Teaching them to sleep

Comforting

Today for her nap, Thea was almost un-soothable.  I’d go in to comfort her after the period of waiting was over, and she wouldn’t calm down really.  The first time, I wondered if she was hungry.  So I took her out and fed her, but she just about fell asleep after about 3 minutes.  She was hungry, but she was more tired.  When that’s been happening, I take her off the breast and put a binky in so she can still have something to suck on, but fall asleep without me.  And that’s worked actually really well.  But not today.

The last few times we’ve put her down to sleep, she’s had one cry period, and then after we’ve comforted her once, she’s fallen asleep.  So today, when nothing was really working to comfort her after I had already fed her, I was wondering if maybe she wasn’t really tired-tired, but just kind of tired because we’ve had that as well.  When that happens, we just take her out and keep playing (Side story: I made the effort before of trying to force sleep to happen once because I thought she was tired, but wasn’t sure, but didn’t want to give in to taking her out because I thought that would mess everything up and give her false expectations.  She did fall asleep, but woke right back up after 8 minutes.  So I took her out).  After taking her out when she’s not fallen asleep, sometimes she won’t be ready for a nap for hours, sometimes its like 10 minutes.  So I kept wondering if I was doing the right thing by letting her lay there and cry when that hasn’t been her response to our sleeping method, but I knew she was tired, and felt to stick it out.

After a slightly longer-then-the-recent-usual pattern of comforting and leaving, she fell right asleep and slept for 3 hours.

Principle: Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Follow your thoughts and your heart.  You’ll discover what’s happening and what they need, but only if you try different things.  And if you feel like you’ve “messed up,” you’re fine.  You haven’t hurt the baby and you haven’t “messed” anything up.  You’re learning just like they are.

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