we took it upon ourselves to try it out. We compiled a combination of our pediatrician’s suggestions, some commenter’s suggestions and our own gut instinct and decided to power through the three plus days of sleep training. Let me give you a round-up of the last six nights at my house.
Our hard and fast rules were:
1. He gets put to bed awake or partially awake in the crib at initial bedtime around 7pm.
2. We go to him and comfort him in the crib but DO NOT PICK HIM UP until the feeding.
3. He gets fed once between the hours of midnight and four a.m. and not before.
4. After the feeding we will put him back in the crib, but if he puts up a real fight, he can come into the bed with T.
We didn’t make any real rules about cosleeping after 4am but we did decide it would be better for me to be out of the room for that 12-4am period.. It would be a lot easier to smell me and really want to eat. So, I retreated to the guest room for that period- although I could hear him perfectly well from there so it’s not like I had a vacation or anything.
Here were the results:
Night 1: Fuzz cries for 40 minutes upon initial bedtime. We took turns comforting him every five minutes. It was hard. He woke up 2 or 3 times before midnight and cried then too. That stank. But, he went back to bed both times relatively quickly. He woke up at around 12:30 and I fed him, then again at 3am. That was a tough one. Lots of crying then. T brought him into the bed , and ‘fathered him down’ to use a Dr. Sears term and he went back to sleep until 6. Not an easy night, but not so bad considering.
Night 2: Again, he cries for 40 minutes (I thought it was supposed to be easier the second night), but then proceeds to sleep right until 3am! I feed him, he goes back to sleep until 6!! YAHOO! This is easy! (Right?)
Night 3: Fuzz goes RIGHT to sleep at bedtime. He wakes up at midnight. I feed him then (since it was within the rules). Big mistake. He wakes up at 3am and FREAKS OUT when I don’t feed him. He ends up crying for a full hour and will not go back to sleep, until I feed him.
Night 4: At this point we’re supposedly in the clear, right? Wrong. Here’s where things start to take a real turn for the worse. Fuzz gets another cold. Yes, he’s been healthy and snot-free for almost a month, but I guess he figured out we were trying to sleep-train him and has taken it upon himself to do whatever is necessary to sabotage the situation. He’s a smart baby.
As you might have guessed, he has a ton of trouble sleeping due to his stuffed up nose. Most rules get broken this night because we feel so bad for him.
Night 5: My parents come to town so the guest room is occupied, thereby making my midnight escape plan null and void- unless I go sleep with the Shnook- which I do on occasion. (You see, sleep training was supposed to be done by the time they got here). Fuzzball’s cold continues, and his waking increases. Being in the room with him crying is totally unbearable. He’s sick and we feel the need to comfort him so most rules get broken again. Sleep takes a serious down-turn.
Night 6: Oh my goodness I think this is the worst night of sleep I have had since I had children and I am not even kidding. First, he refuses to sleep in the crib after his initial wake-up. I comfort him and suck out the snots, but the second he hits the mattress there is a full voice scream that is not for the faint of heart. After several of those, we bring him in the bed where he proceeds to pretend it’s 12pm instead of 12am for forty-five minutes, complete with rolling acrobatics, happy yelling, mouth raspberries, mommy and daddy hair-pulling and nose grabbing, smiles, feet in our face, etc. He pulled out all the stops. I tried nursing him to sleep but it didn’t work. IT DIDN’T WORK!!
We finally gave up and put him back in the crib. We were met with extreme discontent. EXTREME. This is when I left the room and went sleep with the Shnook- who sat up in the dark with a puzzled look on his face. I imagine he was thinking “Who is this? Mommy or Daddy?”
Somehow through the screaming, I was able to fall asleep, for a very short period of time. Seriously, the Fuzz has some powerful lungs and was NOT going to give up. What to do? He won’t sleep in the crib, he won’t sleep out of the crib.
Finally, I cannot take it anymore. I go back into the room where the screaming is continuing. T is in the bed snoring with his head covered by a pillow. Seriously???Seriously!!
Some angry phrases shoot out of my mouth in my husband’s direction. I pick up the livid Fuzzball. I nurse, I suck out the snots with the fabu Nose Frieda, check his diaper, check his temperature, (both were fine) and attempt to put him back in the crib. Not having it. NOT HAVING IT. He screams for another amount of time that I refuse to admit on the internet for fear of being flamed.
T wakes up and brings him in the bed and he finally falls asleep on his chest for a couple of hours. He wakes up at 5 again, I de-snot again and nurse him on and off until about 7:30 AM when he falls asleep for a solid hour and then at 8:30 was all smiles ready for action.
Geez, I’m tired. I do believe we are worse off than before we started. Where do we go from here?