I'm working on getting Miles to be able to put himself to sleep. Last weekend, I was putting Miles down for a nap but he wouldn't sleep. I had nursed and changed him so I knew it wasn't that. I gave him over to Jared (who had been gone the whole week before) and I went to take a shower...by myself...a hot one...where I didn't have to constantly worry about Miles... Anyway, Jared couldn't get him to sleep and ended up putting him down crying. We had talked about doing Ferber, but had not decided when to start. When I got out of the shower I was fine with it and we started the every 5 minutes thing. After about 15 minutes, Jared couldn't stand it anymore and got him up. I made a snide comment about that he is always the one who gives in, and we would never get Ferber to work that way. He then said that I had been home alone with Miles for a week and hadn't done it on my own. We both apologized, and neither of us should have said what we did. However, it got me thinking. Maybe I can do it on my own.
I had already been working on a consistent bedtime routine so that he knows when I want him to go to sleep. I'm also putting him in the co-sleeper (a little side car crib that pulls up to the bed). We usually co-sleep in the bed. He did pretty well last night with Ferber although I thought I would never make it! I usually feed him between 6 and 6:30. Then we stay up until 7 or 7:30. About that time we go into my bedroom (we don't have a nursery), and I change his diaper and we play or read for a while. I used to nurse him to sleep, and then when he didn't go to sleep I would put him in the sling and bounce on the yoga ball until he fell asleep. Last night, I fed him as usual at 6, and at 7:30 I changed his diaper and we played. About 7:40 he started looking tired so I nursed him for about 5 min and put him into his crib. I couldn't bear to leave him so I stayed until 8. He started crying right away (actually a bit before I left) and I waited 2 min before going in to check on him. When I went in, I rubbed his legs (it relaxes him) and talked to him. I told him how much I loved him and reminded him that he just needs to learn to sleep on his own, then I kissed him on the forehead and left. I repeated after 3 min and after 5 more. Rinse and repeat. He would usually settle down while I was in talking to him but when I turned my back and he realized I was leaving he would scream bloody murder! At 8:27 it began to settle down without me in there but it didn't last long. I checked on him again as 8:29. At 8:36 he was asleep. At 9:08 he cried for a second but not even long enough to start my timer for 5 min again. At 10:07 he started crying again, I think one of the cats may have woken him up. I checked on him twice that time, both at 5-minute intervals. At 10:21 he was settling in again. I didn't even write down when he fell asleep. After he was asleep for a few minutes, I got ready for bed and went in. I slept on Jared's side of the bed (the far side) so I wouldn't disturb what I saw as a tenuous hold on sleep. I never sleep well when I expect him not to. If I think he will be fussy, I can't get into a deep sleep even after he proves that he won't be. I didn't sleep very well. He does still have one actual feeding during the night, so I knew he wouldn't make it all night, and I was ok with that. He woke at about 12:30. I let him fuss to be sure he was actually waking. He had been restless just before so I was pretty sure this was for real. Instead of continuing to have him put himself to sleep, I changed him, brought him in bed and nursed him. This was probably not the thing to do, but it felt good to me. He didn't nurse too long and we both slept the rest of the night. Usually the night feeding happens closer to 3, so I don't know if that is what woke him up or not. This morning I followed the same bedtime routine, and put him back in the co-sleeper. I left the room at 9:25, and he was asleep at 9:43. He did fuss again for a few seconds, but that may be his way of letting off steam to settle in for good sleep. I have already done the dishes since his nap started. I wrote this post (now I'm much more relaxed) and I'm off to do homework!
After he gets up we have some errands to run, then we are going to our first mother's group! I'm excited. Last week I decided I couldn't take it anymore and I needed to get to know some other moms in the area and have some kind of regularly scheduled events.
Here's a picture just because...