Monday, March 7, 2011

Nighty night

Sleep is a frequent discussion among new (and not-so-new moms). Baby has almost always been a great sleeper, and I know how fortunate I am. That said, it's not just pure luck that my kid sleeps 12-13 hours at night and 3-4 hours during the day. I read every book and blog on sleep when Baby's sleep habits started falling apart at 4 months. At 5 months, I had a plan. I combined recommendations from the Sleep Whisper, the Healthy Sleep Habits guy, and, everyone's favorite, Ferber. It took a few days to make it happen, but I've since enjoyed months of consistent, predictable (and truly glorious) sleep.

Things still happen which mess up Baby's schedule though and I've come up with more creative (read: lazy) ways to get her back on track. Most recently we traveled with another (baby-less) couple to Maine for a ski weekend. Baby woke up at 1 AM Saturday night with a fever. In my last minute packing, I did not think to bring the baby Tylenol. My husband and I spent 4 hours unsuccessfully trying to keep Baby quiet so as not disturb our friends on the other side of the wall. Baby quickly learned to fall asleep in our arms and to wake up upon being put down. We've since come home and Baby is begging for this same treatment. Now, I'm not opposed to rocking Baby to sleep once in a while, but I refuse to have to rock Baby to sleep. Upon leaving her room now, she quickly sits or stands up and starts to cry. I watch her on the monitor for 10 minutes and then go back in. She giggles with glee expecting to be lifted out of her prison, but instead I essentially push her over onto her back, plug a pacifier in her mouth, toss her a blanket and head back out the door. Now, this might seem cruel to some, but this works for us. After a round or two of this, Baby shuts her eyes and goes to sleep. I know it will take another night or so to completely remind Baby of how things work around here, but there's a lot of relief in knowing I don't have to pace the floors at all hours of the night.

Baby's not dumb. She's doing her part to remind me what life was like with a newborn, so she can remain an only child as long as possible.