It took a half hour — alternating crying, yelling, and quiet almost calmed post-cry sighs and gulps — but Mark was able to do it all by himself, and she ended up asleep around 10:30, and stayed asleep until 7:00 this morning.
Mark tried earplugs last night, and he agrees that it makes a huge difference, takes so much of the edge off those distressing and loud cries.
As expected, Amy did not take to the new sleep routine very well at first, but I’d still say this first attempt went remarkably well.
Mark put her down after her bottle, when she was showing signs of sleepiness. He read to her, played the mobile, gave her a pacifier. He sat on the floor quietly where she wouldn’t see him. Turned out the light quietly. Left the room quietly. Closed the door.
And then she started yelling.
Finally we got her calmed down and she fell asleep — in the crib.
Made sure she had a clean diaper, gave her the pacifier, took it out when she needed to yell, tried it again when she seemed ready, repeated often, talked to her, patted her, let her hold onto some fingers, and soon the eyelids fluttered — I stayed as still as I could until her grip loosened, then I left.
She slept until 6:30 this morning.
I didn’t sleep well last night, but after a rough start Mark and Amy both slept all night.
I think we may have reached the point where it is no longer helpful to rock Amy to sleep before putting her in the crib. Mark says she pretty much always wakes up crying a half hour or so later, no matter what time he puts her down.
My guess is that it’s time to start helping her learn to fall asleep in the crib. That could be a lot of work — standing there watching, patting, talking, replacing the pacifier, winding the mobile again, and so on — but if it works, I think it might be worth it — I think she might then be less likely to wake again.
The main thing is that Mark is stressed every single night when he goes to bed, because he anticipates that waking crying and having to go through the whole process of rocking her and putting her down again. He needs to be able to have some quiet evening time, some peace, to relax and replenish as he goes to sleep.
1. I took Amy to Julie’s house today for lunch and a visit — people were coming to look at our house at noon so I wanted something more interesting for us to do besides walking the aisles of the local Shur-Save. It was nice to have that time out — to be in a different place, with other people.
2. I’m taking a time out from DBT today. I could do a gratitude list and a prompting event worksheet, but I don’t feel like it and I think I can give myself permission to skip it today. I was still practicing some DBT skills — trying to be mindful and all that.
3. This doesn’t fit the time out theme, but I’m adding it anyway. Hey, it’s my blog, I can do what I want. Anyway, it occurred to me that there is a difference between tired but still social, and tired and wanting to go to sleep. I think sometimes maybe Amy just wants to be with us but not played with, talked to, etc — too tired to play, but not ready to be by herself yet. Even if that’s not really what goes on in her mind at this young age, it’s still an interesting and perhaps useful way of thinking.