|Our Little Love|
Overall, Ayden woke up fewer times total but he had a 3:30am wake up where he greeted me with a smile when I came in the room. Now this is a circumstance with which I feel very confident about handling. Though I always say we were up "partying" all night, he never actually fully wakes up. I can either pat his back, hold him for a bit or nurse him and he's back to sleep within 15 minutes or less. Handling the wake-ups isn't the problem, it's their frequency. Last night, or I suppose I should say super early this morning, was a different story. As soon as I saw his cute little smile I gave myself a pep talk:
1) Keep the room dark and bedtime-like
2) IF you talk, keep it firm and brief
3) IF you touch him, make it as far from cuddly or playful as possible
4) Make minimal eye contact
5) Stay patient and persistent and YOU will win!
and got to work. The idea in this situation is to help a baby understand that it is not time to be up and playing by making being awake boring and uneventful.
I gave him his pacifier, laid him down and said what I say to him every night when it's time for him to go to sleep and then I settled into the glider. I know most people would advise that a parent should leave the room at this point, but we don't want him to think he is alone at night. Leaving him to cry and "self sooth" would go against all of the other attachment parenting we do throughout the rest of his day and would be very confusing for him. In any case, though we want him to know we are present and available at night, we do not want him to think we'll get up and play in the wee hours of the morning. Every time he got up to crawl around or to attempt to pull up on his crib rails I would get up and place him back on his back. Sometimes I'd firmly say, "Time to sleep." and other times I'd say nothing and avoid looking at him. It worked very well, he wound back down and was almost asleep and then I noticed his diaper was leaking. It's funny that I called him a "heavy night time wetter" a couple of months ago because I had no idea. I have to stuff his night time diaper so fat with inserts that he looks like a penguin or something... Anyway at that moment I had to make a decision: let him fall asleep or change his diaper and possibly have to start all over. The diaper change won the debate because there was no way he'd make it another 4 hours, and it's possible that the saturated diaper was what woke him to begin with, so I changed it as quickly as I could right there in the crib. We didn't have to start from scratch but it definitely added time to my efforts. All in all it took almost an hour to get him back to sleep but then he proceeded to sleep three hours straight which is the longest stretch he's slept on his own since we got back from Nashville. Yet another small victory! He had done this, "Let's get up and play in the middle of the night" thing once before, months ago and hadn't done it again until last night so I'm not going to worry about it being a new thing until it happens two or three nights in a row.
|LUNCH! Becoming such a great eater as evidenced by his diapers :)|
Though we are not out of the woods yet as far a night time sleep in concerned, I'm so glad to be out of the rut of feeling helpless about Ayden's overall sleep issues. I can observe and modify behaviors all day long but when it comes to modifying sleep habits, I don't even know where to start. I'm so glad that what I tried with modifying his nap schedule actually worked and it has given me the second wind I've been needing. Maybe Ayden can become a good sleeper after all :). In the meantime: