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More on Sleep Training (by the Initiated, but Disorganized)

August 7, 2012
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So now that we’re home from what felt like a marathon of vacation (complete with a marathon level of fatigue, at times) we thought that it’d be a good time to get Jude on a healthier sleep schedule. Throughout vacation we have been staying either in someone’s house, or in a rented house, but always with other people. There was also the issue of sleeping in unfamiliar beds, so all-in-all we decided to wait until we returned home to sleep train Jude. Meanwhile, he’s been co-sleeping with me still and using my breasts like a friggin’ Hometown Buffet every night (I’m surprised he doesn’t just pump some into his purse before morning a la my grandma – but I digress).

Point is, we’re both ready for some longer stretches of sleep, I think. So last night, in our second-child sort of loosey-goosey way we started trying to get Jude to self-soothe a little more. Here’s how it went:

8:05 – we begin reading Gus his stories in bed. M is reading while I nurse Jude in the glider in their room.

8:35 – stories are over, Jude is still nursing but mostly sleeping. Gus is yammering and kicking the wall despite being repeatedly shushed.

8:45 – M leaves after having snuggled Gus a bit. I stay till I believe Gus is sleeping. This is part of our “plan” to wean Gus from needing one of us in bed with him to fall asleep. I told you we are loosey-goosey. And yes, I know that makes it harder. It is what it is, I’m afraid.

8:55 – Both boys appear to be asleep. I get Jude settled in the crib and check Gus whilst re-snapping my bra. (SNAP!) crap that was loud. Little voice: mommy? what are you doing? felt like the Grinch. um… I’m just turning down your light. If you want, I’ll sit in the rocker for a little bit, though. little voice: why’d you say you’ll only stay for a little bit? I reply: go to sleep Gus. No more talking now, sweetheart. Little voice: why no more talking? I make a mental note to throttle the inventor of the word “why?” You know, in the afterlife. Out loud, I say: Night night, Gus. I love you.

9:00 – Both boys appear to be asleep. I remove Jude’s legs from the crib slats, and pray he won’t wake up. Or get them back in.

9:05 – rush out to the tv room (detached from house) with monitor and *ahem* supplies in hand. It’s been a while since M and I have had some time alone. Traveling. Staying with in-laws. You know the drill.

9:15 – First cries begin on monitor. I calmly and rationally (ha.) urge M to just turn it off!!  He does. we feel only instantaneous guilt. five minutes isn’t going to hurt him.

9:20 – (hey. we were motivated to make it quick. Don’t judge.) Turn monitor back on while redressing haphazardly, and what do I hear?

– blessed silence –

The video screen revealed that Jude had rolled to his other side and had found his fingers to suck. And just like that, the first interval of sleep training was accomplished. And it was a helluva lot better than the glass of wine I used to distract me from Gus’ first sleep training night. heh.

Now I’m not sure if this is common for co-sleeping moms who try to sleep train (is there even another such animal out there?!!?) but I find that now I have a harder time sleeping when Jude is away from me. I miss him. Buuuut. I also miss co-sleeping with my husband… so there’s that. But I must have been out by the time M finished his ironing (and watching the USA/Canada women’s soccer match) and came to bed because I don’t remember it.

We were on the right track.

11:45 – all dreams of some miraculous sleeping through the night miracle are dashed (as well as my literal dreams) when I hear crying over the monitor. At first, of course, I thought it was Jude, but then I quickly realized that Jude can’t quite say “mommydaddymommydaddy!! I peeeeeeeeed! In my beeeeeed!” through his crying. Sooooo… yeah. The whole ruckus and sheet-changing that followed woke Jude, and I took him back to bed with me while Masa slept in Gus’ bed.

I do count last night as a victory in some respects. For one, we had mommy-daddy time which was long overdue and much-needed. Second, Jude did self-soothe in a quick manner which bodes well for future nights.  We also learned that five minutes (or so) of Jude’s crying won’t necessarily wake Gus. All wins.

In the “not victory” category we have Gus’ first night of underwear equaling soaked sheets and jammies before midnight when he’s kept his pull-ups dry EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. for weeks. ugh. In addition, we have the fact that the night ended with Jude in bed with me, and M in bed with Gus… just the situation we’re trying to rectify.

Also not a victory:  how often I bounce between present and past tense in this post. It’s a pet peeve of mine but I just don’t have the will to go back through and edit it. So… sorry. I won’t even bother apologizing for the rest of my grammatical atrocities.

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