Friday, August 5, 2011

An Update: Thank You, Dr. Ferber.

The last time I breached the topic of sleep I was a hopeful, over tired mother who had just let her baby boy cry for the very first time.  No... it wasn't the first time he ever cried.  It was the first time I sat and watched the tears and blubbering without rushing to his aid, arms outstretched and ready to kiss him all better.

It was gut-wrenching, yes.  In my mind, my full time job is to make sure that Felix is the healthiest, happiest boy this world has ever seen.  I would NEVER consider letting him cry in any other situation... but I know as he drifts to sleep (albeit whimpering with the occasional tantrum-esque foot stomp) he is a safe, comfortable environment.  Not only do I know it... but I can watch the drama unfold through my awesome video monitor.  If we were a Neilsen TV family, "Felix TV" would score high on the ratings.  (Side note:  we were a Neilsen family as kids... back when it was a handwritten deal and you could cheat about what you watched.  I think I wrote "Saved by the Bell" in every spot - just to make sure it didn't get cancelled).

I digress...

Felix sleeps through the night.  In fact, he slept through the very next night.  The two-hour epic saga of putting Felix to bed has been shortened considerably.  It's bath, book, nurse, bed... and there hasn't been more than thirty minutes of awake whining in the crib since night #1.  Yes, there have been times when he's wound it up to a howl... but then he simmers himself back down in mere moments and eventually rolls over to peacefully slumber for hours at a time.  (The record thus far... an eleven hour stretch!)

Usually there is one, maybe two, times that he wakes up in the middle of the night with a slow, sad cry.  I have decided not to let him "cry it out" at these wakings.  Now that he has realized he can soothe himself back to sleep, I feel it is necessary for me to also be fair and realistic... if he's slept for more than three hours and then awakes crying, I nurse him and sometimes give him a mid-night diaper change... then I place him back in his crib awake again, kiss him & reassure him that I love him and am right in the next room, and tip toe out of sight.  9 out of 10 times, he's been back to sleep within 3 minutes.

Until I rigidly followed a bed time routine and kept repeating the "self soothe" mantra, Felix awoke 7 times a night or more.  My boobs were pretty much an all night diner and no one in this Lynch family got much sleep.  We're a lot more rested these days.  I still barely make it out of my pajamas before noon... but that will come with practice.

Now, if anyone has any tips for naps... I'm much more open minded.

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