The Pregnant Waddle

Pre-Pregnancy Weight Just Around the Corner (It's Trying to Run and Hide)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The experiment continues, albeit unsuccessfully and with much angst

So. Theories on infant sleep habits, anyone? I mean, we've got some to spare. Our little Squid, it must first be said, sleeps very well at night. She goes to sleep around 7:30 p.m., waking maybe once toward 5 a.m. for a snack, until we get her up around 6 a.m. During the day, she takes two good long naps at Nanny’s house and another evening nap, very short, with us.

Nanny claims (and I see no reason not to trust her word) that she puts the Squid down for a nap without rocking or anything, and that Ngaire sometimes fusses for a maximum five minutes before conking out for hours on end. At home? Well, Ngaire now lets me put her down once she’s asleep, but she will only fall asleep while being nursed or pacified and rocked. Sometimes, she’ll be all peaceful and sleeping, but the minute I put her down, those big eyes pop open and we’re in for another round of nursing, binkying and rocking. And she still sleeps with us at night.

I don’t have a huge problem with this. I’m a working mommy, and I love snuggling my darling, feeling her warm little limbs go limp against me. It is a tad time-consuming, though, and I do feel a bit of pressure to get my child to learn to settle herself to sleep … not to mention curiosity about what Nanny has, infant-sleep-inducing-wise, that I lack. So every so often, I decide to experiment with one of the myriad of theories I’ve read about, all of which guarantee a self-settling Squid in a nine days or less or your money back.

The latest theory is a cross between attachment parenting and the cry-it-out theory (nice cross, eh?). It involves sitting next to the baby, not picking her up, but patting and stroking her while she cries herself to sleep. After a few days, the mommy is to sit several feet away, verbally comforting her sproglet. A few days after that, the mommy is to sit by the door. The next step is to leave the room altogether. Nine days or less!

Night one of this experiment was, overall, less successful than the cry-it-out-with-intermittent-parental-comfort-forays thingy we tried a few weeks back. I got the Squid good and sleepy, put her in her co-sleeper*, and sat next to her. She figured out what I was doing, and even though she was so tired that her eyes were almost closing in between screams, she gave those screams her all. My gentle pats morphed into trying to hold her back as she scrabbled at my arm and tried to climb up it.

This lasted almost an hour. It ended abruptly and heart-warmingly when Ngaire eluded my restraining hand and crawled out of the co-sleeper and into my lap.

Stupid theories. I lay down and nursed my Squidlet to sleep.

* whose main function, so far, has been to keep the Husbandlet from falling out of bed.


At 9:55 PM, Blogger Papaya Mommy said...

I think the main issue is what Nanny lacks but you have in abundance - Mommyness! Why consent to sleep alone if your favorite person in the whole wide world is right there?

I have no great advice - just empathy - Josiah never napped alone until I was shamed into forcing it when we lived a month with Luke's parents. However, we regressed when we came back to our own house again! :)

I wish Anna (who's a comparatively decent napper) could take some night sleeping lessons from Ngaire. Last night = 5 Anna awakenings, 4 to eat and 1 because her brother's screams woke her up (add 10 minutes to calm Josiah back down after his nightmare). After some crying a couple months ago, I weaned Anna down to only 2 night feedings, but we've regressed, & I'm finding excuses to put off the inevitable trauma of re-training her!

Anyway, congrats to Ngaire on the crawling! Your house will never be the same again. I wish I could see her! Give her a big cuddle for me!


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