I bought the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book around lunchtime, but coincidentally, Atticus' morning nap had followed the schedule the book recommends, so I just went with it. I have been making notes on a legal pad by the minute, so I'll type those out here verbatim and put my current thoughts at the bottom of the post.
July 6, 2011
9:10a - Down for morning nap after nursing
10:55a - Awake from morning nap
1:35p - Nursed Atticus and put him down for the afternoon nap
2:35p - Atticus has cried for a full hour (the daytime limit the book suggests), so I go get him out of his crib
6:50p - Start bedtime routine: bath, lotion, book, nurse
7:17p - Put Atticus in bed. He's drowsy but awake. I'm nervous.
7:20p - Crying starts.
7:35p - Still crying. I haven't checked on him. I'm surprisingly okay with sitting here listening to it.
7:41p - Yep, still crying. Damn. This is sucky. Go to sleep!
7:42p - Silence. Is he dead? Did he go to sleep? I'm scared to go check.
7:44p - Crap. More crying, but it's very sporadic and quiet.
7:46p - Silence.
7:49p - Wow, that scream was loud. His poor voice is so hoarse!
8:09p - I think he's asleep.
8:29p - Yep. He's asleep. He's not dead. I went to check on him.
9:02p - He's awake. Screaming. I will not go in there. I will not go in there OMG. He sounds terrible. I don't even recognize his cry. I keep telling myself that I am not doing this TO him. I'm doing it FOR him.
1:31a - He's awake. It's been 6.5 hours since his last meal, so I'm getting up to feed him. I feel almost normal after 3.5 hours of sleep. I kind of miss him. :)
1:46a - He ate both boobs. He never does that. I'm going back to bed.
1:51a - Is that a cricket outside? Or is that my baby's poor voice, and it's so hoarse that I don't recognize it?
4:17a - He's crying. It hasn't been four hours since he last ate, so I'm not supposed to go in there. What the crap am I supposed to do? I hope Michael doesn't wake up. I'm going to play 10 minutes of white noise on my phone and hope that we both go back to sleep. Fingers crossed.
5:32a - I guess he went back to sleep, but he's crying now. It's been exactly 4 hours since his last meal, so I'm going to feed him.
5:51a - I'm on my way back to bed.
7:23a - Atticus woke up for the day. He wasn't crying like normal for me to pick him up. He was playing in his bed and jabbering. He doesn't act like he doesn't trust me anymore, and he's very happy to see me.
Was last night hard? Well, no. Not really. Michael and I decided that this was what we were going to do. I expected him to cry, and I expected to go a lot worse, actually. He's used to sleeping on his belly, and I put him down on his back each time. When I went to check on him or get him out of bed, he was on his back or side. He used to fidget but not wake when I would walk in the room to check on him. When I checked on him last night, he was sleeping so soundly that he didn't move. His temperament this morning was more playful and less fussy than normal.
Dr. Weissbluth talks about two methods for crying. One involves going to check on him, and the other doesn't. One is kinder, but the other is quicker and more effective. We chose quicker and more effective, so while we are training Atticus to sleep, we won't be checking on him if he cries after we put him down in his crib. If he cries for one hour after being put down for a nap, we are supposed to go get him and try naptime tomorrow. At bedtime, however, there is no time limit. If he wants to cry for 2 hours, we're not going in there. Atticus is safe in his crib. He is alone with no toys or blankets. He sleeps in a sleeper and a Halo sleep sack. He can't sit up, much less stand up or crawl/fall out of the crib. That was part of the reason we felt like it was necessary to sleep train sooner rather than later.
I'd give the first night a B. It was significantly improved over headbanging and waking up 11 times in one night.
HSHHC - Part 1 - Why We Are Doing This FOR Atticus
**I know that not everyone is kosher with crying it out. That's totally your prerogative. This is mine, and I believe that this is not something I'm doing TO my son. I'm doing it FOR him. End of discussion. You have another method? Write about it on your blog. This one is mine. **