Monday, June 20, 2011

sleep training and dead monitors

Both of those have been mucking up my blogging lately.  First of all, we're finally sleep training Monkey.  I had read two different books, and been posting on boards all over the 'internets' looking for suggestions.  To catch you up since I haven't posted much about it: Monkey can't go to sleep without me.  For the past few months he and I have been sharing an air mattress in our extra bedroom.  It got to the point where we were both so sleep deprived, every aspect of our lives were affected, and we just needed some sleep.  So I gave in and just brought him to bed with me and we both slept, well, like babies.  So I just got used to doing it that way and let it go on a little too long.  When I finally got tired of having to go to bed at 7:30pm (Monkey's bedtime), I decided to ramp up my efforts to get him into his own bed. 

There were two problems we were facing.  First, Monkey couldn't fall asleep on his own.  He needed me to get him to sleep.  Second, he was used to having me there next to him all night.  Most sleep solutions out there suggest one of two ways: let them cry for varying lengths of time, checking on them in various ways, until they finally wear themselves out and crash; or stay in there with them and baby the heck out of them until they eventually are coddled to sleep in their bed, without crying.  I knew I wasn't about to let him cry again.  We tried that, three times, and we all ended up more stressed and tired than before.  I also didn't like the no-cry sleep method because I didn't think he should be coddled so much just to get to sleep.  So I opted for a split between the two. 

First, we spent a week in our shared bed, letting him put himself to sleep.  He would roll around and fuss and chew on the covers and eventually fall asleep.  For week 2, I put him in his own bed, but stayed in his room, reading in a chair.  So he still had me in the room, but I wasn't helping him get to sleep.  Here's where our plan went a little off track.  I am so happy to say that Monkey is now sleeping in his own bed, 100% of the time.  However.  He is still having great trouble getting himself to sleep.  There are times when I have to help him get to sleep by rolling him onto his side and giving him something that smells like me; or even rocking him to near-sleep on really challenging days.  I would just let him be, except that sometimes he screams so loudly that he wakes his brother.  Those are the times I 'help'.  It's not quite as smooth as all that, but we're getting there, one precious day at a time. 

So, during that first week where I was letting him put himself to sleep, with me laying next to him, I had to go to bed whenever he did.  So naps and 7:30 bedtimes for me for a week.  That meant that I could only get things done around the house while Monkey was awake.  So no blogging. :(  To be honest, I think that first stage ended up taking two weeks or more because I was waiting for something to get fixed outside Monkey's window that would bang and wake him up.

Now that Monkey is finally in his bed and sleeping on his own and I have both naptimes and bedtimes free after he goes to sleep, I was hoping to get caught up with all the blog posts I have half-finished.  Well, now the monitor on our pc isn't working.  Luckily I have this little netbook so I don't feel completely cut off from the virtual world, but pretty, photo-riddled posts will have to wait until we get a working monitor. 

Hopefully I'll be back blogging normally again very soon!

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