The past couple of weeks has been a bit rough with Joseph. He’s been going through . . . something . . . and he hasn’t been sleeping the best. Now, I know in the grand scheme of things he is an easy, happy baby and his sleep “issues” are rather minor compared to most babies. But, I will say that he out of his usual pattern and I’m not sure what to do.
- Here are the main issues to deal with: Naps – He has been on average taking 30 minute naps about 4 times a day. Sometimes all he needs is this little cat nap, but others I can tell that he is still tired and won’t sleep longer. This leads to me not being able to get things done and having no “down time” in addition to him being a super cranky guy by the end of the day.
- Sleep ritual – He needs to have a bottle and will not fall asleep without one. Its to the point where if I take the bottle out of his mouth too soon, he wakes up, cries, and I have to start all over again. Same thing occurs when I lay him in his crib. Wakes up, cries, bottle.
I’ve been reading up on different sleep training methods and have been trying to decide if we should go the “Cry It Out” (CIO) method or not. There is some major controversy around this topic. I’ve known moms who have used this method and swear by it as well as those who think it is akin to torture. I am on the fence right now. Shawn and I discussed it and here’s our plan:
- Enter the Sleep Sheep – Joe already has a “lovey” – a small, soft blanket that we call his Soos. He currently only uses it on occasion, but we make sure that its in his crib with him. Some people recommended a white noise machine of some sort to help calm him and help extend his sleep cycle. I got him the Sleep Sheep and I have to say that I think that it MIGHT be working. I put it on the 45 minute cycle with either “rain” or “ocean” playing and he has been doing better with the length of his naps. Its not consistent yet, but the longest he’s gone now has been a blissful hour and 15 minutes!
- Earlier Bedtime – Joseph would usually go to sleep around 8ish and would sleep until 6 or so the next morning. The problem was that he was so cranky and wound up that it would take forever to get him down to sleep. I’ve moved his bedtime up to 7pm and I’ve found that this is making a difference. He doesn’t fight me as much to go down and he’s sleeping through the night for the most part. We’ve had a couple of middle of the night wake ups and he’s getting up earlier (between 5 and 6) but I feel that we’re on the right track and he’ll sleep later in the morning soon.
- A New Routine – I’ve instituted a routine to help get him ready for bed at night. He has his dinner, then its straight into the tub. After his bath, we put on lotion, diaper, and jammies. Then we turn off the lights, turn on the Sleep Sheep and I give him a bottle. If he finished the bottle and is still awake, into the crib he goes. This has only happened twice so far and he went to sleep with a minimum of crying. I’m hoping to phase out the bottle at some point, not sure when or how this will happen.
We’re still having some issues with naps and Shawn and I tried CIO with him and it worked . . . twice. The other times he was a mess and so was I. I’m not sure I can go that route. I’m hoping that these things will work instead so I don’t have to go down that road in the future. However, I’m not ruling it out at this point. I just feel like it’s going to be my last resort.
I’m wondering how other moms deal with this issue. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please leave them in the comments area so everyone can join in.