Friday, August 27, 2010

sleep training, final attempt. day two.

7.30 am / good morning
11.10 am / asleep in stroller, which is dragged up to the second floor and placed next to a fan
12 pm / awake/falls asleep on his own in stroller
12.50 pm / awake
8.10 pm / nurse/five books/plays with trains
8.25 pm / bedtime/shhh night night/loveys/2 short cries
8.40 pm / asleep

to be continued....

i used to read that you're supposed to put your baby to bed sleepy but not asleep. i didn't understand what this looked like until now. as a newborn, leon would nurse til almost asleep, and then we would bounce him for 10 minutes, lay him on his back with our hand on his chest, and wait 20 minutes. during the day he would play, kick vigorously, smile, and then a split second later, scream, freaking out. i would rush to nurse him, and he would inevitably fall asleep at the breast. by the time he was 3 months old, i was nursing him to sleep in bed. at 6 months, i attempted to sleep train him. i would nurse him for a while and then rock him until asleep. once placed in the crib, he would start flailing and screaming. at this point he began vomiting from crying so much.

every time we tried to sleep train him, we failed. i tried the no cry sleep solution and manage to break the suck to sleep association after several weeks. but i could never get leon to stop nursing at night. we tried dr. jay gordon's method, but even after he started falling asleep without nursing, he never slept for more than a 2 hour stretch before needing us to help settle him again. so i gave up and went back to nursing him to sleep. unfortunately the 2 hour stretch became routine even with night nursing.

and now, i can't even believe how smoothly it has been going. he's visibly tired when i nurse him. i tell him 'night night' and he crawls into the bed and lays his head on the pillow (which he started doing 3 weeks ago). i place his two loveys next to him, and he touches them. i say 'shh, night night,' and he closes his eyes, shakes his head, and tosses from side to side a few times.

this is what normal should look like.

it all seems so easy, i now understand how crazy i must have seemed to everyone else who successfuly sleep-trained a baby at 6, 10, or even 12 months. this is just a theory, but i believe that not all babies are ready to fall asleep on their own until they've reached the developmental stage that is right for them. for leon, i think being more verbal is what helps. he now understands 'night night' and my promises to stay with him until he's asleep, and my repeated declarations of how much i love him.

it all seems so easy now, but it was not easy getting to this point. i am still following the dr. jay gordon method, but for some reason, everything is falling into place now. i don't think i'm doing anything different this time, i just think that leon is more mature, more equipped to handle sleep on his own. we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

sleep training, final attempt. day one.

a sleep log for my own records.

6.30 am / good morning
12.30 pm / nurse
12.35 pm / shrieking/patting/offering of loveys
12.55 pm / asleep
1.40 pm / awake/shrieking/patting
2.25 pm / cuddling/asleep
3.15 pm / loud sirens/awake
7.40 pm / bath
8.00 pm / 2 books/nurse...leon is visibly sleepy
8.15 pm / lights out/a promising start with no crying
8.20 pm / crying/offering of loveys/cuddling with hands on chest and cheek
8.45 pm / asleep
11.10 pm / awake/crying/patting/cuddling
11.35 pm /matthew takes over
12.20 am / asleep
5.30 am / awake/nurse/asleep
7.30 am / nurse/good morning

the patting and cuddling worked until the first night waking. i think the desire for milk was so strong that he couldn't handle my immediate presence. i let matthew take over, and i slept on a mat on the floor. matthew slept on the bed with leon. this 5 hour stretch was the longest he's slept since he was about 3 months old.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

on being a mother

She bends her head to his. She smells his hair. She has no choices. She imagines suddenly a film in which a sagacious dog travelled hundreds of miles, back along the scent, or the magnetic field, which pulled from what it knew and loved. This hair she could distinguish in a room piled high with other heads. This note she would hear through all others. This person is the centre. It is not what she would have chosen but it is a fact, it is a truth stronger than other truths. It is a love so violent that it is almost its opposite.
Babel Tower, A. S. Byatt

Going back to work in two weeks. Trying to get as much writing done as possible. The two hour nap at 11.30, which was reliable for almost three months, is no longer so. Not sure how to juggle childcare, teaching, writing, applying for jobs, and surviving. Lack of sleep is going to be a problem, but I don't have the energy to sleep train (nor do I think it will work). I need help. My mother is here for a month, cooking, cleaning, watching Leon for 2 hours at a time. Sleep has deteriorated, and he is nursing constantly. This is likely because he's separated from me now. Having my mother here has made me realize just how much help I actually need. Not having friends to rely on for an hour or two of babysitting every once in awhile, not having family, not having childcare, and not having a partner who can help...I don't know how people can be full-time stay at home parents without any breaks, any assistance. And yet, 18 months later, I'm so attached, I don't know how to function without him constantly by my side. But I will have to figure something out because there is little joy in this.

Leon's words at eighteen months
appah (father in Korean)
mommy ("help" or "I want")
it's mine