The sleep saga continues! Becca is now consistently sleeping in her crib at night (yeah for us!!). However, she still has another little habit that we need to break– nursing to sleep in our bed. It just isn’t working for me anymore.
For one thing, I am trying (half-heartedly) to wean her so encouraging this is only going to make weaning more difficult (which is a whole other post). For another thing, Becca seems to have figured out that the longer she drags out the nursing sessions than the longer she gets to stay with us. So instead of falling asleep while nursing, she is fighting sleep while nursing. This involves a lot of twisting of her body and kicking out of her legs and arms (ouch!). It also means that she is ‘popping’ on and off my breast pretty quickly (ouch! ouch!and ouch!). Most importantly, it also means that she is relying on me to help her fall asleep which is causing issues when she wakes up at night. So it is time to make a change!
The first step was to set up a routine in her room. For the past three nights, I have brought her into her room. When we walk in, “we” turn on the lamp near her bed and turn on the Fisher PriceAcquarium . “We” then choose two books to read and I read them to her. It is funny because she already has a few books that she prefers to read and will actually gesture for them (Mommy Loves Me is one of her current favorites). When “we” finish reading the books, “we” turn off the lamp so the only light is from the Acquarium and I nurse her. When she is done nursing, I will rock her for a few minutes and then put her down to sleep. So far, we have done this three times fairly successfully.
The first night involved a fair amount of crying. However, I made the mistake of allowing her to drink some water just as she was drifting off to sleep and this revved her up again (I know– what was I thinking?). That night, I ended up leaving her for ten minutes and then having Omar go in and soothe her. She quieted down as soon as he walked in there. However, she went ballistic when he put her back down. I mean she was rattling her crib rails and screaming as loudly as she could (I think she knows how much he hates to hear her cry and couldn’t believe he had the nerve to leave her.) Needless to say, Omar was rattled but he did stick it out which really impressed me. I then went back into her room about ten minutes later and rocked her a little again. At this point, she finally drifted off to sleep. That night she woke-up at 3:15 but was asleep again in about 15 minutes.
The second night was similar to the first except with a little less screaming and she woke up at 5:15 a.m. Fortunately, she quickly went to sleep again. Omar wasn’t quite as stalwart as the first night but he was still supportive which definitely makes a difference. It also helped that Becca didn’t get quite as hysterical. Whenever she gets upset, she cries, “Mommy, mommy, moooommmmmy” and it just breaks my heart.
Last night, I managed to go through the routine with almost no crying (Omar would have cracked if we had a repeat of the first night) but she woke again at about 12 pm. She pretty quickly went back to sleep and slept until our Alarm woke her up at 6:45.
Changing the Bedtime Routine
As I was writing this post, I realized that I am going to make another change to Becca’s bedtime routine which might help the sleep situation. Currently, we are still bringing her into our room before bringing her into her room. We watch some t.v., play a few games with her and just generally hang out.Inadvertently , I think this routine is actually waking her up again and I don’t like her second-hand exposure to our adult t.v. shows (I also don’t want her to start watching one of her shows at this time).
Instead, I think I am going to bring her right to her room as soon as we head upstairs. By the time she is finished dinner, had a bath and is in her pajamas, she is actually pretty ready for bed. Maybe Omar, she and I can hang out for a little while in her room (without the t.v. in the background). I am going to try this and see how it works. I will definitely let you know if it helps!