Sleep Training: Day 1 and 2

A toddler girl crying

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I’ve been leading up to this for awhile.  We started sleep training the Squeaker on Monday night.  We decided to do everything in one fell swoop –  training her at night to sleep in her crib and also her naps in the crib and night weaning her.  I know, big shock to poor O but I’d rather be completely miserable for a few weeks than kinda miserable for months if we separated each thing.

We are following the “Sleep Lady Shuffle” which means for the first three nights we sit on a chair by the side of her crib and stay there until she falls asleep.  We can talk to her, pat her, but no picking her up unless she is hysterical.  No nursing to sleep, just putting her down “drowsy but awake.”  We have yet to reach hysterical but we have definitely gotten super pissed and completely dejected from O.

Brandon bravely did night 1 duty.  Thank God.  It was much easier for me to deal with her cries when I was in the next room with the door closed watching TV and eating dinner.  On the first night it took O 42mins of crying to fall asleep.  We had yet to see O stand up in her crib from a laying down position.  Come to find out she can do this, and very well I might add.  This has made sleep training almost unbearable.  She pulls up and just cries and screams in our face.  After a while when we don’t pick her up, she just lets her head and arms go limp and slumps over the side of the crib while still sobbing.  It’s heartbreaking.  Truly heartbreaking.  Well, this happened to Brandon on the first night and he laid her down a couple times because she can get up but does not know how to get back down.  But eventually he just let her stay standing to tire her out.  She fell asleep standing up slumped over the crib rail.  Ugh.  Poor thing.  Brandon said he laid her down and she didn’t even flinch. 

Day 2 I had to do naps and sleep time training which was rough.  That’s too much heartache for one day.  It’s too hard to hear your kid cry that much in one day.  The only thing that kept me from caving in after a day of crying was that all this misery would be in vain and we would probably just have to start over at a later date. 

Naps are the worst and so hard to get her to do.  She takes 2 naps a day.  For her morning nap she cried 20mins and slept almost an hour and a half.  Pretty good.  For her afternoon nap she cried 48mins and slept 36mins.  Damn.  But then she only cried for 8mins when I put her to bed at night and she slept for a little over 6 hours.  Tough day so thank God the progress is pretty quick.

Night weaning has been the hardest part for her I think.  She has woken up both nights in the 1-2am hour and the 5-6am hour because these are usually the times she not just snacked but had an all out feast.  She basically cries for these hours but hopefully it’ll get better.  Her doctor has been telling me that she doesn’t need to eat at night since she was 4 months old so I know she can get through the night without eating.

Even though I can see her improving very quickly, ugh, this is  just torture.  I’ve been walking around with the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach for the last 3 days.  This is what I felt like in the days leading up to my first day of teaching.  Nervous.  Sick.  Nauseous.  I know that we have to teach her how to sleep and I know we have to do this for the sake of the whole family but man, it’s hard.  Having to see her sobbing and confused and angry and tired and pressing her little face against the crib slats literally make me sick to my stomach. 

But we’re holding strong.  And praying a lot.  Dear God, just get us through another night.

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