Thursday, January 17, 2013

Down and Out

Dear Readers,

Recently, Muffin's sleep went from predictable and good to unpredictable and bad.  Suddenly my easy baby wouldn't go to sleep without Herculean effort, wanted to party at 1:45 am and felt that 4 am was really an ideal time to get up (and not go back to sleep until at least 8 am).

This was a disaster.

You see, after Muffin was born I was obsessed with his sleep and mine (or the lack thereof).  I read every book, made his learning to sleep my full-time job while on maternity leave and basically blogged about it on Facebook.  Luckily for me, I got a lot of good advice that way from my fellow Mommy Facebookers.  The support was invaluable, and it turns out the advice was too.  One simple piece of advice a Mommy Friend passed along was "Just put them down."

That advice was harder to follow when Muffin was tiny, though I thought of it often.  But with him close to 11 months now, I heard that advice in my head one morning at 1:54 am while Muffin cooed and pointed.  Exhausted, I figured "why not?"  I put Muffin down in his crib, kissed him on the head, told him I loved him and would see him in the morning, closed the door and went back to bed.  In truth, I lay in my bed watching Muffin on the monitor, but what I saw convinced me this advice was spot-on:  He jumped, whined a little, crawled around, waved his arms and....fell asleep.  Until 7 am (!!) when he awoke happy and ready for the day.  Hallelujah!

Now, I've tried this technique since with naps and bedtime with about an 80% success rate.  He doesn't "cry it out" because truthfully he's not crying.  And if he is, I know something bigger is going on (like teeth or diaper issues).  But for any of you facing a similar sleep challenge, after the usual soothing routine try to "just put them down" so they can learn to sleep.  It works.

Happy Dreams!

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