Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Big Boy Bed

Saturday was our first night at home with just the four of us (Murphy included) and it was wonderful. Alex slept in his crib for the first time and was great! We were so anxious to get him in his bed and try to establish some kind of a routine since we've been pretty haphazard up to this point. When he was sleeping with me at the hotel, he was waking up every four hours during the night, which meant I only had to get up two times. I wasn't sure we would be able to duplicate that once we put him in his own bed. At least not at first.

I fed him at 9:00 and he fell right to sleep, so we laid him in his crib and sat in our bedroom with the monitor pressed to our ears. I though for sure he would fuss when he realized that he was alone (and not nursing), but nothing!! He woke at 12:30, so I fed him again and put him back to bed. He cooed and whined a tiny bit so I went in to pat his belly and give him a pacifier and out he went. It seemed too good to be true! He woke again at 3:30 and again he ate and went right back to sleep. Finally, he woke up this morning at 6:30 so I fed him and let him have some awake time before putting him back down. He wasn't quite as sleepy since he had been awake, but only required a little extra persuasion to get him back to sleep for his early morning nap. I was hoping that this routine would stick and that Alex wouldn't decide to throw a curveball at us. Over the past month, I've learned that one key to surviving early parenthood is trial and error (sometimes just error) and that what works one time might not work the next. Bummer when you think you have something figured out and the baby's like, "Psych!!"

As a matter of fact, that is exactly what happened. As it turns out, A has been really agreeable at night time but is still totally out of wack during the day. We are trying to follow the eat-waketime-sleep system, using the parent-directed feeding (PDF) methods from On Becoming Babywise as general guidelines for establishing a flexible routine. That means that after he eats during the day, he gets some playtime and when he gets fussy, we put him down for a nap. At night, there is no waketime and he should go right back to sleep after eating.

I guess we forgot to tell Alex the plan. He is fine with the night time routine because he prefers to nurse to sleep. Problem is, he still wants to do the same during the day. Ain't gonna happen! This has amounted to a lot of crying (by me and Alex). I feel terrible and guilty about forcing him to self-soothe, but we really think it will be better in the long run. I just wish he could understood that...

4 comments:

Oliver said...

Yay for good night sleeping in his crib!!! I know this is so hard at times, but you guys are doing an awesome job, and it will just get better and better - I promise :) Things just take time with little guys. He'll figure out the pattern as he gets older and he'll definitely learn to self-soothe - do not worry, my dear! It's comforting and not comforting all at the same time - but it all just takes time. Love you guys!

Joy

Chad, Shara, and Kayla said...

You are lucky that he's going 4 hours this young. Kayla will go 4 sometimes, but usually its 3 hours on the dot. Sounds like ya'll are doing great. We should get together sometime since you're at home now.

leah said...

His eyes kind of look purple.....is that normal :) hehe...have I mentioned how cute he is?? (and smart)??

hillarykey said...

Hey, I know it is hard!! I hated to make Russell "self-soothe", but I can't stress to you the long term benefits. Russell is now almost 2 1/2, and since we started the self-soothe method at 5 months, he doesn't wake up at all. Well, that is unless he is sick. He moved to his big boy bed and has been successful there for a while. I will be praying for you (it is always the hardest on the mom)for patience with the situation.I can't wait to meet Alex at the reunion--we will have to introduce Alex and Wilson. Keep at it--just think--it has to get easier sometime