Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sleep Training 101....or a Good Laugh

So I have discovered the way to get your children to go back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night. Its Revolutionary. Ok, well not revolutionary, but let me explain.

Last night around Midnight Miss O decides she is going to wake up and cry after me. After continually pushing a 5 year old over in my bed, we decided to "sleep train" Olivia when she was about 9 months with the awful dreaded but effective Cry it out method. Yes, yes I know there are many Gasps as to a mother who would let her baby cry, BUT, I do work full time and when momma isn't happy, no one is. I wish I could get up every night and rock her to sleep or just put her in bed with me, but my Queen size is already getting too crowded with Hubby, my growing belly and the every night 5 year old wandering in from his bed at some point.

So yes, we let Olivia cry it out. For the most part, she sleeps a good 10 hours in her bed at night and I have no complaints. The ONLY time she does wake up in the middle of the night, is when my husband has to be at work at 3am or 4am so therefore I am forced to either :

1. Let her cry and bother his sleep when he has to get up so early.
2. Try and calm her down.

So last night I tried both. She wasn't hysterically crying by the way. Just a whinny "I want momma" piece that she must have been working on for a while. I would normally just turn over and try to go back to sleep, however a great friend posted a status on Facebook about a mom not paying attention to her kids at the park and how they are only little once and blah blah and I was feeling super guilty that I wasn't in there rocking my wild sweet baby girl to sleep. Guilt works every time. Now what normally happens is I can go in, while still dark, speaking very calming and softly, grab her sippy cup and get her some drink. Then bring it to her while softly singing her current favorite "I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee...." as I walk and shut the door.

Well last night she did not want a song, or her cup. She wanted Momma.


When this happens I have 2 choices.

1. Let her REALLY cry it out because when I leave she will be furious.
2. Rock her or whatever necessary to try to keep her sleepy so she doesn't want to "get up" in the middle of the night.

So I again tried both. The first 5 minutes of hearing her scream in frustration and anger made me realize that Daddy isn't getting anymore sleep this way, so I got up and took her to her Noah's room who was staying the night with Grandma. We layed down in his twin bed and she was instantly trying to go back to sleep. Hooray! I figured she slept in a regular bed all last week while on vacation, what is one night at home till we get her toddler bed set up. (which I really need to get that done .....)

So she is sound asleep and I start dozing in and out of sleep. I should have just stayed there, but I didn't. I wasn't laying good and my body was hurting so I carefully and without much movement, got out of bed and tucked her in really good, (in hopes that she would feel snug like I was there). I tip toe out of the room and fall into my bed. I get all snuggled up and within 3 minutes I hear it....."Mommy!....I want Mommy".


I know she can't stay in Noah's room awake so I get up and tell her to lay down but she refuses telling me she wants to watch TV. I firmly (in my calm whispering night time voice, in the dark still) tell her no that it is night night time. She begins to fight me so I take her in and put her back in her crib. Thus the cries begin again. I decide I don't know what else to do at this point but let her cry, feeling terrible, and exhausted. Around 2 hours of up and down has passed at this point.

Hubby turns to me in bed and says, "Does she have a cup?" to which I respond "yes she has a cup". He gets up and breaks all the "rules" of sleep training. He goes in, turns on her light, talks in his regular voice, tells her its bed time and its enough, to stop crying. Within a minute he turns the light out, walks out, shuts the door and a hear a slight "Daddy?" but then nothing. Asleep she goes.

He gets back into bed and I asked what all he said. Why is it my 2 hours of shhhh and its ok, all calm and quiet got me NO WHERE, but Dad's firm hand of , You are fine, GO to sleep, was just enough for her to realize she wasn't getting her way. I told him I didn't know if I should be relieved or mad that he was able to do in 2 minutes what I had been trying to do in 2 hours. :)

So if you have a rough sleeper, just send Dad in. It doesn't matter anything you have tried in the past, It seems the child will out smart you somehow.

Now if Dad has the day off tomorrow, she will sleep all night without a peep. I guarantee it.

Until next time....

Keep calm......and just have Dad go do it!

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