The Pregnant Waddle

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

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sleep-training the Squid

Oy. Well, our daughter has set a record with her pediatrician: She has cried more than any other child following the pede’s recommended sleep-training. The pede guaranteed us 45 minutes or less of crying. She said we could call her up and cuss her out if she was wrong, but she wouldn't be wrong. The first night, Ngaire
• cried for an hour.
• Slept for 40 minutes.
• Cried for ANOTHER 50 minutes.
• Slept for around 3 hours.
• Cried for about 20 minutes (things started to get fuzzy in the middle of the night).
• I nursed her and put her down again.
• She cried for another 25 minutes.
• Then she slept, with only 2 brief wake-ups, for about 4 hours, until we got her up.

The second night, she
• cried for AN HOUR AND 40 MINUTES.
• Slept for 15 minutes.
• Cried for around half an hour.
• And then slept through the rest of the night, with only one brief whimpering period.

So, why, you ask, why now? Oh crunchy granola family bed Waddles, why this sudden and very hard-core sleep-training? Well, I’ll tell you.

First, there was the crawling. Ngaire has been crawling for a little while now, and among the many components of this skill is the ability to roll over and get on all fours, and, oh, say, CRAWL OUT OF BED AND HURL YOURSELF AT THE BEDSIDE TABLE, WHICH, AS YOU HAVE DISCOVERED TO YOUR SORROW, HAS SHARP EDGES, NOT TO MENTION THE DISTANT NATURE OF THE FLOOR. Ngaire never actually did this, but she tried, and every time it was just as I was going to sleep. I lived in fear that she would try it sometime when I wasn’t conscious to stop her.

Then there was the regressive all-night nursing. She would log off from time to time, but if I attempted to change positions, she would wake up and want to nurse again. In fact, every time any of us moved, she would want to nurse. Sometimes she would want to nurse when no movement at all had been evident. So I was sleeping all night in one position, all three of us were waking up constantly, and neither she nor I was getting a particularly high quality of sleep.

Then there was the bit of the good-sleep story I haven’t told you. Ngaire was for a long time an amazing sleeper. So wonderful, such long sleep. But this was because I was next to her generally from the time she went to sleep (around 7) to alarm-clock time. Sometimes she would stay asleep early in the night if I got up to use the bathroom, but more often she’d wake up and need to be nursed back to sleep. In the mornings, my attempts to get up were met with piteous screams which extended through our whole morning routine.

She was also getting bigger, her sprawls more emphatic. The Husbandlet and I shared half the bed, I kid you not.

The final straw came when I got sick last week. She wasn’t sleeping deeply, and I stopped sleeping almost at all. This pushed me over the edge of desperation, and on Tuesday I asked her pediatrician what I should do.

So far, we’re seeing more misery than benefit. Ngaire, of course, isn’t falling asleep early enough to get her full 11 hours at night, and she’s refusing to nap during the day, aside from falling asleep nursing and maybe a half-hour nap here and there at the sitter’s. For the first time in her life, she’s sleep-deprived. So she’s cranky. The Husbandlet and I are basket cases. We hate hearing our little one cry. But at this point, we feel committed: we have to see this through either to success (which may take a while) or to clear failure, or it will just help to reinforce the idea in our daughter that crying long enough gets results from us. Meep. Rock, meet hard place.

Tonight is night three, and she fell asleep after right around an hour. Updates will come!


At 4:57 PM, Anonymous belgianwaffle said...

Oh dear. Sympathy


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