I am re-reading the chapter on creating new sleep associations and reviewing my notes from each night. The first night, he put himself to sleep entirely – he got down from the crib rails, curled up on his lovey, and whimpered himself to sleep. Only after he’d been asleep for a few minutes did I go back in to cover him with his blanket. I did not pat his back or do any shhh-ing.
The second night, I had to take him off the rails and lay him down. I did that each time I went in. I would then pat his back. If I remember correctly, he started to calm down as I patted his back and then took a few minutes after I left to really fall asleep. But I was creating a new sleep association with the back patting. Last night, I admit that I did pat his back until he was asleep – even if it did only take a minute (I was just trying to calm him and he was asleep before I knew it). I patted his back off and on while I was checking on him, and I’m not supposed to be doing that.
I did it again today for his nap. WHAT IS MY PROBLEM? I know that I’m not supposed to do it, but I do it anyway.
There won’t be a proper nap later today because we have Matthew’s 9 month doctor visit right when he’d be falling asleep, so I’m sure he’ll fall asleep in the car on the way home. But tonight? Tonight I will put him in his room and NOT pat his back as he falls asleep. I will not pat his back during his awake periods tonight. I will simply go in, remove him from the crib rails, lay him down, give him a quick pat on the back to help him settle into the mattress (I can’t just walk away!), and then say, “night night,” and exit. I will not stay in his room for more than ONE minute each time (Ferber says 1-2 minutes but I clearly can’t be trusted with 2 minutes). And I will NOT do what I did this morning and let him sleep with me once he gets up at 6:00 (he was just so tired and I couldn’t let him struggle like that to stay awake).
What I’m trying to decide is if I should go back and start with the second night’s schedule (5, 10, 12 minute wait periods) instead of the forth night’s schedule (12, 15, 17) since I’m the one who screwed this up?
Uh oh… I just came across a statement that I shouldn’t be using a sound machine for Matthew. That little tid-bit is on page 96. Why wouldn’t they put that earlier in the book, like on page 74 where they tell you exactly how to do this process? I’ve been wondering about that as I’ve been reading but assumed all was fine because there was no mention of it. Matthew sleeps with a VERY LOUD sound machine all. night. long. In fact, we have a couple sleep sheep that we used when he was very young but they stopped after 45 minutes and that was all well and good (Matthew stayed asleep just fine after they shut off) until we had a party one night. We went in to reset the thing every 40 minutes and decided that he sleeps best with the continuous noise. So I got one that stays on all night. I actually love it and rely on it via the baby monitor at night to fall asleep (I used to sleep with ear plugs prior to Matthew’s arrival – I’m a terrible sleeper!). I think that is one association that I am NOT willing to break for Matthew at this time. That would be pure torture for him!