One Week Update
Naps – Method
Before: nurse to sleep, fall asleep in car
Now: wrap her in a fuzzy blanket and hold her laying down for a minute or two (so she gets in the zone), place her in crib
Baby – 0, Mommy – 1
Naps – Duration
Before: 1 hour – 2 1/2 hours
Now: 1/2 hour (with rare exceptions)
Baby – 1, Mommy – 1
Naps – Frequency
Before: 1 (with rare exceptions)
Now: 2 (absolutely no exceptions)
Baby – 1, Mommy – 2
Her nap cries started last week at an hour, with a half an hour nap almost everytime. After seven days of training, she’s down to ten minutes (and sometimes less!) of crying, but still only a half an hour of naptime, with the exception of this afternoon’s nap, which was an hour and a half for some reason. While the length of naps leave something to be desired, the way she goes down and the frequency is a huge improvement. I think we’re well on our way.
Night Sleep – Method
Before: nurse to sleep, hold her for a couple of hours, gently place in crib as to not wake her
Now: nurse, place in crib
Baby – 1, Mommy – 3
Night Sleep – Wakings
Before: between 2 wakings and waking every hour
Now: two or three wakings
Baby – 2, Mommy – 4 (we’ll call this one a draw – while it is an improvement from some nights, it isn’t an overall Mommy Win)
Night Sleep – Returning to Sleep
Baby – 3, Mommy – 4
Night Sleep – Duration (time in bed)
Before: ~ 10:00 pm until 9:30 am
Now: 8:00 pm until 7:30 am
Baby – 3, Mommy – 5
Overall, I seem to be winning. Having my evenings free is enormous; I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be able to lay down on the couch for the first time in eight months. Really excited. And to be able to watch tv with the lights on? Luxurious.
The length of the naps is dreadful and something that I hope will improve when she completely gets a hang of putting herself back to sleep, but I’ve been very consistent and insistent about having two scheduled naps in a crib or playpen, not in a car seat or stroller or in my arms.
I’ve also been strict about going cry it out, full force. It has been devastating at times for me. Knowing that Avery could be sweet and sound, snuggled in my arms, fast asleep, but instead I’m listening to her scream and cry by herself in her crib. It was awful and I felt like the worst mother ever letting my daughter cry like that. But I knew that if I went in to soothe her, we would be starting all over again, negating any crying she had already done. I suppose this means I’m doing full-on Ferberizing, which I always thought of as cruel and barbaric. I always thought I’d do more of a modified version where I’d let her cry for a few minutes, soothe her, and continue that until she fell asleep. I changed my mind after the first few times when I would go in, soothe her, and the sight of me leaving again sent her into an even more furocious temper tantrum than had I let her be. Leaving her was what I had to do. I had to be cruel to be kind. And it’s gotten much better. It started as an hour and a half traumatic ordeal at night and is now a short, ten minute power struggle. I feel much less guilty now.
The weaning off of the breast onto the bottle will be a long process. I’ve started with one bottle a day, but I find any more than that leaves me in extreme pain from engorgement. I guess Avery is an expert drainer. My body will need to be weaned more gently than Avery will so there’s not much I can do other than take it slowly. This also means I have lost the will to do anything other than nurse her to sleep. I still have the temptation of being lazy and will for a while. Baby score! Oh, well. One thing at a time and we’re concentrating on the naps and falling asleep (I guess that would be two things).
So, The Plan hasn’t been an instant cure-all, but it has worked as well, if not better, than I expected. You know, expect the worst, hope for the best? It hasn’t been the best, which would be no crying at sleep times, two hour naps, and no night wakings. But it hasn’t been the worst, which would have been if we hadn’t seen any improvement, which we have. Sleep time routines are significantly shorter and easier, night wakings are fewer, and naps are consistent. We’ll stick to it and make it a part of our lifestyle. After a week, I think I can safely say we’ve found what works for us. Yay!