Sleep

June 5, 2012

  It always comes down to sleep, doesn't it?  If the kids don't sleep well,  you don't sleep well.  If they don't get enough sleep, nothing goes well.  I've already posted some on getting Sky's sleep figured out ( read here, here, and here) but now we're trying to get Fire's sleep sorted.
  Fire's daytime schedule is just fine.  He wakes up around 6 am, takes a few short naps and few long naps during the day and is ready for bed at 8pm.  It's the after 8pm part that we're hoping to make a little more family friendly.  When Fire joined our family,we weren't co-sleeping and he was waking up four times a night, at 10:30, 1:30, 3:30 and 5:30.  Because we didn't know any differently, we tried to feed him each time.  At 10:30 and 3:30 he would only drink about 2 ounces and then fall back asleep but at 1:30 and 5:30, he would drink six ounces (each time!).  On the advice of my wonderful sister-in-law, we had been taking shifts throughout the night so that each of us got a solid block of sleep.  I was "on" from 10 to 2 and D took 2 to 6.
 It was working but since we'd read that Fire should be able to start sleeping through the night soon, we thought we'd try working him down to fewer feedings.  We started by trying to comfort him back to sleep rather than feeding him right away, and he took to that on the first night, eliminating the 10:30 and 3:30 wake-ups.  D and I decided to take that one step further and try co-sleeping, to see if his night time wakings were because he was lonely rather than actually hungry.  I wasn't sure that it would work because he was eating so much every night.  I mean, if he's eating 6 ounces at a go, it means he needs those 6 ounces, right? 
 Nope.  He co-slept with us for three nights and each time he fussed, one of us would cuddle him and give him is nuk and he would go right back to sleep.  On the fourth night, he was a little bit fussier than usual so I thought he might be hungry but he refused the bottle entirely.  In three nights, he'd gone from wanting 12 ounces of formula to none.  Crazy.  And that probably sounds like we found a good solution in co-sleeping with him, doesn't it?
 Again, nope.  D and I only have a double bed and just like Sky was when we co-slept with her, Fire is a flailer.  He takes up a third of a fairly small bed and the flailing means that neither D or I sleep well when he's there.  Because we need sleep to be good parents (and right now, Sky needs us to be the best parents possible- her behavior lately is another whole post in itself), we decided to try sleep training Fire. 
  We used the Ferber method on Sky and it worked well both times we used it (for the crib and when she moved to her big-girl bed), so that's what we're doing for Fire.  The crib is in our room so that he doesn't wake Sky up and so that we can get to him quickly if he needs something.  Last night was our first night and both D and I woke up thinking, "That went way better than I thought it would."  Every time Fire fussed we would wait 10 minutes before responding.  Many times he just settled himself down and went back to sleep.  If he didn't settle down or started fussing louder, one of us would get up, give him his nuk and put our hands on him to calm him down, and again, that did the trick.  We're both pretty tired this morning, but no more than we have been lately.  We've read that the second night can be worse than the first, so we're bracing ourselves, but we're also looking forward to a full night's sleep.  We'll keep you posted!

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