It is currently Day 4 of nap training. I’m exhausted….exhausted from waking up at 5:30am to ensure that I get a shower in for the day before Erin wakes up at 7am. The whole idea of sleep begets sleep continuously plays in my mind. I’m finding myself more stressed, my teeth are clenched almost all morning just anticipating how the first nap would go. I’m anxious and antsy, but I know that I’m doing all I can to minimize over tiredness setting in badly at 4 months of age. Last night, I spent about an hour talking myself out of my strategy and into an entirely new one. I did some research on the “pick up/put down” method from the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. At 7 weeks of age, I have vowed to myself I was NOT going to use anymore of Tracy’s material as putting Erin on that woman’s routine at 2 months of age completely back fired on us and led to middle of the night wakings that were NOT for food. It also worsened Erin’s Silent Reflux which resulted us putting her on Zantac. Well, I was sitting here talking myself into it. I posted on a Babycenter forum for sleep training (there is a group of women that post all with babes born in April) to get some feedback on my idea. I received a good pep talk from my accountability partner there who reassured me that changing a little bit of my nap routine is okay, but not completely. The goal is to keep with consistency as much as possible to make things work. If you aren’t consistent, the child will not learn and thus you will not have success. This is true for ALL sleep and nap training methods. I decided to tweak my routine as such:
After Erin’s book, I will rock her for 5-10 minutes with her paci instead of letting her have it in the crib. I tried this for nap 3 yesterday, and it worked really well. I would then place her in the crib, put my hand on her tummy for a bit and then walk out. If she began crying, this would be when I started the timing. Each time I go in, I would pick her up, pat her back (make sure she doesn’t have air stuck in there) and gently place her back down. If began crying, reset clock. If she slept for a bit, or 15 minutes had passed before she began crying, I would go in immediately, soothe and then begin the timing for each time she cried right after.
My accountability partner agreed that this might be a better plan for Erin since she has not mastered sucking her digits yet.
Nap 1: began beautifully, she woke up at 42 minutes in, I tried to soothe but was unsuccessful at getting her back to sleep (She should be napping for at least an hour).
Nap 2: began beautifully as well. This time, she slept for 48 minutes before waking. She ended up completely refusing to take naps 2 & 3.
I really felt defeated at the end of day 4. I started wondering if I should have really done this or if I was doing the right thing. I wondered if this was ever going to work. I received some pep talks from some friends and decided to continue. I later learned that days 2-4 tend to be the worst.
Erin took a bit to settle for the first 2 naps. She protested a bit and then woke up early. I was successful at getting her back to sleep! This was also Ping’s first day at the new routine. He was really good about it! The third nap, Erin wouldn’t drop the paci like she usually does, so I put her in the crib, paci still in mouth (if she doesn’t give it back in the chair she usually loses it in the crib transfer). I just left it and decided if it fell out and she was crying, I’d take it away then. No peep until I woke her up!
This day, I was nervous about…Sunday…church. Erin woke early from her first nap again, and wouldn’t go back down. So, we got her ready for church. I entered the nursery, fed her, and gave her to one of the staff around her nap time. I told her she is supposed to nap now, and the woman asked me how I usually get her to nap. So wonderful when they are willing to work with you!! I told her our system and she agreed to do it. I kept second guessing myself while listening to the sermon. I should have just let her stay up and then did a late nap when we got home….I just pictured everything going off course. Service ended, we enter the nursery and who is sleeping in the crib!?! Erin!! The staff told me she went down easy! Awesome! Bummer: She woke up by a car horn on the street on our way home. Ping was able to get her back down for another hour though when we arrived home. Third nap: Erin fell asleep at her bottle so Ping just put her down. Awesome day!
Whew! We made it through a week! I thought this day would NEVER come! Erin protested her first two naps, but not that much, I just had to do one reassurance and that was it! Her third nap she went down beautifully with no protest at all, just sucking away at her hands!
Today is Day 8:
So far Erin has been AWESOME! Well, she woke up an hour early. 😦 We also discovered diaper rash. She was really tired after her bottle (I gave it to her early) so I put her down for her first nap and decided to give her 3 hours if she wanted it. She did. Nap 2, no protest either! She also wouldn’t give me the paci back. Let’s hoping that our little girl is this sweet and sleep training is deemed successful!