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.