Sleep Update: Progress Not Perfection

Okay, I’ve written about 13 blogs in 7 days about Fia’s sleep regression. I hesitate to even write this one for fear of jinxing myself, but I do think we’re slowly making progress.

We basically made a rule with ourselves that we go in the first time she wakes up, but not subsequent times. This doesn’t count the “encore” that happens every night when we initially put her down. She starts to cry/whine whatever right when we leave the room. I wait 1-2 minutes, then go in for the encore. Rub her tummy, re-tuck her in, and say goodnight. Occasionally it happens a 3rd time. It’s no biggie and it’s just the routine.

So here how the night wakings are going:

2 nights ago she woke up at midnight. I went in and was sharp mama. “Fia, lie down. Lie down. Go to sleep.” She obeyed, and I left. This is similar to other nights. Going in and just not saying anything and physically lying her down wasn’t making a dent. A lot of experts say not to speak, but with her, I think it works.

She woke up again around 1:30, 2:30, then 3:30.  We just ignored her until the 3:30 one when I heard her say, “diaper change.” Granted, a heavy diaper has never affected her before, but I certainly couldn’t just sit there. I went in, felt it (it was 400 pounds), changed her quickly, then when back to bed. I think she woke up again at 5 or 5:30, put herself back to sleep and was down until 6:30!

In general I’m noticing progress in the duration of the screaming.  The 45-90 minute torture windows are shrinking. I honestly don’t know how long she carries on for, as Phil knocks himself out with ambien and I put in earplugs. But I know they’re shorter durations. And by refusing to go in before 6 a.m., I am at least guaranteed a certain amount of sleep for myself, which I desperately need.

Last night she only woke up at 4 a.m. (in which Phil went in as “sharp dad.” FIA, GO TO SLEEP. NOW! he said.) Then she slept until 6:50!!! So that’s major progress. But I also know last night she was exhausted from prior nights of waking and today she is super well rested. So we’ll see what tonight brings.

But basically in following the pediatrician’s advice/Weissbluth/Ferber with a few minor modifications of our own, I think we’re getting there. I think going cold turkey and not putting her in bed with us really is the key. And probably how the problems began again. You can really tell when you toddler gets a good night sleep. They are so much happier. As are you. Yet another argument for sleep training. It’s for their own good. And yours.

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  1. by Ashley

    On January 25, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I dont want to come off as someone who wants to put you down or judge you as a mother, but after reading this blog post I am left wondering if you have read that Ferber retracted some of his own statements regarding his “method” of CIO? Also, studies have now been done showing it can cause brain damage and can being psychologically damaging (Erik Erikson, trust vrs mistrust). Your daughter is crying out for you for a reason. Like your post says, at one time she told you she needed a diaper. She could be having teething pain or even bad dreams.

    I almost did CIO with my now 17 month old. He was waking up every hour or two some nights. My other kids (2) never had issues sleeping at night. I thought he must be spoiled and my son’s Dr recommended CIO too. My husband is the one who stopped me from doing it. He said there must be a reason for our son’s crying and he was right.

    After doing more research I have discovered that Pediatric Drs are trained in general medicine, not childhood psychology. Their advice on parenting issues such as sleep is just advice. No better than anyone else.

    At this point I feel its important to note that even parents who use CIO will tell you your poor lil girl is crying much more than she should being. The fact that this is going on all night is truly sad. It sounds like she is waking up terrified at night. Please do some more research on the current stance of Dr Ferber and others like Babywise.

    Again, I hope I didnt come off harsh. I just see so many signs that your lil girl is begging for you. I dont want to see any damage done.

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