Monday, January 2, 2017

Updates on Sleep Training

Last night was night #5 of sleep training Eloise.

 Never underestimate the ability of these creatures to learn

Overall things are going well, and she is quickly getting the hang of the new nap/bedtime routine. One thing that's been really tough is that by day Eloise has been extra fussy and clingy since we've started the training. I'm not sure if it's because her little system is getting used to the changes OR if it's because my Wonder Weeks app has her smack in the midst of the next big perceptual Mental Leap #5: The World of Relationships. It's hard to think it might be due to the changes at hand, but that doesn't negate the GOOD that these changes are making for her and for our family.

Here's a summary of our 1st 5 days of training:

Day #1:
7:07pm to bed, 7:14-7:28 crying (14 minutes)
11:30-11:33pm crying (3 minutes)
11:50-12:15 crying/complaining (nursed)
1:10-1:50 crying (40 minutes)
2:40-3:10 crying (30 minutes)
7:30- up for the day

Day #2:
7:22pm to bed, 7:34-7:37 crying (4 minutes)
6:30am- up for the day (SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!)

This was also the first day I napped her for her afternoon nap in the crib (vs on top of me). I followed the exact same routine as for night sleep:
11:22 down for nap, 11:24 -11:28 cried (then asleep!)
12:10-12:14 awoke complaining and found thumb, back asleep
1:15 up!

Day #3:
7:30ish to bed (starting this night there was no more crying at bedtime; sometimes a little complaining ensued at the very end of our last song, but once I laid her down she was quiet!)
5am awoke - nursed
7:20 up for the day
(did both morning and afternoon naps in her bed! Afternoon was way off b/c she'd fallen asleep in her swing and Iyla also awoke her).

Day #4:
7:30ish to bed
11:50pm awoke (?!) I think NYE fireworks were the culprit. Decided to go nurse.
5am awoke. THIS ONE WAS HARD- as I opted to let her cry it out vs go in a 2nd time. I'm not sure how long she cried, but she eventually went back to sleep.
7:30 up for the day.

That 5am crying was really hard on me, as I felt responsible for 'training" her little system that around that time she'd be fed (based on the past few days). I spent much time re-reading my sleep training books, and trying to decide if I was to do one night feeding would it be 12am or 5am? Ultimately- I decided from all my research and reading that at Eloise's age she is capable of not eating through the night, and I think one time/night is more confusing to her than helpful (very different than with Iyla, who would always nurse 1x/night at any random time and then sleep through until the morning until she dropped the night feed around one year old).

So: I decided from now on we'd do full extinction, no night nursings.

Which brings us to Night #5 (last night):
7pm asleep in bed
4:20 awoke crying (10 min)
6:20 up for the day

I am so proud of Eloise, and frankly, of myself for getting up the gumption to follow through with this. The HARDEST part is just getting the guts to DO IT, and then sticking to it no matter what. Admittedly I'm already missing the coziness of having her nap on my chest, but teaching her the lifelong skills of self soothing and getting good sleep are important. I have to continually keep reminding myself of those facts.

Once she is through this big Wonder Week (which is a misnomer because this "leap" can be several weeks long- ugh!) I can't wait to see the baby that emerges, well rested and ready to take on the world!

For now, nights are MUCH better but the days have been rough with the extra fussiness & clinging. Funny enough, the one sure thing that ALWAYS calms Eloise and sends her into a calm trance is singing "The Wheels on the Bus." No other song has proven to have the same effect. So weird! And thanks to BC for discovering this, as he's the one who months ago started singing it to her.

It's so amazing to feel WELL RESTED for the first time in over 5 months. Iyla also returns to school tomorrow after a fun but EXHAUSTING winter break, so we are all looking forward to getting back into our daily routines and a sense of balance.

Bring it on, 2017!

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