Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On sleep and the lack thereof

Just about a week and a half ago, I'd had enough. I'd read several books about it, and I felt the time was right. A seemed in desperate need of it, and I knew I was in desperate need of it. I wanted to start "sleep training." But I didn't, because we were about to leave on vacation. So I started last night instead.

Vacation was great. First we had the ward campout. It was fun, there were a lot of people there, and A slept fabulously, going to bed early and only waking up once. We didn't sleep so well, since I was paranoid about A being too cold (and then after sticking a blanket on top of him in his carseat, I was paranoid about him suffocating himself with it). M had a slowly deflating air mattress that kept him from sleeping well. The next day we went to Hawaii, which with the long flight, 3-hour time difference, resort guests I didn't want to offend, and in-laws that hate listening to babies cry (not that I blame them), A's sleep schedule got all messed up and I resorted to feeding him to sleep for every single nap and bedtime and middle of the night waking. The first night we were there, A woke up at 3:30 in the morning and decided it was morning time and he ought to be awake and playing with me. I laid him down in our bed between us so he could kick a bunch and get some energy out. He surprised me by rolling over onto his tummy, for the first time, all by himself. He hasn't done it since, but it was exciting. He's doing really well at rolling onto his side, though.

Back to the main story: we got home late, late, late, and A was extremely over-tired after a series of short interrupted naps on the plane and being unable to fall asleep in the car and having the time change back and getting home at 1:30 in the morning. So we slept in the next day after a distressing night of him waking up three times. And getting him to sleep that night sucked. And things haven't yet improved.

So now we're to last night. I decide it's finally time that A learned how to fall asleep on his own, and how to sleep in his crib, and maybe after all that, how to stay asleep (a.k.a. put himself back to sleep after waking) all night long. We did the bedtime routine. We put him down drowsy, in his crib. He cried for about 40 minutes, then slept for 15, then cried with intermittent nodding off for another two hours. So I picked him up, and he was out like a light the instant I had him in my arms. I'd had enough, so I put him in his carseat so he could actually get some solid sleep. He woke up twice more during the night.

I do not know what to do. Should I focus on him learning to fall asleep on his own in his carseat, then move him to the crib once he's mastered that? He's got some reflux, and I've got a little crib wedge in the crib so he can be on an angle, but he slides around a lot (even with rolled up towels around him under the sheet). But he's been doing okay sleeping on his back on my lap during a couple of naps lately, so maybe he'll be fine laying down? Should I just do everything all at once? What about naptime? Should I just let him cry himself to sleep? Should I try the reassure him every 15 minutes approach? I refuse to pick him up until he's calm and then put him back down over and over and over, my arms can't take that. Should we move his crib into a separate room rather than being in ours?

Help!

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