Dumplin’: Sleep Training Day 5

Yesterday evening was kind of a funny one. Baby boy was super fussy during the late afternoon, but wouldn’t take more than 30 minute cat naps. By about 5:30pm, he was yawning and clearly wanting to sleep but we didn’t want to mess up his nighttime sleep by letting him nap so late, so I strapped him into the Ergo360 and we took a quick 20 minute stroll through our neighbourhood with the big dog. I had him front-facing so that he could watch the comings and goings of cars, look at the houses, observe Juno (the dog) sniff and pee on things, and ultimately so that he wouldn’t fall asleep but was still having a good time. DW was really tired and had a nap while we were gone. Her pregnancy symptoms have gotten really uncomfortable lately. She’s 35.5 weeks pregnant now, and everything is super swollen, and her pre-existing shoulder impingement has gotten much worse. It causes severe numbness and now pain in her arms, and keeps her up. She’s also got that lovely pregnancy insomnia that I experienced towards the end too. It’s funny- we’re often both up at 3am enjoying another meal and having good conversation- me because breastfeeding while weight training has made me a hungry beast, and her because she’s in her third trimester. 

Anyways, another good night for Dumplin’:

Sleep Training Day 5: 

6:38pm start

Sleep wave in minutes: 11

Fussed at 7:25pm, 9:30pm, 2:30am

Total time until sleep: 11 minutes

Feedings: 9:30pm, 2:30am, 6am

Wake-up: sometime around 7:15ish?

He gave me a 5-hour stretch between feedings at the beginning of the night! Too bad I was up with DW watching Insurgent and not sleeping. He fussed at reasonable times, to which I responded by going in and nursing him. Our nighttime nursings have been so sweet and special to me because I miss him so much at night. Many times I’ve daydreamed about pulling him back into bed with us, but I know that that’s just for me, and he’s actually fine and better off in his crib. I think he’s getting more restorative sleep in his crib, and he was sorta waking up every time we rolled over or moved, got up to pee, etc. At nap time yesterday afternoon, I was tired and took him into the spare bedroom with the intention of nursing him to sleep for a nap. I knew it was kind of a bad idea in some ways, but I really missed the closeness with my boy, and I also wanted to see if we could have some flexibility in this regard, without messing up his sleep training. Interestingly, he nursed side-lying, but unlatched himself when he was done. He then just laid beside me playing with the top sheet, kicking his feet, as he does. It made me sad that my old strategy of boobing him to sleep didn’t work, but I was proud of him for having broken that association in 4 days!

This morning, Dumplin’ woke up at around 7-something, and when DW went to his room for his morning routine, he was swatting at the aquarium, trying to turn it on! Funny guy. He just melts my heart. 

 
Our boy with his little dog. 

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!