The Sleep Lady Shuffle

Last week I wrote about my struggles with Jack’s sleep since we got rid of the binky. In response a friend of mine brought me a book called Good Night, Sleep Tight. She told me how it had worked for her kids in two weeks, so I thought I’d give it a try.

So far it’s not too bad.  The first and third nights were the worst, followed by two really great nights when he slept through the night with out calling for me. Last night he went to bed well, but woke up four times. The book says that by night 13 they should be going to bed easily and not calling out. I’m really hoping it will work because Freddie the Frog has proven to be a disappointment.

In theory Freddie would be great, but in reality not so much. He’s good for shedding a little extra light if Jack feels he needs it, but his music is too loud. I have it on the softest setting and I can still hear it in the living room. The other problem with the music is that if Jack can’t calm down enough before bed he’ll sit there and play with the music to keep himself awake. This is especially bad if I miss his “sleep window” and he gets his dreaded second wind.

I’ve been working really hard to not miss his “sleep window” though. I missed it on the third night and he was awake in his bed until past 10pm. At 9:45pm I told him I couldn’t sit there anymore since he wasn’t going to sleep. I said I was going to brush my teeth and change into my pajamas then I’d come check on him. I did that, and he was still awake, so I told him I was going to the living room to watch a show and I’d check on him again before I went to bed. I guess that night it was just me sitting there keeping him awake, because once I left he turned off his frog and went to sleep.

I think what it really comes down to is being consistent. It doesn’t really matter what method you go with as long as you stick with it. I’m convinced that kids can sense weakness and they do everything they can to exploit it to get what they want. That was my biggest problem, was being consistent. I think I just wasn’t sure what to do. When he was a baby I did the cry it out method and it worked in about a week. It worked because I stuck with it. I had a method with rules and a goal.

This time it was a different situation. When I did the cry it out method before my neighbors were so loud and rude I didn’t care if a screaming baby woke them up at 2am. But now I have a nice neighbor who works early in the morning and all day. I felt like I couldn’t do the cry it out method again. The other puzzling thing was that Jack was such a good sleeper before I was a little surprised by his behavior. I thought it would be about a week or two to adjust to having no binky.

After reading the Sleep Lady’s book and looking at our lifestyle, I can sort of understand his issues with sleep. There has been lots of busyness, transition and general hubub this summer (well this year). I like to be active, I love to visit friends and I loved that Jack was so easy to put down at other folks houses. But now I just have to face that he’s got some sleep issues we need to fix before he can get good at sleeping in a strange place again. So I’ve committed myself to two weeks of being home in the evenings in time for our bedtime routine. In fact tonight is the first night we’ll be going out after nap time.

We have dinner plans with the very friend who loaned me the Sleep Lady book. We’ll see how Jack does tonight when we get home. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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