May 30, 2008

Half Thoughts...

Coupla things I've been stewing over this week--

Using the word "sugar" to describe affection bothers me. Like "Hey baby, gimme some sugar," and the like. "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Sugar Sugar," "Lips Like Sugar" the Archies, but I don't like the expression. In this instance, I guess I am just too literal to appreciate the symbolism. It makes me think of sugar bowls, with sugar spoons in them...specifically the one we had when I was growing up. I think it was green. Oh, and we'd go to a restaurant and I'd get impatient waiting for my food so I'd eat sugar straight from a packet (what on earth was my mom thinking), and it'd be this grainy little pile of sugar in my mouth. Good times. But hugs and kisses aren't grainy. So yeah, I'm not big on the metaphor....

...I've stepped up the sleep training this week. His Highness hates to go to sleep. He fights it most every time by screaming and crying in protest. Which I think is fantastic, because he rarely screams like that unless he's tired, so while he thinks he's convincing me that he should stay awake, he's really telling me that I'm doing the right thing by making him go to sleep.

I'm not an advocate of uniform sleep training for all kiddos...sleep is a very individual thing, in my opinion, and there are many variables to consider when forming one's household sleep patterns. In fact, I avoided any sort of sleep training with His Highness for quite some time, until I knew I was ready to put forth the effort required, and confident in my ability to read his cues and know what he needed. And frankly, we were fairly comfortable with his sleep patterns until recently.

But lately, he's been waking up earlier & earlier in the morning and insisting that it's time to nurse and then get up...except that he's been screaming, which as I said above, tells me that he's still tired. I'd been hemming & hawing on what to do, wondering if I should just get up early with him, but finally I'd had it up to here with getting up at ungodly hours and decided to put the smack down. The rule is that he must stay in bed at least until 6 am, so now if he wakes up before then (even a little bit, and especially if he's crying) I make him go back to sleep. And guess what? After a tantrum at 5, he's been sleeping past 7. Tra la, tra la!

Same thing with naptime. We had a loose drink-read-sleep routine but I tightened it up. We have a drink, then read 2-3 books, and then it's time to sleep. He was screaming regardless, so I figured if I made the routine short & simple at least I'd get through the screaming faster. So we've been doing that the past few days, and guess what? Today we had our drink and read our books, and he tried to leave the room as usual, but I put him back in bed and said "It's time to go to sleep," and did my little half-rocking thing, and he lay there quietly while he drifted off. A prouder mom you will not find.

All that said, you'll either be pleased or horrified to know that for us, "cry it out" means crying it out right next to Mommy. He still starts out on his own at bedtime but when he wakes around 2am, instead of bringing him in with us, I go to his room so that the Cat Daddy has at least some chance of sleeping thru the tantrums. We're moving in the direction of mostly-not-co-sleeping, but I'm not willing to quit cold turkey. So there.

Obviously, we've got plenty left to accomplish in the sleeping department; not the least of which is making the non-screaming a habit. I got some fantastic tips from Mrs. Roots that I'll be trying in the coming days & weeks to streamline everything, but this is good progress for 3 days' work. It motivates me to stick with the program, and we all know that when mommy (and daddy) is consistent, it makes things better for everyone.

Chalk another one up for mommy...


DramaMama said...

I don't miss those middle of the night moments AT ALL! And God knows we had A LOT of them. Over 14 months of shear H_ _ L!

Good for you for putting the "smack down".

We were dealing with the stall tactics at bedtime and have since developed "quiet time" before "sleep time". She is allowed to play quietly in her room but isn't allowed out except to go potty. Surprisingly, it works like a charm on most nights. Recently, she's even been tucking herself in and falls asleep before I realize she's stopped playing. Wow! How nice is that?

Krista Hansen said...

Way to go you! It is NOT easy to listen to your child cry and scream even when you KNOW they are tired and need sleep. Karson was definitely a sleep fighter, but he was pretty much past the screaming and crying by the time he was a year old (lucky me) and I was definitely BLESSED with an all night sleeper by the time he was 7-8 WEEKS old. Most mommy's want to kill me when I tell them that and I promise I've never taken the gift for granted! Best of luck with the sleeping "routines".