Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sleep Training is Not for the Weak

When Ava was a newborn, she had no problems sleeping. She slept great at night. She napped well during the day, anywhere, and through anything. Then, somewhere around eight weeks, the naps dwindled, and then several weeks later, she went from sleeping 12 hours a night to sleeping 9 or 10. You see the pattern here: less sleep = grumpy baby.

Fast forward to today. Ava is 15 weeks old, and daytime naps are still few and far between. She may take two or three a day, if she happens to feel like it, but they never last more than 30 minutes. Never. 30 minutes to the minute. She is still only sleeping ten hours at night. This is having an effect on her disposition, and it's one that is causing me to run for the wine bottle.

So we decided to try sleep training. I have a book, a stupid, useless, talk in circles book that has been of little to no help to me, in the sense that none of the ideas presented in it are working. I'm afraid we've created a monster by letting her nap in her bouncy chair so much, but the vibrations were the only thing that would calm her down at times. Because of that, she rarely will take naps in her crib. We just finished up 30 minutes of crying in her crib and now she is continuing the fit in my lap and in the bouncy chair. I have no idea what to do. It's like I am being punished for trying to do the right thing for her. Try to help her learn to sleep, and it results in such massive fits at times that I'm afraid she is going to make herself throw up. She fussed constantly last night, to the point where I wheeled her travel crib (where she still sleeps at night) into the front bedroom with me, so M could get some sleep, because I sure as hell wasn't getting any. Miracle of miracles,she actually took a small nap in her crib this morning, so silly me, I tried to put her down for her second nap in the crib and I am now being rewarded with a fit that has now lasted 45 minutes and counting.

As we've been trying the sleep training, we've also decided to unswaddle. In fact, the unswaddling really came first, and necessitated the need for the sleep training. She's days away from rolling over, and once she is rolling over, I don't want to swaddle her. Well, the unswaddling thing has fucked her world up. She has an even harder time now. This sucks. I feel like maybe we aren't doing something right, or that we made a mistake in swaddling her for so long, or rocking her to sleep, or having her in our room, or any of the other things that we've been doing. It's so obvious that she is tired and not getting nearly enough sleep, but I'm not sure what else we should be doing. I just feel so bad for her, and for us. But shit, what are we supposed to do? They don't make swaddle blankets cool enough for the college set. So I figure at some point, she has to settle into a groove with the no swaddle thing, I just wonder how very tired we are all going to be before that finally happens.

She just now went to sleep. In that stupid vibrating bouncy chair that I am a slave to. I caved.

1 comment:

donna said...

Can you try swaddling her with her arms out? That way she gets some of the swaddle feeling but it won't hold her back when she decides to roll over. It will get better, I promise. I can't remember what age Bridget was when she'd finally nap in her crib or when she took distinct morning and afternoon naps, but I want to say around 4 months? Before that, she was the same - napping 30 minutes here and there in her swing or bouncy chair. Hang in there. And maybe up the wine. Maybe that'll make her sleep more....