Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Night One: The Results
After my lengthy whining post yesterday about Bunny Boop's sleep issues, I did some research. I googled toddler's not sleeping through the night and came up with a bevy of information. And then, I read the comment of a dear friend, which seemed to prop up my research with the real life experience of someone I know and trust. This was good enough for me, so I settled on a plan of action and implemented it last night.

Pursuant to this, here is the timeline/plan and the results of the experiment:

4:30 - Arrive home. Play time. Mommy-baby interaction.
5:30 - Bunny Boop's Suppertime
6:00 - Bathtime
6:30 - Storytime with milk (10-15 minutes)
7:00 - Daddy gets up, Family time
7:30 - Bunny Boop Bedtime

This plan deviates little from what we had been doing before. In fact, the only significant changes were the moving the bath up to 6 pm and the addition of story time. And, I'm hoping that I can still be flexible on this. It is difficult to make mommy and daddy's supper within this timeline, so being able to push the bath to 6:30 and having storytime at 6:50 will remain a possibility on the table. I'm hoping that so long as the events are in order and none skipped, the "event" of bedtime will remain intact. The only other change of note was the bedtime enforcement. Bunny is usually sleepy by 7:30, but sometimes she resists going to sleep. Last night, bedtime was bedtime. She went upstairs, asleep or not.


The timeline above was followed specifically. Storytime took place in my lap, with a blanket and a bear, and I read softly to her one fairytale and one poem. After that, I got supper on the table and Prince Charming came downstairs. After we ate (Bunny had some fruit snacks in her chair while we ate), we all adjourned to the living room. Bunny had some more of her milk, all the time sitting in my lap. At 7:30 she didn't want anymore milk and wanted out of my lap. But, it was bedtime so I took her upstairs.

I kissed her. I snuggled her. I made sure she had her blanket and her bear. I turned on her cd, turned off the overhead lights and turned on her little lamp, kissed her head again, and left the room.

And my heart just about broke. She was screaming bloody murder. She was wild-eyed pissed-off. I was crying by the time my foot hit the first floor. I looked at the clock and determined to go back up in five minutes. Prince Charming asked if I was okay. Not so much. I did some dishes, cleared the table, that sort of thing. With one minute to go before I could return upstairs, the crying ceased. When the alotted time had passed, I crept back up the stairs and snuck a look into her room.

She was no longer standing up in her crib. I listened carefully. The breathing was steady and even. I chanced it and risked a more comprehensive view. She was asleep. Not wanting to wake her, I backed out of the room and went back downstairs. Thirty minutes later I went up and covered her up and turned her lamp off.

So far so good, right?

Fast forward to 2:00 a.m. The kid is like a clock! I am awakened by whining, still tentative and not yet really upset. I look at the clock and mark the time. I listen to the whining become short cries. When five minutes has passed, I go into her room and comfort her. I kiss her head, pat and rub her back. I restart her cd player. I kiss her again, speak softly to her that it is bedtime. It is okay. Go to sleep. After one minute, I walk out of the room and back to my own. I look at the clock and mark the time, intent on returning to her in 10 minutes.

When I left her in her room, she was greatly displeased. This caused the crying to be very loud and dramatic. It wrenched at my heart, but no more so than when I was in her room and she tried to climb into my arms. So, I sit on my bed, watching the numbers on my digital clock change very slowly. Four of the alotted 10 minutes pass and the crying stops. Still, I continue to wait until the 10 minutes are up before checking on her. When I do, she is asleep. I cover her back up and go back to bed. It takes me a while, but I finally fall back to sleep.

This seems to have been an incredible success. I'm really very encouraged by this. I think in 2 weeks this will be a non-issue. Of course, I'm also kicking myself for not doing something sooner to nip this in the bud. What can I say? I've never done this before. I'm still learning. I will tell you this: I am aware that I caused this problem. I own that. It is easier for me to say it that it is for me to hear it, though. But, as you will note, I have also come up with a solution (still a work-in-progress though it might be) and I own that too.

It isn't easy to listen to Bunny cry, no question. But, I feel like a very accomplished mommy today. However, before you jump in and caution me, I am aware that it may not be this easy every night in the short term. I'm aware. But I'm also hopeful.

Special thanks to Christina!


posted by Phoenix | 11:09 AM


At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Christina said...

YOU are an AWESOME mom!!

Give yourself a high five and a pat on the back, as well as a big hug from me!!

One of the best gifts you can give your baby (not to mention yourself) is the ability to calm herself and put herself to sleep.

I had a friend who had a baby a few weeks after Sweet was born. When it was naptime all activity in the house had to stop and everything was perfectly still or quiet. She turned the phones off and even stopped the grandfather clock in the den. To this day that kid cannot sleep unless everything is perfectly still and quiet.

Mine can sleep through trains when the occasion requires.

When I mentioned Dash and I were of two minds yesterday, he was fully committed to the plan, I had problems because, like you, it killed me to hear her cry. One night I couldn't take it and went to pick her up. He was so pissed at me he actually punched a hole in the wall. I got the message.

Within days after that, Sweet was sleeping all through the night.

Kudos, Kudos, Kudos!!

; )

At 3:53 PM, Blogger CTG said...

Woo Hoo! Excellent! I wish you much continued success!

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Lolly said...

You mentioned that in two weeks' time it will probably be a non-issue. I agree. It's been awhile, but I remember that it usually always took about two weeks for some kind of change in routine to become a habit. This goes for just about everything - taking away the bottle, potty training, new eating habits, new schedules for going to school, etc. You just have to be persistent.


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