I lay in bed tweeting while Oliver cried…only 3 hours after he went down to sleep. The rage bubbling up in me after nights and nights off erratic sleep. It was wearing on me…my life…my mood…my teeth. The nonstop wakings at all intervals of the night were exhausting because…well…it was the freakin middle of the night and my logic minded brain couldn’t handle it. How can you game plan a sleep training method when his behavior is so inconsistent?
I found myself word vomiting all over Twitter and Facebook about what to do. Maybe someone would have some magical thing to try. I mean, I have read everything about sleep. Baby wise, Wiessbluth, No Cry Sleep Solution( hell I have been in email contact with the author!), Ferber, Sears…on and on. While I know a lot about kids and sleep, Oliver has never slept through the night (I also don’t expect him to magically do it either…) and never showing enough consistency to work with. When I would say to myself, “tomorrow night we will start working on it”, he would wake once to eat and be a dream. Damnit. We don’t fit a mold to easily fix. I have done all the known things. Wanna see what I mean?
- He goes to sleep on his own. For naps and night time, I sing him 1 song and put him down. 99.9% of the time he is very awake. He usually is asleep within 10 minutes. VERY rarely crying to get there. So he knows how to put himself to sleep and there is no association with food to sleep.
- He has an early bedtime. We are shooting for him to be in bed by 6:45 (note Landon was 6 at this age but we can’t pull that off). We have played around with it and found it works best for us. I hope to get the boys closer to the same time in the future but I am cool with separate bedtimes for now.
- He doesn’t need a ‘vice’ to sleep. We are past the swing to sleep. I don’t know the last time he had a swing nap. 2 months ago? He only usually falls asleep in the car when we plan it that way or he has been thrown off schedule. (To me, that means he is getting enough sleep on most occasions). Note: Sometimes times his last nap of the day is a wash (he is too over done) and I can Ergo walk him to sleep pretty reliably if needed.
- He is never nursed to sleep. Even much to my dismay early on when I just wanted him to pass out eating so I could watch Netflix in peace. Exception: night feedings, he goes back to sleep but not passed out when I put him down.
- He never really wakes at the same time every night. He DOES usually wake within the 5 o clock hour. I hope to make this his only “night” feed. It works because it will tank him up to sleep while we get ready for work and maximize sleep before. I don’t expect him to just start going 13 hours with no food.
- He has made it 10 hours with no food before. Multiple times.
- We have never had a dream feed really “work”
- He can CIO sometimes. We haven’t been shy about giving him time to work it out. We know it worked for Landon, so we have that in our pocket. Sometimes he cries for less than 5 minutes and passes back out. Just not always.
- He has a humidifier and a fan.
- He has tons of white noise to block out us and his brother.
- It is dark as hell in there. Blackout curtains, no lights, and I nurse in the pitch black.
- He doesn’t take a pacifier and a “lovey” just gets him excited and then frustrated when it doesn’t do what he wants.
- He can’t roll to his belly yet. To note, we tried to put him on his tummy and he hates it to sleep. Landon was a tummy sleeper so we were prepared for it.
- Elevating the bed just means he rolls to the bottom. EVERY night he rotates at least 90 degrees. It is part of his self soothe to spin. Even in the swaddle.
- He wears the exact same thing every night. Onesie, socks, cotton sleeper and light fleece sleep sack. Never sweating, never cold (except hands from spit).
- During the day he eats every 3 hours with maybe a smaller interval towards the end of the day because of lower supply.
- We JUST starts solided via Baby Led Weaning. Nothing to really “tank him up”
While we aren’t into some magic land of sleeping through the night, we have an answer. Hopefully once this has cleared, we can regear our plan for phasing towards more reliable sleep. And because I am sure I will still need some advice, as well as the readers finding this post, what was the magic bullet for you and your infant?