Sleep Training: Night 3

It occurred to me last night that I needed to reacquaint myself with my old friend Dr. Marc Weissbluth, author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins. This was the book that taught me how to put Ben and Alex to bed for the night, drowsy but awake. It cut the nighttime routine down from 1.5 hours to about 20 minutes. When we first formulated our sleep training plan, I was going off of memory on what the book had said. Why not just pull it out and re-read the section? Well because common sense things like that don’t occur to tired people… yeah, I’m feeling super smart right now.

At any rate, I went back to review his three methods of sleep training. The first, check and console, was obviously not getting us anywhere. So we decided to move on to the second option, modified cry it out. The premise is simple, when they cry, wait 5 minutes before going in. The hope is that they will settle back down on their own. If they don’t, you do what you need to to console them, then leave. If they are still crying, you wait 10 minutes the next time before going in, and so forth. So that was the game plan last night. Here’s how it looked:

9:35. Alex woke up crying. We waited 5 minutes and then Alan went in and settled him back down.

10:35. Somebody woke up crying, I don’t know who. They stopped crying within 5 minutes, fussed off and on for another 3, and then went back to sleep.

11:30. Alex is up again and crying. I go in after 5 minutes, and I decided to nurse him since they had gone to bed early and it had been 5 hours. Ben wakes up during this process, so I feed them both and get them both back to sleep.

2:30. Alex is up again. I went in after 5 minutes but he was in the mood to play, so I turned the music on and left.

2:40. Alex has woken Ben up now, Alan goes in to comfort them both.

3:15. Both are still having issues when I check on them. I think this was the point that I told Alan to go spend the rest of the night downstairs, so he could get a little bit of rest before work.

3:25. Both are screaming and refusing to be comforted, so I leave again.

3:40. I am finally able to settle Alex down by rocking him. Ben had already fallen back to sleep on his own.

6:00. Both are up and ready to nurse and ready to be up for the day.

I learned something interesting during last night’s exercises, which probably makes me a really bad mother. I always thought it would be heartbreaking to let them cry. Well, when you are exhausted enough, it’s not so heartbreaking. I actually reached a point last night (early this morning) where I didn’t really care that they were still crying, I was more than willing to leave them to their crying and go back to sleep, tuning it out. And I absolutely hate that that is where I am at, I feel like an ogre, not a caring mother. I’m disgusted with myself, but I have to be honest with myself that it is the exhaustion talking. And I know that the end will justify the means. There are going to have to be some tears, so maybe it’s the best thing for my sanity to be able to tune them out. I don’t know.

The other frustrating thing was journal entry #2. While I’m glad whoever it was went back to sleep on their own, I’m annoyed that I don’t know who it was. But that gets remedied tonight. We used to have a video monitor, but the crystal inside the transmitter met with an unfortunate accident. So I found another one on eBay for half the retail price, and it just arrived today. I cannot wait to get it hooked up tonight, so that we can know who is doing what when, without having to go in and potentially make them more upset with our presence.

This does get easier, right???


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