Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Letting Sleeping Babies Lie

Continuing with my series of things that I didn't really discover until after Gordon Lee got here, my topic for this week is SLEEP.

I knew I'd lose sleep.  I expected to have to get up with him during the night.  But what I did NOT expect was that it would be so hard to get him to sleep this early.  For about one blessed month, he slept a lot.  It didn't matter what was going on or where he was.  If he was tired, he'd just sleep anywhere and for as long as he wanted.

Well, now that we're rounding out the 2nd month, that is no longer the case.  Getting him to sleep is not so hard.  He can be rocked to sleep.  He'll fall asleep after eating.  It's actually getting him to STAY asleep that is the challenge.  Anything and everything wakes him up from his sleep.  He wakes up for every little noise.  He wakes up if he farts, pees, poops, etc.  You get the picture.

Now it's not that I didn't expect these things to happen at some point.  I just really didn't think they'd happen so early.  I figured that young babies have a much easier time sleeping (and I'm sure they still do).  So, I've tried many ways to get him to stay asleep.  The one place where he will sleep for the longest is his carseat.
I think he stays asleep in the car seat because it is snug and he feels like he is being held.  When he starts waking up a little bit, rocking the carseat gently gets him to go back to sleep until he is in the deep sleep he needs to be in for refreshment.

BUT I don't want him sleeping in his car seat because he has got to learn to sleep elsewhere.  So, this week, I started trying him out in his crib for naps.  Thanks to some very helpful advice, he has taken a few decent naps in his crib.  It is still a challenge, though, because if he does start to wake up, you can't just gently rock the crib.  And even rocking him gently in the crib does nothing to get him to go back to sleep.  

He's gotten very attached to nursing as his method of going to sleep.  He's like a little addict.  He will fall asleep nursing and if he wakes up to find his milk source is gone, he gets very upset.  I felt like I needed to break him of these habits quickly because I can foresee a real problem developing if I let them continue.

While he was napping this morning, I took some time to read The No-Cry Sleep Solution, which I happened to have on hand.  The lady who wrote the book experienced the same issues with her son that I am seeing in Gordon Lee.  At first, I thought he wasn't sleeping well due to some problem that made him not feel well.

But when I noticed that he was sleeping just fine in my arms, next to me, or in his car seat, I realized his problem was becoming that he thought he needed to nurse, be held, or be rocked in order to sleep.

So, this week, he's getting weaned to his crib.  In the book, she does say it is okay to give the baby a little bit of what he/she wants and then put him/her down.  But the baby has to learn to sleep without all those extra things.

So, so far, I've had to go to Gordon Lee quite a few times to settle him down and get him to sleep.  But we are getting there.  He is sleeping a little bit more in his crib each day.  Today he took one 2-hour nap in there, and we are working on getting him to take a second nap right now.  I will have to post updates on how we're doing, but I am going to keep at it in hopes that he can start learning to sleep "on his own."

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