Teaching them to sleep

What she’ll need to overcome

I convinced my husband that we should postpone starting the Ferber Method for a couple of days, which he agreed to. “But think it’ll be  a good idea for you and her to sleep in her room until then to help her get used to sleeping in there.” Boom, I thought that was a great idea.

That first night in her room, I wanted to just see if Thea was able to fall asleep next to me without snuggling with me (mainly because she had done it before in our bed). Nope.  That night was miserable.  I could get her to sleepish, and then it was like her brain would register what was happening and it would wake her up and she’d start crying.  I tried calming her down, which took a while sometimes.  She was so tired and wanted to sleep, but the conditions she desired weren’t being met.  Poor thing.

It took two hours before I just gave in.  She kept getting so close to sleeping, but I noticed a few things that she was struggling with:

  1. Her hands kept searching for something to touch/hold.  We had discovered swaddling when she was little, which helped her a bunch with sleeping because she struggled with that blasted startle reflex.  However, she had just learned how to rollover that Sunday, so swaddling wasn’t safe anymore.  So not only was she being asked to fall asleep on her own, but she, too, was trying to figure out how to master keeping her arms and hands still without them being pinned down in a blanket.
  2. She would choke on her saliva from sucking on a binky when she would lay directly on her back, which would wake her up.
  3. She would need to be able to find comfort without touching me.  She was just so used to snuggling into my chest; it was going to be hard for her to not have something to turn and snuggle into.
  4. She kept wanting to nurse.  During the night for the past two weeks, she’d wake up like every hour.  It drove me crazy, and so I would feed her, thinking she was legitly hungry, and she’d eat for a minute and pass right back out.  It soon became her preferred method of getting back to sleep.

So progressively, I “gave in,” really meaning that instead of asking her to master all four of these things, I had her concentrate only on sleeping with a binky and not my breast.  And she did fall asleep, but it truly was a battle for both of us.

So after having quite the educational night, I’m feeling like I’m about to ask my 5 month old to really do something extremely hard.  She has so much she’s got to master before she’s going to be able to sleep on her own. Meh. I hate teaching right now.  How do you teach these things??


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