Jayden isn’t a bad sleeper, he wakes up for a dummy check sometimes and if so it will be twice a night maximum. He also sometimes wakes up at about 4:30 am and the only thing that will put him back to sleep is a bottle. The dummy wakings and the bottle haven’t bothered us, but what has become a problem is getting him to sleep. We made the fatal mistake of cuddling/rocking him to sleep and it has become a real problem.
Problem number one: He weighs eleven kgs now. Rocking eleven kg’s is not fun especially when there is squirming involved.
Problem number two: My husband has an old shoulder injury that keeps flaring up as a result of the rocking and cuddling. He simply can’t do it anymore as it causes him a lot of pain and the reality is that the injury will become worse if he continues. I have a business trip planned to Nigeria at the end of the month, which leaves him with no support, and so we decided that the rocking had to stop.
Problem number three: Sometimes bedtime is a nightmare and if we continue this way we will end up with major toddler problems. Its better for all of us if we teach Jayden to self soothe.
Sunday night was horrible and I felt awful on Monday morning. I keep needing to remind myself why we are doing this and that it really is the best for Jayden in the long run. We are using a form of ‘controlled comforting’, one that we are comfortable with. The evening follows a routine. Supper at 5pm, bath at 5:30/6pm followed by a bottle and some story time on the coach. Last night we added brushing our teeth to the routine and I’m sure we all looked ridiculous sitting in a circle on our bedroom carpet brushing our teeth (mom and dad need to show how it is done) We then give Jayden a big cuddle and settle him in his room with some sleepy music, ( Music has been part of his routine since he came home) and put him in his bed with his bunny and dummy. We then leave him for three minutes until we go and check on him gradually increasing the time until he settles himself.
The crying has been difficult for me and I am sure that it is difficult for everyone who does it, but I keep reminding myself that it is for the best. On Sunday night it took 30 mins for Jayden to settle. Yesterdays afternoon nap took twenty mins and last night took 5 mins. I have just put him down for his morning nap now and I only had to go and resettle him once after three minutes. So hopefully this is a sign of good things.
I am not sure if it is a coincidence, but he has slept straight through the night with no wakings at all for the last two nights, AND he has also only woken up after 6am, which is great.
I will keep you updated on our progress, but it seems to be going well.