Dumplin’: Sleep Training

So the countdown to Mochi is on! DW is just over 34 weeks now, and things are looking good, but starting to feel uncomfortable all the time now. The 3rd trimester insomnia has started for her, and she’s got terrible numbness down her arms from a previous shoulder impingement issue that has just gotten worse with pregnancy. Mochi is head down and has reached his/her birth length already, and is just fattening up now.

  DW at 33 Weeks.

We are still currently bedsharing with Dumplin’ sleeping between us, and we have good nights and bad nights. Some mornings I get up and think “Thank goodness for bedsharing, because I just have to roll over and give him the boob when he fusses”. Other mornings I’m cursing and super sleep-deprived because he thought it was fun to play and chew on my nipple. Little turd. 

Nursing him to sleep has allowed us to survive this long, but it’s now starting to lose its effectiveness as a way to get him to sleep. I can see him frustrated at night because he too, expects the sleep elixir to work. Fact of the matter is that my child doesn’t know how to fall asleep on his own, sans motion (car rides, swing), or nursing. By continuing to nurse him to sleep, I feel like I’m taking away opportunities to let him hone his self-soothing skills. Also- Mochi’s coming, and our little queen-sized bed can barely comfortable contain the three of us, let alone another baby that is even more fragile. We plan on having Mochi in the bassinet, but that’s what we planned for Dumplin’ too, and well, yeah, here we are talking about sleep training.

We dabbled in the modified cry-it-out method mentioned in the Happy Sleeper a couple of weeks ago for naps, but it failed pretty miserably for us, mostly because we weren’t consistent with it for more than the two naps, and also because naps are harder to sleep train than bedtimes apparently. His cries just escalated every time we came in the room and he cried for over an hour straight before we called it both times. So we think we will have to go the extinction route and just let him cry it out without doing the sleep waves.

We were going to start sleep training bedtimes last night but him and I have a nasty cold right now, which we seem to have caught from a friend’s kids. So we thought we’d wait until him and I are both well, to avoid second guessing ourselves like “Wait- is he quiet because he’s sleeping or quiet because he’s stopped breathing because mucous is clogging his lungs?!”. 

So we will wait, but in the meantime, I thought I’d see if any of you have tips for sleep training using a cry-it-out (CIO) or modified CIO method. I’m not looking for arguments against sleep training, since we’ve decided that this is best for us as a family, and it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

Thanks in advance!