As you may know, I am working on the transition from co-sleeping to cot with my 10 month old daughter Abigail. We have eliminated underlying medical issues and we are currently doing what we feel is right our daughter. We have taken bits and pieces from several different sleep techniques and implemented them into a plan that fits for us. I am not going to take on something I know I won’t be able to stick to.
Allow two, to two and half hours of playtime, give her solids half an hour after she wakes up. Watch for tired cues (for Abigail this is hair pulling and her eyebrows turn red) then begin sleep routine. Place lamby blanket on my shoulder, pick up Abigail, give her a dummy and carry her into her bedroom. Close blinds, turn on cot mobile then place her in the cot on her side and give her a bottle while stroking her back and humming a lullaby (we have always hummed her to sleep with the same lullaby). Eventually I would like to break the milk association but for now I am going to continue so it isn’t such a harsh jump for her. If she tries to stand up or starts crying or grizzling I walk out and try again in a minute or so, if she starts hysterically crying I stay by her side and just talk to her. If I walk out and she is quiet, regardless of whether she is playing or laying down I stay away.
Our first attempt involved a lot of crying, it only took 20 minutes before she fell asleep to me patting her but she did cry the entire time. She slept for an hour and twenty minutes and woke up and started playing which is a total change to her usual crying when she wakes up. She was unusually happy for the entire time she was awake after this nap, a good sign that she was well rested.
Nap two took us fifty minutes, although it was longer she didn’t cry as much and I didn’t spend as much time in the room with her. I did record the whole thing but the file is so huge it is STILL uploading, I need to re-install my video program so I can convert it to a different file type and speed it up. This time she fell asleep just holding my hand, I stopped stroking her as I could see she was falling asleep. She might have taken longer than last time but at least she is learning to calm herself down.
As she woke up very late in the morning, her third nap was her bedtime sleep. An hour and a half this time but majority of it was with me out of the room, I am assuming that she was a bit overtired as she didn’t have three day naps which would explain why it took so long. The big achievement with this sleep was that she took herself to sleep, I had walked out because she was just laying on her back staring at her mobile and after 5 minutes or so I went back in to check on her and she was fast asleep. When she woke up a few hours later for her feed I decided to bring her back into bed with me, she had fallen asleep where it mattered and it’s baby steps for the two of us! It was actually a good thing I did because she managed to leak through her nappy again (huggies are really failing for me at the moment) and we had to have a 3am change of clothes.
Although some may see her coming back into bed with me as a fail, I count yesterday as a total win. We have never managed to have an entire day of her sleeping in the cot and we have already seen a big difference in not only her self soothing but her behavior and length of sleep. Let’s just hope today goes as well!
I am more than welcoming to any hints, tips or related links.