Monday, August 23, 2010

Bedtime Sucks!

Not only is that a title of a book I just finished reading, but it also describes my feelings about getting Sarah put down for the night. We are in the process of teaching her how to fall asleep on her own and it's not the easiest thing in the world. She's used to me rocking or holding her every night and to be honest she has slept near me or on me for the majority of her life. Now we are trying to get her to sleep in her own bed by herself.

We started the crib transition a while ago but she usually only stayed in there for a few hours, until her middle of the night waking. After I fed her and changed her I would bring her to bed with me so that we could both get some more sleep. The problem with that, is that it created a routine. Now she expects to lay down with me after she wakes up. That was all fine and dandy for a while, but I want my bed back. So on with the sleep training.

We discovered that after an average 15 minutes of fussing total (with at least one check in from Mommy or Daddy) Sarah will actually fall asleep on her own. I just have a hard time listening to her cry for a bit. We never let her get too worked up but I am of the firm impression that some babies just need to work out some energy by crying or fussing before they fall asleep.

I'm not saying we have it all figured out. There are still nights where I find my self pleading with Sarah to just fall asleep or trying to convince her that it's bedtime and not playtime. And yes I still do cave and bring her to bed with me sometimes. Sarah does not quite sleep through the night every night. There is usually one maybe two wakings in the night.

But Ryan and I have found a few things that make bedtime go a little smoother. We start bedtime routine with a bath. This is quite possibly Sarah's favorite time of day. Also our daughter has decided to be a belly sleeper. This caused me some anxiety at first because of the "Back is Best" campaign trying to prevent SIDS. But Sarah has great head control and can roll off her belly so my fears have eased some. She gets a pacifier at bedtime and once she goes to sleep it falls out and she could care less. We leave a dim lamp on because I think she is scared of the dark and it makes middle of the night feeds and changes easier. She also has a "womb bear" in her crib. It mimics the sounds of the womb and a heartbeat. This works so much better than her seahorse which turns off before she has drifted off.

Like I said bedtime is still far from perfect, some nights it's rather excruciating. But we are making improvements and it is getting better. But still bedtime sucks!

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