So, baby J is now 4 months old. Sleep training has begun and is going reasonably well. Daytime naps are still pretty short but once 5pm hits he is pretty dusted and will sleep 3-4 hour stretches until 6am. He still screams bloody murder at naps but it’s getting shorter and shorter and he’s starting to soothe himself asleep. Great progress all around.
The next hurdle is the formula introduction. I tried to give him a few ounces the other day and he looked up at me with the most disgusted of expressions as if he was thinking, “Woman, WTF is this?!”
Yesterday, I delegated the task to husband and he worked his Jedi magic and the baby drank the formula.
Daddy milk is starting.
I plan to continue nursing for at least another month if I can. I just would like to get some more sleep, so I hope with more formula there will be less nighttime awakenings. Of course this likely means that my supply will start to take a nosedive. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
So, I’ve started sleep training baby J. The reason? This:
Both are amazing and needed in the immediate newborn period; the soother because babies need to suck and it’s just not practical to be a human soother all of the time; the swaddle because the moro reflex interrupts sleep and newborns/infants need to feel tight and secure when they sleep.
But there comes a time when both become a) a hassle, and b) a crutch.
Let me explain.
The soother becomes a crutch because once baby falls asleep, if the soother falls out of the mouth, the baby wakes up and starts crying. Mom and dad have to go back into the room, re-position the soother and baby falls asleep. This becomes a hassle when it occurs a bajillion times a night.
The swaddle becomes a hassle when baby starts moving around and pulls the Houdini routine and you walk into the room when baby is screaming only to find the soother still in the mouth but the baby’s arms are out of the swaddle and the kid doesn’t know what to do with them.
Both of what I described above started happening on a regular basis with baby J and one exhausted morning last week, I decided it was time to stop swaddling. The soother remained, but after two return trips to the crib to replace said soother in the span of ten minutes, another decision was made. Bye-bye soother.
What ensued next?
Yes. Blood-curdling screaming. Poor kid didn’t know what to do. Arms were flailing all over the place, legs kicking up a storm and there is me, face to face with screaming and quietly doing this:
At some point though, one just has to leave the room and let the baby cry. And cry he did. But he stopped eventually and fell asleep, for about 20 minutes.
The the screaming started again. I looked over at my cat who was sleeping on the couch next to me and she gave me this look:
Ah … sleep training.
Excuse me while I tend to the infant … in the time it took for me to write this post, about 20 minutes, he slept and is now awake.
Until I had children, I didn’t even really think twice about it. Back in medical school and family medicine residency, I remember hearing about how babies need to learn how to sleep. This was a totally foreign concept to me.
It’s pretty much all I think about these days.
Baby J is 4 months old. He’s been swaddled and using a soother to sleep. For the past week, he’s been getting out of the swaddle and there have been multiple trips back to the crib to replace the soother in the middle of the night.
The time has come to sleep train.
It’s been 24 hours so far. We are both exhausted.
Forgive the short post but I can barely keep my eyes open.