I Guess Sleep Training is Not Not Working?

sleep

We’ve been committed to sleep training for about a week and a half and have definitely seen some improvement, but it’s definitely not been a miracle. A lot of people promise it will be better by the third night. Those people probably have normal children, not demon children who would prop their eyelids open with toothpicks to stay awake just one more hour if they had the hand-eye coordination to do so.

After a week and a half of sleep training, we’ve continued to have okay, not great nights. We’ve put her in her crib awake every night. Some nights she goes to bed without even a fuss. Some nights she fusses or cries for 15-20 minutes. She feeds 2-3 times a night, which is not terrible, but I can still count the number of times I’ve had four continuous hours of sleep since she was born on two hands. Sometimes she wakes up an hour or two after bedtime and we have to let her cry a bit before she goes back to sleep.

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I’ll Take My MacArthur Genius Grant Now, Thanks

sleepAfter a few days of sleep training, we seem to have passed the 4 month sleep regression and nighttime sleep has improved immensely (I am seriously knocking on wood right now). Most nights she goes down in 5-10 minutes with a little fussing, talking to herself, and hand sucking and only wakes up 1 or 2 times.

Naps are another story. Aside from a mysterious 3 hour nap on Thanksgiving, most naps max out at 45 minutes and are often even shorter. As a result, I was often spending much, much longer putting her down to nap than she actually slept. It was frustrating, to say the least.

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Look Who Bought Herself a 1 Way Ticket to Cry-It-Outsville

sleepAfter several nights of “A.” waking up every 2 hours at night, we’ve officially hit the 4 month sleep regression.

I took her to the doctor, who ruled out teething, an ear infection, or any other obvious cause of her frequent nightwaking. The doctor confirmed what I feared – she had grown so dependent on nursing to sleep that she couldn’t get back to sleep on her own.

I’d been working really hard over the past two months to get her to go down sleepy but awake. It seemed like we had made some progress, but when she failed to fall asleep after a few minutes of crying I usually went in and nursed her again until she fell asleep. That was only reinforcing the problem.

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The Mommy Wars Lightning Round

PodcastlogoSlate’s Mom and Dad are Fighting podcast is one of my favorites. They recently had a Mommy Wars lightning round segment in which they quickly declared their opinions about the main controversies in modern parenting (it starts about 20 minutes in). The episode inspired me to do the same.

I tend toward wishy washy pacifism when it comes to most things, including the Mommy Wars. Everything I have to say comes with the giant caveat that I think pretty much any of these choices are OK. For the most part, people should do what they want. That being said, don’t starve your kid if he or she can’t breastfeed, don’t sleep with your kid if you are drunk or high, and VACCINES ARE NOT OPTIONAL.

Anyway, here is my stance on the main Mommy Wars controversies:

Cry it out or don’t? I would have a really hard time letting our baby cry for an extended period of time, but if she still has trouble going to sleep between 6 and 12 months and nothing else works, I will definitely do it. Our baby is currently almost 4 months and we sometimes let her fuss or cry for 5-10 minutes before she goes to sleep, but no longer. No one wants to let their babies cry, but some babies are bad sleepers that have a really hard time learning to self soothe.

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