Friday, March 20, 2009

Project Sleep through the Night

Remember this post?

Sleep deprivation is the worst, isn't it? Thankfully, after writing that post, I had a change in perspective that helped me get through quite a few more sleepless nights. But my frustration about my son's sleep habits always lay right beneath the surface of my emotions, ready to pop up its ugly head at any given time (usually around 3 am).

Then a couple of weeks ago, I read an article about a couple with sextuplets. The wife talked about the point of desperation that they hit with their lack of sleep. (I can't even imagine!) She shared that when their babies were 4 months old, they simply turned off the baby monitor for two weeks and all six of them had learned to sleep through the night since.

Two things crossed my mind:
1) They can get six kids to sleep through the night and I am struggling with just one?!

2) Why haven't I tried that?

And then I remembered why I hadn't tried that. Our two boys share a room. And while, our three year old has amazed me by sleeping through hours of Lincoln crying, I could only imagine the drama that would unfold if mommy and daddy didn't come running if Griffin ever he needed us. There would be therapy bills to pay for sure.

Then it hit me. Wes had to go out of town last weekend. I would let Griffin sleep in my room for those two nights and kill the monitor.

So Project Sleep through the Night began once more--only I slept worse with the monitor off than I did with it on. Partly due to the fact that Griffin wanted to sleep on my head...and also that I couldn't hold myself back from turning on the monitor every hour or two. Oh, and going into check on Lincoln every other hour or two.

But I stuck with the plan of letting Lincoln cry when he did wake up. This meant no running at the first peep to give him his binkie. He had to learn to put himself back to sleep. No mommy intervention allowed.

It's been almost a week since the Project began. This past week, there have been several times that Lincoln has woken up in the night, fussed for a few minutes and then put himself back to sleep. What a good feeling.

The night before last, he slept 10 hours straight. And at this present moment, Lincoln is going on 11 1/2 hours of sleep. Straight.


Someday I hope I meet that family with sextuplets. I plan on giving all 8 of them big fat smooches.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Kaley! I wish I had read your previous post earlier. I could have comiserated with you. My Lincoln has also been very difficult, but I think we too, may be rounding a corner here. If not, I may resort to your tactics. I totally relate to feeling like I don't measure up as a mom b/c I can't get my kid to sleep through the night. Why do we believe such ridiculous things?

Julie-Pho-Tog said...

haeleighlujah indeed! good for you, when aidan was 10 months old i was soo sick of pretty much being an insomniac, i was lucky cuz it as summer and i put our fan in ours and aivas bedroom on full blast, and didnt go to him when we woke up. I felt heartless but when i woke up that first morning, looked at the clock and realized i got 8 hours of sleep, i did a big ol' happy dance and didnt feel like a horrible person anymore! Thanks for sharing, happy sleeping, to you and little Lincoln!

Julie-Pho-Tog said...

also i'm watching GMA on online coupons!

casterline said...

hooray! I'm so happy for you and Lincoln! I hope it continues!

stephanie said...

Yay! We had a 5 hour stint last night, so that was big for us :) I think things will probably get better once E has her own room...2 months, God willing...

Angel said...

I was told about a method a lot like the cry it out method but a little easier to handle for moms like me that just can't handle letting them cry it out. Here is what my sons pediatricion suggested to me and it has worked wonders. (He sleeps through the night everynight for 2 1/2 months now).
When he starts crying wait 5 mins
Go in the room, don't pick him up.
Spend 1 minute(no more)and leave the room.
(I would just lie him back down and say its bedtime baby!)
then wait 10 mins.
go in for 1 min
wait 15 mins and repeat adding 5 minutes each time.
It took about 1 hour for him to fall asleep the first time but only 20 mins the next and now he just puts himself back to sleep everytime.
He is 15 months old and has always slept with us so it was hard for 2 nights but so worth it. We have our bed back and he sleeps 12 hours everynight in his own bed.
I never thought it would work but it did. Let me know how it goes if anyone tries it.

Anonymous said...

Hope the sleep continues! I'm thankful for our doctor who told me when Joshua was only two weeks old to turn the monitor off - he said, "you'll hear it when he needs you"
and of course I could. We've never even turned it on with Josiah and I'm quite sure it has allowed me more sleep than I would get if I had the monitor on. This was the same doc who had me move the boys out of our room before they were two weeks old! Scared me to death at first but amazingly it was the only way I could sleep.

Infarrantly Creative said...

Congratulations Kaley! That is huuuuuuuuge