The FIRST NIGHT of following The Sleep Lady’s Good Night Sleep Tight book by Kim West was last night. See post Good Night, Sleep Tight: Intro of What’s to Come to read about why and what we’ll be doing.
Husband is probably the key-player as he is now the one who’ll be getting up in the middle of the night. At least until Liam disassociates me with boob/soothing to get back to sleep. As promised, the first three nights are supposed to be the worst. Ms. West continues directions to follow for a couple of weeks, but the first three nights are the most important.
I nurse Liam about half an hour before we plan to have him in the crib then we follow the old bedtime routine we did before. Pajamas, noise-machine turned on and books read. In the past we would have done those things first and then I would have nursed Liam until he fell asleep. This time, after Liam’s favorite Peek-a-boo books, Husband comes up to take over.
Husband moves the rocking chair next to the crib and I leave the room around 7:30-7:45 pm.
At 8:10 I still hear crying.
At 8:36 I still hear crying.
At 9:03 I can’t hear crying, but I haven’t seen Husband yet.
At 9:09 I hear crying again and the guilt starts gnawing at me. Should I go up and save both of them?? Should we cave? Is this not working??
At 9:20 Husband comes downstairs, victorious!
I ask him to tell me what it was like, what did Liam do? How did Husband respond to everything? Did he cheat at all? (Remember, the #1 rule is DON’T TAKE THEM OUT OF THE CRIB, EVER!!…or, you know, until morning…which is specified by time in the book.)
So Husband says that just like we suspected would happen, Liam jumped to standing. This was our greatest concern because we weren’t exactly confident with how he would respond to the suggestions in the book for getting him back to laying position. Husband kept laying him back down and rubbing his back and shushing, like the book says. Liam kept getting back up. And then, the boy who hadn’t pooped for a few days (thank you solid foods), let it all out. Husband thinks he did it on purpose. And Husband knew that he was supposed to keep the lights off and was trying to change the massive poop-out in the dark, by the glow of his cell phone. Hubs even had the book in the nursery with him and tried to refer to it by cell phone light as well. Way to stick to the regiment, Hubs! He said that you are actually supposed to change the baby in the crib, but that there was no way he was going to be able to do that without poo getting everywhere, so he took him out for the diaper change. I’m fine with his modification.
After Liam got put back in the crib and continued his screaming for a total of about an hour or so, he tried a different tactic; standing up and wiggling his finger at Husband through the crib rails, enticing Daddy to play with him. Husband sat in the rocking chair trying not to laugh and trying to make sure he wasn’t stimulating Liam. This must have been the break in crying that I noticed from downstairs.
When Liam realized Daddy wasn’t going to play he started walking around his crib, checking out the mechanics of his jail. Tinkering unobtrusively for his prison break. Husband said it was like the scene in Jurassic Park where the people are hiding in a room and they think they are safe because the Velociraptor can’t know how to open the door…until the knob begins to turn…
So, finally Liam gave up when he became so sleepy he was wobbling on his feet. Mind you, this was after about an hour and a half or so. He succumbed to sitting down, taking the pacifier, and then falling asleep. On his own.
Great, right?! But it’s not a sleep miracle, and Ms. West did not promise any miracles on Night 1. Here’s the following sleep times:
- slept from about 9:30-12:30. Husband got up, went in to rub his back, and it took about half an hour for Liam to soothe himself back to sleep.
- slept from 1-3. Same soothing techniques and about the same amount of time for husband to be in there.
- slept from 3:30-4:30. This time it only took about 10 minutes for Liam to get himself back to sleep (with Husband in the room).
- slept from 4:40-5:30. Again, took about 10 minutes to get back down. I had a quick bout of anxiety at this time, wondering if I should feed him (or get my butt up and pump). However, the book had said that you don’t want them to get into a bad habit of getting up too early and to try to leave them in the crib until at least 6 a.m. So, we decided whenever he got up again would be “morning time.”
- slept from 5:45-6:45. At this point I got up, got him out of the crib, nursed him, and brought him downstairs to start our day. Considering I get up at 5:15 now for work, this wasn’t so bad.
It may seem like Liam got up a lot, especially if you’re comparing it to your own baby, but this is his usual schedule and right now the focus is getting him to learn to soothe himself. I hope he can do this after the 3 day mark…although I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a bit longer since he’s older and has some solid bad habits. When he learns to soothe himself he should be able to sleep longer because he’ll get himself back to sleep during awakening times in his sleep cycle. And the great news was that he did soothe himself every time! We were terrified that it would be so horrible that we’d cave and take him out of the crib.
The last thing I want to add to First Night is how napping went today. The Sleep Lady (Kim West) also discusses napping and gives a general idea of a schedule that you could plan for. Liam had a horrible napping day. He started showing signs of being tired around 8:30. By 9 a.m. Husband brought him up to do the techniques for napping. Liam didn’t fall asleep until 10:10 and only slept until 10:40. I went up and tried my hand at the routine.
I hugged him, reaching inside the crib. I rubbed his back and massaged his shoulders while he was standing, crying. I laid him down on his back, tried to give him his pacifier and his lovey blanket. I did this over and over again until he fell back asleep at 11:10, sleeping 20 more minutes.
When afternoon nap came around, again he wouldn’t give in for over an hour, but was clearly exhausted. I went in to relieve Husband (even though the book says for parents to try not to switch places because it could stimulate the baby to see a new person) but it didn’t take long for the same techniques to work for me. Again, he only slept for about half an hour, I had to go up and do it all again, but he went back to sleep within a couple of minutes; sleeping for about an hour this time…but it was about 4:30-5:30…later than we had wanted him to be napping.
While I’m typing this Husband is working on Night 2!
…to be continued…