Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Baby by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. is the book we decided to roll with in getting Simone on a proper sleep schedule. A fairly succinct method that’s presented in step-by-step fashion. You establish a night-time routine (which we already have), but when it’s time for bed and the lights are off, no more interaction. The parent on duty remains in the room (or doorway, or whatever) and only moves to place the child back in bed. A couple of example in the book mentioned the first few nights being close to sleepless and being prepared for numerous “jack in the box” moments.
Since Simone is now sleeping on a mattress on the floor, the crib long-since dismantled, we figured we’d be in for trouble and opted to alternate nights. Here’s how the progress went:
- Night One: 180 trips back to bed, 3 wake-ups during the night (also trips back to her bed).
- Night Two: 90 trips back to bed, 2 wake-ups during the night.
- Night Three: 30 trips back to bed, 3 wake-ups during the night.
And the pattern is reasonable consistent this way. As it stands, Simone gets up roughly 20 times before finally settling down to sleep. The process works better when Papa Harry is at the help, as for some reason she pushes the boundaries even harder when Mommy is on duty.
I’m not sure if this is a huge success, as the book claims to have a healthy pattern within 4-5 days. We’re a bit past that and I’m still having to get up 3 times during the night as Simone has conditioned herself to waking completely out of her sleep cycle and booking it to our room to try and sleep in our bed.
Part of the problem is, I think, because our pattern has always been to let her into our bed around 6 a.m. so we can snooze for one final hour or so. Now that she’s out of the crib and mobile, she most likely assumes she can hit us up for some warmth whenever she pleases. It looks like we’re going to have to get stern about even the 6 o’clock visit, which sucks because a little family bonding has always been kind of nice. But two nights ago, when I had to stay outside Simone’s door from 3:30-5:30 a.m. I knew all things must come to an end. The world for a good night’s sleep.
But enough of all this. We’ve still got some work ahead and then off to boarding school for her. Get thee to a nunnery. Or something. Nah.
More humorous anecdotes to come.