Sunday, December 10, 2006

Week 22- Santa's Little Helper

Carson has been a very easy and happy baby who always slept well. He skipped colic and infant crying and most other difficult periods. So we were NOT prepared for the radical change at 4 months old to sleepless nights! Even though the pediatrician predicted it would happen, it's "normal" after all, no one can prepare you for waking up every hour on the hour from 1 am to 6 am.

After 3 weeks of no sleep, I finally broke down (this was after the nurse at the mom’s group told us to just keep putting his binkie in –which I personally thought just kept the problem going) and called a sleep consultant last week based on a friend’s recommendation. But it turned out to be $340, so I went to the library and Barnes and Noble and read as many books as I could on different sleep theories.

We started “sleep training’ Carson on Friday night. We decided to use a modified Ferber method. We put him down for bedtime at 6:30 after his bottle like normal, only we cut him off from his binkie cold turkey. (The main problem was that if he woke up in the middle of the night, he needed the binkie to get back to sleep. But I had to get up to put the binkie back in.) So we let him cry for 5 minutes and then went in and comforted him. Patting him on the back wasn’t enough so we picked him up and “shushed” him until he stopped crying. Then we put him back down and let him cry 10 minutes. That was all it took! He fell asleep. We were shocked! We were totally prepared for a hour or more of crying. So when he woke up at 1:30 am, we did the same thing, let him cry for 5 minutes and then went in to comfort him. This time comforting him seemed to make it worse so we thought it would take longer but again, after 10 more minutes of crying, he fell asleep. The tough one was at 4:30 am because when he wakes up at that time, he’s generally wide awake! We repeated the process and he did cry for longer but it was probably about 45 minutes. I woke him up at 6:30 am to keep him on a schedule.

The next night (Saturday), we did the whole thing all over again but with even better results. At 6:30 pm he cried for 5 minutes but this time we only patted him rather than picking him up. He only cried for another 5 minutes and then went to sleep. At 1:30 am, he cried for 8-10 minutes but never reached the blood-curdling screaming stage (more of just attention crying). We never even had to go in because he fell asleep on his own. The same thing happened at 4:30 am. He cried for about 10-15 minutes but just soft crying and then fell asleep. He woke up at his normal 6 am happy as a clam.

So we’re hoping for even more progress tonight! I can’t even tell you how much happier we all are! I’m a much better mother when I’m well-rested and not dreading night-time. Not sleeping can be difficult on a marriage!

This week was victorious in more ways than one! Carson rolled over from his back to his tummy for the first time and now we can't keep him on his back! It's only a matter of time before he is rolling both directions and playing hide & seek! He is also sitting up without assistance. He only falls over once in awhile. He now gets to sit in the seat of the shopping cart, in high chairs at restaurants, and loves riding in his "big boy" stroller.

Santa's Little Helper - bouncing away!

Practicing the "roll-over" Sitting up all by himself!
Happy as a clam!
Enjoying lunch with Great-grandpa Bride and Grandma Levy!

Sitting on Great-grandpa's lap!

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