Today I think I can safely say that Max's nighttime sleep training has been a success. He's had 3 nights of sleeping through the night. I give him a "dream feeding" at 3 or 4am, which just means that I pick him up, feed him, and put him back in his crib while still asleep. He's sleeping from about 7:15pm to 6:30am. He has responded so well to our gentle approach, so that now I swaddle him with one arm tucked in, say some little prayers with him, read one story, and lie him down in his crib, tucked up to the side of the crib. He does seem to like resting against the bumper - this was one of the recommendations our sleep coach gave us. He might utter a little fuss or whimper, but I sit with him, singing softly, and he is asleep in under 5 minutes. To say this is a relief is as great an understatement as there could be. I think I could even just leave him to do it himself at this point, but I enjoy that time with him, and I'm still so astonished, it's like watching magic happen before my eyes. I am halfway there.
Daytime sleep is another issue, but I'm not going to worry about that for now. We'll just keep cycling through, offering naps 90-120 minutes after they wake, all day long. Oh, and Max just yesterday began making that dreaded "mmm" noise that is so synonymous with Teething. That's bound to make things interesting.
Now we begin, slowly, with Shoghi. The sleep coach has recommended that while our doula/babysitter is away, we use some of the techniques from No Cry Sleep Solution, getting him used to being in the crib awake, being put down in the crib while still drowsy, and having a couple of minutes before someone rushes in upon his waking. I tried some of this last night. He was so "on" while I was trying to bounce him to sleep, I decided to just put him down rather than try to wrestle with his back arching and looking all around. Well, he was having none of it, I tell you. Shoghi doesn't really get sad - from the time he was born, he has gone from unhappy to SUPREMELY ANGRY in about one breath. Last night was the same. So, then I was trying to hold and console a very angry baby. After that, he would wake up every single time I tried to put him back in the crib until I finally gave him another bottle to calm him down. Bedtime lasted for about an hour or longer, and then he proceeded to wake up frequently until I finally threw in the towel and went to bed with him in tow at about 9:30. It's ok, though... I know I have to get him used to the idea that he's got to wait it out a little. I just hope that 10 days from now, he's more ready than he is now. I'm going to do my best to make sure he is.
In the meanwhile, I'm still not getting any more sleep. Between his wakings and listening to and for Max, prompting myself to get up for dream feedings, and just generally keeping my mama radar up all night, I'm up, clockwatching, at least every hour. Still, I can already say that Max's success makes the money I am spending on sleep training some of the best I've ever spent in my life... and I'm sure it will continue to be as Shoghi comes closer to sleeping all night long, too. I just hope that in the interrim I'm able to shake off the sleepies enough to be the fun and inspired mama I so want to be, at least some of the time. We are doing a lot of afternoon naps in the car these days, just so I can get some down time.
Enjoy your sleep, dear readers!
ps: you might also be interested in reading about our sleep training from my sister's perspective. she wrote about it on her blog here.