Saturday Jan. 28
9:00 p.m. Tonight I did something I haven’t done in a long, long time. I sat down with a cup of tea and my eReader (Reading: The Help) and read in silence without a baby on my lap. Sophie went to bed an hour ago. The only sound she made as I kissed her goodnight and closed the door, was a few little babbles (probably saying goodnight to her new mobile — which, by the way, you should click the picture to see up close how cute those little bugs are!).
Tonight is night four of Operation Bedtime Bootcamp (darn, I just realized Bootcamp should actually be Boot Camp, but it’s too late. These are my rules.) I was expecting horrible things. Sophie had a tough night last night. She did not want to go to sleep. Now here we are, exactly one hour from the time I placed her in her crib, AWAKE, and she went to sleep on her own.
I am in awe. Dominique warned me not to jinx this. But you know what? Whether she wakes in an hour or two, whether the middle of the night is rocky, there is success here. She has now gone to sleep for the night on her own. She’s done it at naps. She’s done it in the middle of the night. And now she’s done it during her first put-down of the night. I couldn’t be happier.
It went down like this:
Bedtime routine got a little flubbed up. It was bath night (we still only bathe her a couple of nights a week) so she had pjs before food this time. She then proceeded to get so excited about the book we were reading that she got the hiccups. Great. I’m sure she’ll settle now! Then, a giant rumble in her Pampers. Now we’re back on the changing table. Nothing. Just air. OK. Now, let’s just chill and listen to the music box and wind down a bit. Hiccups still a raggin’ so I wind it up twice, she snuggles in while we rock and listen. Cross my fingers and place Sophie in her crib.
She lays there, all quiet, just looking at me.
I zip up her sleeping bag (actually, this is the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit), kiss her cheek and she turns her head to the side, the way she does when she sleeps. No whimpering. No fussing. No kicking of the feet in protest.
I close the door and hear a few “ahs” and “uh guhs.” Then … nothing. And there it is. My baby went to bed and fell asleep all by herself. Just like a big girl. I can’t believe it so I’m glued to the video monitor.
Here’s how the rest of the night went:
Went to bed around 10 and Dominique said, “See you in an hour,” because that’s when she has been waking. When I heard her waking, I looked at the clock and it was 12:45. Nice! That’s a long stretch for my girl. The experts say you should wait 5-10 minutes after night cries because babies cry in their sleep. If you go in too soon, you might actually wake them as they are putting themselves back to sleep. But after a few minutes she was definitely up and looking for food.
12:55 She is fed, 5 1/2 hours since she at last. We burp, cuddle a minute, then lay back down to bed. I hear her give a little whine and then she’s out. The next sound I hear from her is a cry at …
3:40 I wait a minute and she goes back to sleep.
5:18 and she is loudly asking for mom. This is nearly 4 1/2 hours after her last meal. The master plan is working. 🙂 She’s so tired, even her burp sounds sleepy. I lay her down and she passes out.
8:00 we’re up for the day. What a great night. This is where I hoped we would be.
In celebration of a successful night of sleep, we decide it’s time for treat. Sophie usually sits in her chair on the table when we eat. (We never, ever leave her up there without us sitting right next to her.) We peel a banana and let her take a taste. This is her first foray into the world of solid foods.
It’s touch and go for a minute, then she grabs on with both hands and dives in.
After cleaning up a bit, we get ready for nap #1.
10:15 Put down, she babbled for a minute and drifted off to sleep. That’s my girl.
11:50 The little one’s awake, singing to the darkness. Another successful nap.
2:20 Sophie goes down easy, sings for a minute, then fusses for a minute and is asleep in eight minutes.
4:00 The little one protests and I should have waited a bit before responding. Her eyes were closed as I opened her blinds. Maybe she would have fallen back to sleep for a while.
Operation Bedtime Bootcamp is officially over — Mission Accomplished.
Please let me not regret uttering that phrase. 😉 bwaha ha ha ha
As we close out four nights and four days of sleep training, I have to say the pain was worth the progress. Sophie is already back to her old, alert self. She is going down with little to no fight. Mom and dad have some together time. And we’ll all soon be getting the sleep we so desperately need.
It’s not over yet. I’ll be watching the next few nights closely. New routines take a while to set in. And I’m sure there will be bad days and nights along with the good. C’est la vie.
I still have plenty of questions, as well, like how do I structure her feeding times around these new sleep routines? How do I still take her for walks and jogs when I know she’ll fall asleep, though for shorter periods than regular naps? When is she going to stop drooling all over me?
One thing I know for sure, I will need to find another excuse for putting off practicing German. 😉
Thanks for reading along with me on this crazy adventure. Stick around if you like. Follow me on the blog to receive e-mailed posts or just bookmark me here and remember to check in now and then.